Online Law School Classes are growing in popularity, despite the difficulties in many states of being allowed to sit on the bar exam. (The American Bar Association is currently reviewing regulations and may finally grant accreditation to 100% Online Law School Classes, without which many states won’t let you take the test to become a lawyer.)
Here are some advantages to Online Law School Classes:
- Admittance – They’re easier to get in than traditional law schools
- Convenience – You watch the class in your home during your free time. There’s no commute, no need to move-in to your school.
- Affordability – Online Law School Classes are about one-third the cost of brick-and-mortar schools. You won’t have pay for dorm and living expenses beyond your norm.
- Teacher Accessibility – Your online professor may actually be more available than the traditional teacher. Ask your question by email, and he’ll be back to you within 48 hours.
- Interactivity Without Distraction – Chat rooms, skype and email make interaction with fellow students possible. But there’s no campus life distraction of parties.
Online Law School Classes are for dreamers. While the traditional law school tends to reject more than accept applicants (thus they attain prestige by enrolling only the “cream of the crop.”), Online Law School Classes are open for pretty much everybody.
Online Law School Classes are also great for:
- Those who want private practice (since the big law firms go pretty much only for top-tier law school grads.)
- Those who want to compliment their professional career with a law degree.
Check to see if Online Law School Classes are the best option for you. As you research, make sure to ask:
- Total costs of the program
- Options for taking the bar in your state
- Bar passage rates of graduates
- 9-month-after-graduation employment of graduates in law job
This video, the Trials of a Law School Trailer 1, shows the adversity facing traditional law school students. The online school takes less of a sink-or-swim approach to its students.
Online Law Schools are a great option for working students who dream of becoming a lawyer.
You want to know everything you can about your options for law schools!
But the profession is one of conducting research: so get started now checking out options in your state.
Here’s some facts you’ll need to know before paying for your online law schools:
- Does my state allow me to take the bar with only online studies (California does)?
- If not, what recourse do I have?
- What is my goal with a Juris Doctor?
- Is another degree what I want?
- How much is the tuition? How does it compare to a regular law school?
- How long will it take? (Most online schools take 4 years, as opposed to the 3-year live, in-the-classroom traditional school.)
- What do I want to do with my law degree? Enhance another career (maybe you won’t need to pass the bar.)
- What modifications to existing regulations is my state bar considering? When are they like to loosen bar-taking policies?
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Accreditation from the American Bar Association is required in most states to take the bar. Online Law Schools, for the moment, do not qualify for ABA approval. That means you can only take the bar in California, which allows pretty much all comers to take its bar. Once you have passed the California bar, some states allow you to immediately take their bar, others require you to actually practice in California for a few years before requesting to take the local bar and transfer to your destiny state.
Law school online is producing more and more success stories. Laura Collins passed the California bar in May of 2003. What was extraordinary is that she was among the first five to do so having coursed law school online. With her degree, she got a job in the film industry, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.
Since then, there have been many others. The law school online uses the same texts as regular law school. But lectures can be downloaded and watched at your convenience. And you can stop and rewind — an option not enjoyed in traditional lecture hall. Students spend 20-30 hours a week studying. There are classes in chatrooms, and professors get back to within 48 hours via email for questions.
The American Bar Association hasn’t rushed to endorse the law school online, however. It limits the number of units in its accredited schools that a student can take online. Since many states only allow graduates from ABA-accredited schools to take the bar, that limits your options. California, however, doesn’t restrict itself to ABA accreditation and allows fully online law graduates take the bar.
Such restrictions are likely to be loosened soon, as traditional law schools are seeing enrollments plunge in 2013. Unfortunately, it requires crisis to become the catalyst for change. The ABA is currently re-visiting its policies, looking at its task force’s recommendations this fall.
Ross Mitchell made news November 2008 by persuading the Massachusetts Board of the Bar to allow him to take the test, which he passed. Because he was mid-career, he didn’t have the luxury to sit in the typical lecture hall, but he dreamed of becoming a lawyer.
When you look at the options, remember to research about the law school online:
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