Illinois law degrees online

Illinois law degrees online are a matter of not falling prey to $100,000 debt. Traditional law schools ramped up tuition exponentially during lawyers’ heyday of the 90’s and early part of 2,000. But law jobs market busted — not only due to the recession; internet has played its part in providing many legal forms and outsourcing options for many services.

Today, too many students are paying top dollar for top schools and not finding top jobs because there are far fewer. A lot of freshly-minted lawyers are working retail. Some, in coffee shops. Others have sued their schools for providing misleading job statistics.

In response to the current crisis, Chicago’s own Northwestern University Law School voluntarily reduced its law student population 10% in 2013. This is NOT a noble sacrifice done  for the good of its students. By cutting back student population, the school gets less money (short term) but gets better bar passage rate, which in turn raises its ranking and justifies higher tuition (more money in the long term).

The nationwide trend at cutting law student population is a bandage where major surgery is needed. What needs to happen is overhaul to the ABA’s accreditation, which obliges law schools to charge astronomical tuitions to comply with requirements designed more to line professor’s pocket than help the students. Under current ABA rules, a low cost law school is unsustainable.

Only California pays no heed to the burdensome ABA accreditation, allowing all law school students, including online ones, to take the bar. (Like most states, Illinois “bars you from the bar” if you didn’t go to an ABA approved law school.) Never mind that Abraham Lincoln taught himself law in his poor log cabin. Today, he would be prohibited from even giving it a try by the ABA’s henchmen.

You would think that someone among these brilliant analytical minds could find the solution. There are not too many lawyers; in fact, there is a scarcity of lawyers for the poor of our country, with 80% of poor without law service. No lawyer can serve the poor because, unless he’s making $250 an hour, he can’t pay back his student loan.

But instead of loosening accreditation to produce lawyers who can afford to serve the poor, incoming ABA president James Silkenat will try to set up apprenticeship programs to put beginning lawyers at the service of the poor. His efforts provide no long term help and reinforce the current law school tuition structure.

The insanity must end sometime.

Illinois law degrees online make sense because they are:

  • substantially cheaper than brick and mortar schools (as much as one-sixth the cost)
  • flexible and convenient (you receive classes in your home at the hour you wish)
  • cutting edge (with technology you access law libraries, professors and fellow students)

Until the backwards-thinking top lawyers allow all comers to take the bar (with or without ABA accreditation), you can only take the bar in California and practice there five years before applying to take the Illinois bar “by motion.”

In the video, Kyle McEntee from Law School Transparency exposes the damage done by U.S. News & World Report’s law school ranking to law education. Law schools no longer aim to serve the country but manipulate data to rise in ranking. This in turn draws more students, which makes more money in tuition for the schools.

Illinois law degrees online have a bright future, if only the comrades of the law professors would act on behalf of the state’s population and not on behalf of their buddies.

Pennsylvania law degrees online await recognition

Pennsylvania law degrees online are the overlooked solution to the current law grad crisis. Applications to traditional law schools dove in 2013 because job prospects are limited, salaries are down, and tuitions have not come down in adjustment to these realities. Pennsylvania law degrees online, at a fraction of the cost, would be the answer, but stodgy state bar officials are more interested in protecting their colleagues’ monopolies.

Pennsylvania law degrees online

Until sense dawns on state bar officials, students with Pennsylvania law degrees online are not allowed to even take the bar. Online schools are not approved by the American Bar Association, which foists extreme requirements on law schools, requirements that pad professors’ wallets, don’t help students and make a low-tuition law school untenable.

Pennsylvania law degrees online await approval

So what can you do? For now, you can only pass the California bar (which unlike 49 other states DOES ALLOW online law students to take its bar). Until bar regulations get revised, you’d have to practice five years in California and then make a motion to take Pennsylvania’s bar.

There’s a mismatch between the amounts law schools charge and the pay most graduates receive. It doesn’t work,” said James Leipold, executive director of the National Association for Law Placement, to Reuters February 2012.

Traditional law schools are addressing the high-debt/bad-job-market problem with their own (self-benefitting) solutions. The University of Pennsylvania Law School is following a national trend to offer work to its new grads (through its Wharton School with a focus to improve management skills). Such tactics boost law schools’ ranking with U.S. News & World Report and do nothing to reduce crushing debt with long-term, high-paying employment.

