Law degree online: you do the math

Law degree online stands to grow substantially this year. The New York Times reported on Jan. 30, 2013 that spiraling law school costs coupled with slumping job prospects led to a 20% fall in applications to the traditional sit-in-class institution. At $45,000/ year average, prospective students are choosing business, medicine and other careers. With good reason, when they get out of the traditional law school, they are crushed by $150,000 debt — and the six-figure law career they sought remains elusive.

You do the math. At around $10,500 a year, the law degree online is a positive alternative.

We are going through a revolution in law with a time bomb on our admissions books,” said William D. Henderson, a professor of law at Indiana University, quoted by the Times. “Thirty years ago if you were looking to get on the escalator to upward mobility, you went to business or law school. Today, the law school escalator is broken.”

Law degree online

Law degree online capitalizes on traditional schools’ demise

With the lowest enrollment since 1977 in traditional law school, cutbacks, layoffs, staff buyouts are planned for the fall, the Times reported. With clouds gathering over such schools, bar association leaders are looking at alternatives. To reduce student debt, New York is examining the possibility of taking the bar in two years instead of three. Expect bar association officials re-evaluate the online option.

As pundits foresee a revolution in the world of law, the online law degree stands to come out a winner. You decide whether this option is the wave of the future. Do the economics of the law degree online outweigh the naysaying of an industry steeped in tradition?

Fun facts about law degree online:

  • 60 college credits and 864 hours per year of correspondence law classes qualify you to take bar exam in California
  • In 2008, an average salaried lawyer in America earned $110,590 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • To become a lawyer in America, you must earn a Juris Doctor. But in many other countries you need only a Bachelor of Laws
  • Before law school, common undergraduate degrees are philosophy, English and history.
  • You must maintain at least a 2.0 GPA through law school.

* Read more: For an in-depth critique of the current law school panorama, read “Failing Law Schools,” by Brian Tamanaha. He catalogues in detail how law schools fudge their data and over-charge tuition in pursuit of high ranking at the expense of the population demographics they serve or could serve.

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