The Search for the Best Online Law School Programs

Given that ABA-approved law schools are disqualified from allowing student to take more than 12 credit hours through distance-education methods, it is safe to say that nearly all of the nation’s top law schools are prohibited from launching online JD programs.

Nonetheless, online education is clearly the wave of the future, and many prestigious law schools are beginning to realize that they can capture a share of the online education marketplace by offering degrees other than juris doctorate degrees in an online format.

So far, the most common online law degree offered by such institution is an online law master’s (L.L.M) degree.  Typically,  such online law degrees (such as Masters degrees and L.L.M’s) offered by top law schools are not the best route to a J.D. and are not engineered to prepare online law students to take the bar exam.

Washington Law, Florida Coastal College of Law, the New York University Law School , the Loyola University Chicago School of Law and the University of Alabama each offer an online law program in one or more discrete areas of law, but none offer a juris doctorate degree online.

As traditional law schools attempt to capture revenue from the increasing demand from U.S. students and students located internationally, all of whom desire the flexibility that comes with a distance learning law program, it is likely that the number of “traditional” law schools creating a single online law program or even multiple online law programs will increase.  This is a great development and will help credible online law school programs gain more credibility in the legal profession.



About onlinelawdegree

St. Francis was founded in the heart of Silicon Valley, where new start-up companies, young entrepreneurs, and the world’s leading venture capital firms have created some of the world’s most innovative companies. St. Francis began when a group of entrepreneurs began lamenting the state of legal education and the fact that: * When most law students graduate, they are not armed with the skills they actually need to practice law and instead learn how to practice law during the first three years on the job, at the expense of clients. * Clients are beginning to refuse to pay for junior associates to get trained on the job; * Legal jobs and services are quickly being shifted overseas; * There are fewer “big law” jobs available; and * Law students are taking on huge amounts of debt in the hopes of obtaining “big law” jobs. We quickly realized that there is a growing demand for a different type of legal education and our mission is to provide it. At St. Francis, we emphasize the things students need to know to practice law, thereby supplying the legal market with graduates who have already gained exposure to a wide range of skills that most law graduates do not obtain until several years on the job.
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