What the U. of Penn. is doing is putting a bandage on massive hemorraging. State bar officials must get out of the Dark Ages of education and embrace what other academic disciplines implemented long ago. ABA accreditation should ensure quality for the students, not perks for the professors.

Here’s a list of “registered” online law schools in California that can get you on your way to becoming a lawyer:

  • Abraham Lincoln University School of Law
  • American Heritage University
  • American International School of Law
  • California School of Law
  • California Southern University
  • Concord Law School
  • International Pacific School of Law
  • MD Kirk School of Law
  • Northwestern California University School of Law
  • Oak Brook College of Law and Government Policy
  • Francis School of Law
  • Taft Law School
  • University of Honolulu School of Law (in Modesto, CA, in spite of its name)

As this video shows, traditional law schools have rushed to use online resources for their online law journals, faculty scholarship, and digital libraries. When will they allow students to study online?

Virginia distance law schools: the answer to the problem

Virginia distance law schools are the salvation for law education crisis but have not been embraced by the state bar’s old guard, which excludes these students from taking the bar.

Virginia distance law schools

Law grads have more debt than ever (upwards of $100,000 from traditional schools) and fewer jobs at a lower pay than ever before (not only the recession but also the use of internet for legal needs that previously only a lawyer provided account for this).

If you did not go to a top 40 law school and finished in the top 25 percent of your class, you’re not going to get one of those jobs,” said Jordan Abshire, principal of attorney recruiting agency Lateral Link, as quoted by Reuters February 2012.

Reuters cited statistics that show since Jan. 1, 2008 major law firms have laid off about 5,900 attorneys — 5 percent of all attorneys at the 250 largest law firms.

Traditional law schools are just now reacting to the problem. Nationwide, they are opening law firms to fill with recent grads. Starting this fall, the University of Virginia will allow students to earn a semester of credit while working full time for nonprofit or government employers anywhere in the world.

But critics point that such measures only serve the schools’ interests. On the one hand, it boosts the law school’s post graduation employment ranking with U.S. News & World Report. On the other hand, it fails to reduce tuition. Law salaries are coming down, but universities are doing everything in their power to conserve high tuitions.

Under normal economic influences, traditional law schools would drop their prices, but they enjoy a monopoly enforced by the American Bar Association and its cohorts at each state bar. If your law school is not ABA approved, sorry, you can’t even take the bar exam in Virginia.

School accreditation is supposed to safeguard against consumer fraud, not limit competition. ABA requirements are excessive, forcing law schools to keep tuition high, and do little to actually help students. The requirements keep law professors’ wallets bulging.

Virginia distance law schools make sense because:

  1. They cost at most one-third a regular tuition
  2. The make access to even the remotest of places
  3. They favor your current living situation

Unfortunately, bar lawyers don’t want to see the writing on the wall — maybe they just don’t want things to be easier on future generations of lawyers than on themselves. Bars and brick and mortar law schools have been more resistant to emerging technologies than any other academic discipline.

If you want to get your online degree, you’ll have to:

  1. pass California’s “baby” bar and then California’s regular bar
  2. practice five years in California
  3. motion to take Virginia’s bar

It’s not an easy path. But then again, loading yourself with $100,000 worth of debt and not being able to find a job is not any easier.

The video from 2010 CALI conference for Law School Computing looks at continuing advances in technologies for delivering lecture to your home computer.

New York Distance Law Schools: How Distant?

New York Distance Law Schools offer flexible hours and cheaper tuition but don’t get graduates to the bar easily because state officials follow American Bar Association norms which have yet to catch up with the times.

Under current rules, if you’re only option are New York Distance Law Schools, you’ll have to first practice law in California for five years to later take the bar in New York. (Forward-looking California allows online law school grads to take its bar. New York does not. But it allows experienced lawyers from other states to take its bar.) For NY options to the bar, check http://www.nybarexam.org/Eligible/Eligibility.htm

Rumblings for reform to include New York Distance Law Schools?

In January, state bar officials weighed cutting law school down to 2 years in an effort to lighten the student loan debt burden that frequently tops $100,000. It not only makes sense, it also makes dollars, considering that the dwindling law job market represents less opportunity to pay back that loan.

New York Distance Law Schools
Daniel Rodriguez

While this wouldn’t increase the number of available jobs, a two-year option would allow many newly minted lawyers to pursue careers in the public interest or to work at smaller firms that serve lower- or average-income Americans, thereby fulfilling a largely unmet need,” wrote Daniel Rodriguez, dean of Northwestern University School of Law in the New York Times. “As it is now, many young lawyers say they would love to follow this path but cannot afford to because of their onerous debts.”

Following California’s lead to allow the online option also makes sense. While in theory accreditation is good, the ABA’s regulations are excessive, benefiting mostly the tenured law professors’ paycheck, not the student. Most lawyers aren’t going to want to make it easier for future generations, since they are future competitors. Only the State officials can act on behalf of the good of the students — and the good of the state.

The facts of law:

  • Two years of law school is 60 credits
  • Northwestern University School of Law and New York University Law School are preparing curriculum to attract law students to the optional 3rd year, should the 2-year-to-bar rule be adopted.
  • At the January discussion, a Brooklyn judge suggested one year would be enough to pass the bar.
  • Law firms clamor for more clinical preparation for recent grads. But to cut costs, law schools pare back clinical classes first.
  • Law offices nationwide eliminated 21,600 jobs in 2009 and ’10.
  • Solo attorneys get paid for only 40% of their time, according to estimates.
  • Mundane legal tasks can not be outsourced or performed by software.

In the video, nine former law students sued New York Law School because they couldn’t get a job; the model is failing. Law students incur staggering debt with hopes of making payment, basing those hopes on misleading job statistics from law schools. Though the case was “thrown out,” it underscores a real problem in traditional legal education.

Washington Online Law Degrees: reform coming

Washington Online Law Degrees may be nearer than ever to qualifying you to take the bar.

Like other states, Washington currently requires you to graduate from an ABA-accredited school (because of antiquated thinking at the American Bar Association, no online school is accredited).

But, unlike other states, Washington is now re-examining its law education process and will likely relax regulations. Online schools may soon get the green light (of all 50 states, pretty much only California allows online law school grads to take the bar without any hurdles).

“There’s a time for incremental change and a time for bold change. This is the time for bold change,” said Paula Littlewood, executive director of the Washington State Bar Association, as quoted in the New York Times Feb. 2013. “Our hope is to provide more access.”

Washington Online Law Degrees
Paul Littlewood

Washington is creating the limited-license legal technician, more than a paralegal but not a full-fledged lawyer, to serve the state’s huge demand for affordable and competent services for people of modest means.

An ABA task force convened in February 2013 to urge reform to legal education. They want to:

  • streamline it (suggestions: reduce it to two years from three; let college juniors start law school)
  • make it less theoretical and more practice-oriented
  • cuts costs and produce more lawyers to serve legal needs of many Americans who find lawyer’s fees out of reach

Previous stabs at reform have met resistance from tenured professors and their ABA cronies who have jealously guarded their turf: among university faculty, law professors teach the least and enjoy the highest salaries.

But this time for Washington Online Law Degrees, change is probable because:

  • Applications to brick and mortar law schools are at a 30-year low, have free-fallen 38% from 2010.
  • At the same time, traditional schools’ tuitions for two decades have raced uncontrollably ahead of inflation, leaving students with debt upwards of $100,000.
  • Meanwhile, a dour economy and outsourcing over the internet has reduced the demand for lawyers.

Until reform is formally implemented, Washington allows to take the bar:

  1. graduates of ABA approved law schools
  2. persons who have completed the rule 6 law clerk program
  3. lawyers licensed in U.S. jurisdiction (this means if you pass the bar in California, you can take it in Washington)
  4. lawyers licensed in foreign jurisdictions.

For more information, check out Washington State’s Bar Association webpage http://www.wsba.org

Wisconsin Online Law Degree: Seeking Your Best Option

Wisconsin Online Law Degree — It’s easier in Wisconsin than most states to take the bar with your online law degree. That’s because the state’s high court allows you to take the bar if you have passed another state’s bar (such as California, which allows online law students to take its bar). That’s easier than most other states which rule out anything but ABA-accredited schools.

Wisconsin Online Law Degree

Why does the ABA not accredit online schools? For lots of reasons: conservative ideas about education could be one reason, protecting its colleagues turf, another. Not until law school applications declined dramatically in 2013 (due to spiraling tuition coupled with dim job prospects), did the ABA consider changing its policies. Announcements of changes are forthcoming.

It’s very important that law schools move into this new technology. It’s a whole new world out there.,” says in the video Ellen Podgor, associate dean at Stetson Law School. “Some of the top universities are requiring their students to take at least one distance learning class in order to graduate. The law schools need to get on the page.”

A Wisconsin Online Law Degree is a good option since:

  • Cheaper tuition matches better the job market. You won’t be saddled with $100,000 of debt typical among traditional law school students.
  • You won’t have to practice law 3-5 years in California before moving back to Wisconsin to solicit “reciprocity by motion” or to take Wisconsin’s bar.
  • The ABA recognizes a huge gap in need for lawyers among the poor.
  • “Asynchronous” classes mean you can watch the lecture at your convenience and even re-wind to hear a part you didn’t understand.
  • Passing the bar is especially difficult for online law school students, but since California’s is considered the toughest in the nation, passing Wisconsin’s afterward could be a slam dunk. Whether you can afford a traditional brick-and-mortar law school or choose the distance learning approach, at the end of the day, it’s all about who prepares himself enough.
  • Feedback is available from faculty and students via email, chat and video conference. In some cases, the response time is even better than the live professor. (How many times have you gone only to find his office door closed and locked?)

The video shows a seminar form the  2004 CALI Conference for Law School Computing Audience: All Technical Level and talks to law educators about the best practices for online learning with this emerging technology.

Online Law School Classes: Your Best Option

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.)

Online Law School Classes

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:

  1. Those who want private practice (since the big law firms go pretty much only for top-tier law school grads.)
  2. 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.

Legal studies program online: an advance in your career

Legal studies program online has met resistance from traditionalists, but it is natural that education evolves and adapts to new realities. Just like when Gutenberg invented the printing press it totally revolutionized learning and knowledge, so too the internet has been disruptive to the hallowed halls of education.

Legal studies program online

A buyer-beware attitude is fine. As critics point out, top law firms probably won’t be beating down your door to give you a job upon graduation. Legal studies programs online have had difficulty with students passing the bar. A major obstacle has been that most states don’t even let you take the bar with an online degree (California is the notable exception!).

But what naysayers don’t tell you is that traditional schools aren’t free from problems. An April 2013 Los Angeles Times article reports that law students have sued their traditional law schools in about 20 different suits around the country for presenting misleading post-graduation job statistics. Grads who bussed tables were reported as “employed within nine months after graduation.”

A New York Times article documents how traditional law schools manipulate their data to rise in U.S. News & World Report’s rankings, which leads to more applications and more donations. In one case, a dean classified low LSAT students as “part time” to drastically improve his bar passage stats of “full time” students.

So if a buyer-beware attitude is to predominate, let it apply to the traditional schools also.

Good news appears on the horizon for the legal studies program online. The American Bar Association is currently re-examining its anti-internet bias as part of comprehensive changes that are being sparked by plunging applications to traditional law schools.

The advantages of the legal studies program online are:

  • Affordability – With the exception of Washington U.’s foray into the online market, tuition is one-third or one-fourth the cost of the brick-and-mortar schools.
  • Flexibility – Most classes are “asynchronous,” which means they are recorded and you watch them at your convenience.
  • Ease – You won’t have to change cities, pay dorm fees, etc., to “move in” to your school’s locale.
  • Adaptability – The legal studies program online allows for students who can’t just quit their job or abandon their parental duties.
  • Accessibility – Critics say the online student won’t have access to professors and other students, but this is not the case. They can email questions and get answers within 48 hours. Chat rooms provide interaction with other law students.

Do your research right before signing up. The legal studies program online has its deficiencies. But it may be the best option for you.

Distance education law degree: Is it as good as traditional law schools?

Distance education law degree under a microscope has its pros and cons.

Is a distance education law degree as good as one from a traditional law school? In this video, experts weigh in on the pros and cons of distance education (not just law degree).

Law education has evolved since its beginnings in Colonial America. Is distance education just part of the growth and change naturally occurring in education. A comparison with how law education has differed abroad could be illustrative.

Distance Education Law Degree

In England and most of the rest of Europe, a career in law starts in undergraduate studies, unlike the United States which basically christened the Harvard post graduate model for national implementation. But with the crisis of a glut of grads and a diminished job market, the ABA is re-examining its accreditation process which currently excludes online law schools. Expect them to relax policies in the near future.

As you explore the distance education law degree option, make sure to research your school’s:

  • first attempt bar passage rate
  • total costs of coursing the program
  • how many years will it take?
  • how many hours of study weekly?
  • rates of employment in legal careers 9 months after graduation for previous students
  • access to professors and other students through emails and chat
  • credentials of professors

Virtually every law school utilizes the same books and curriculum, so what makes a difference is how hard a student works towards learning the law,” said Chuck Katz, an online law degree grad.

Online legal studies program: Gaining sway

Online legal studies program is being defended by the cream of the crop. Top-tier Washington University broke ranks with the critics and joined the criticized when it offered a master’s in law (LLM) completely online in 2013.

I think if we can deliver legal instruction online to people at a level of quality that mimics what we’re able to do in the classroom, it’s going to be an agent of change over the coming years, even if people don’t want it to be. And the best schools are going to face that, and are going to make what they do better in all their degree programs and instruction, and everybody else is going to be left behind.”
— Kent Syverud, Washington Law School Dean, from Inside Higher Education

Other traditional law schools to break into the online market are:

  • New York Law School
  • Loyola University
  • University of Alabama
  • Vermont Law School

Online Legal Studies Program

Most of the pioneers of distance law school are in California, where laxer rules allow online law grads to take the bar, widely considered the toughest in the nation.

The Founding Fathers were trying to set up a society that was based on the theory that they did not want a tyrant.” — Lecturer on sample constitutional class at Abraham Lincoln University, one of the many law schools in online market today.

 

Online legal studies programs stand up under fire

Online legal studies program have been criticized for lacking in interaction with fellow students and face-to-face encounters with professors, deemed important for the traditional Socratic approach to law school. The American Bar Association has allowed only 12 units of online studies for accredited law schools, which rules on the total online legal studies program. Since most states require you to attend an ABA-accredited school to even take the bar, your options are uphill. Ironically the state with the toughest bar exam, California, is the only state that allows all comers to take the test. A number of online legal studies program students have passed the California bar.

Check out the video: ALU.edu Online Law School – Constitutional Law Class Lecture

 

Online Law Schools: How to Become a Lawyer

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.

Online Law Schools

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?

http://LawSchoolBible.com Learn how to become a lawyer using online law schools, distance learning law schools, lawyer and apprenticeship programs.

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.

 

Online Law School Class: What to expect

Online law school class offers greater flexibility and many advantages over the traditional school. This highly technical video shows the technological challenges for law schools to offer online classes. Most traditional law schools offer some online classes, but under current ABA regulations the number of hours is limited. Those regulations appear on the brink of being struck down. In California, however, you can take all your classes online and still sit at the bar. Prospective students are encouraged to review the prospectus or curriculum provided by most online law school class programs.

When you look at the options, remember to research:

  1. affordability – expect it to be one-third or less the cost of a brick and mortar law school
  2. convenience – most host asynchronous classes (that means, you can watch it whenever, pause it, rewind it, etc.)
  3. quality – ask about bar passage rate of students, as well as job placement rates in legal careers 9 months after graduation
  4. support – video conferencing, email and chat rooms are the means of interaction with students and professors

Check out these related topics:

  • Best buys in online bachelors degrees in justice, law and legal studies
  • Best buys in online masters degrees in justice, law and legal studies
  • Best jobs for paralegals in government, small law firms
  • Best entry-level law enforcement jobs for criminal justice graduates
  • Become a federal air marshal with an online law degree
  • Which are the best online law school for you?

Online Law School Class

Online Law School Class: From Soup to Nuts

From the 2010 CALI Conference for Law School Computing Online classes have exploded in popularity in higher education, and law schools are slowly catching up…