Law school is an expensive undertaking-not only are the costs of acquiring your JD (Juris Doctor) high, but even fulfilling the pre-law requirements is highly expensive. Not to mention extremely time consuming. In short, the system is set up to only be feasible for people with money. At Novus you can attend a top online law school at a fraction of traditional resident study programs.
Why an Online Law School?
One option gaining traction is completing a law degree online. The cost is minuscule compared with the excessive fees of regular law school institutions. Utilizing online law school programs will set you on the path to legal knowledge and can lay the foundation for a lucrative career. Flexibility of course completion will allow students to complete their law degree around their current profession while earning their law school degree and still maintain their financial responsibilities.
Are Online Law Schools Accredited?
The American Bar Association (ABA) is the ultimate approval or accreditation service for law schools. According to the ABA's requirements, any law degree, which is acquired solely through distance learning, whether online or through a correspondence course, is not approved or accredited by the ABA. Some schools may tout accreditation by other agencies, but if ABA approval or accreditation is an important feature of your educational experience your options for bar admission will be through attorney supervised study or clerking in the courts. The America Bar Association (ABA) does not accredit distance learning schools.
Can I Take the Bar Exam with a Law School Online Degree?
Yes there are bar admission options for online law school degrees. Each state sets its own requirements for taking the bar exam. While most states require a degree from a brick and mortar institution, several states offer options for online degree bar admission. If your goal is to become a lawyer through an online law school, be sure to completely understand the options provided with an online law degree.
Interested in Law Schools Online--What Are Programs Like?
It will vary depending on the school. Unlike physical brick and mortar schools where you drive to sit in classes at a specific time; online programs allow you the flexibility to work independently, learn how to do briefs, prepare cases, and learn the law. Your online degree program with Novus has guided instruction every step of the way. There are lectures available, an online research library and the help to deal with up to date legal decisions and studies. Your law school advisors and mentors will assist you with course content at your convenience and all from the comfort of your home or office.
Online Law School Rankings: Which Are the Best?
Sure, you apply to any online law program; programs like Concord and Northwestern in California both have online-only programs but no flexibility for time and degree completion and at a much higher cost. In addition, schools with a campus will typically charge more for their online programs than an institution without a campus. Is the extreme difference in price worthwhile? Even ABA approved institutions won't have ABA accreditation for an online-only program.
Major schools like Thomas Jefferson School of Law or Taft University may offer you a certain amount of name value, but attending a well-known program won't necessarily provide the kind of education you're looking for. The best fit for one person isn't always the best fit for the next and only you can determine which program will best suit your professional and personal goals. Take into consideration time, money and opportunities for degree completion.
So there's No ABA Accredited Online Law School but schools with ABA Approval-What about Price?
Even the most cost effective online courses aren't free. However, you can make the case that a less expensive institution without ABA accreditation is just as useful as an expensive online institution with ABA accreditation or just approval. While the ABA approval of, say, Yale or Harvard would be nice, if you don't need it, the cost difference is extreme. Your best bet is to balance the issue of price versus reading reviews and those "approved" online bar programs with very low bar pass rates.
Does the State of My Online Law School Matter?
Novus has students in just about every state and worldwide. Each state currently has guidelines in place and can be easily reviewed in the National Bar Examiners Guide. However, it doesn't really matter what state the online law school is based in--all that matters is where you want to practice law. Living in a state that doesn't offer online degree bar admission isn't necessarily a problem unless you want to practice there. So if you're completing an online degree with the intent to practice law, if you live in a state with bar restrictions, you have the option to move to be able to take the bar in a state that accepts online programs. If you do pass the bar in one state, that doesn't mean you can practice law in a different state.
Will States Change Their Bar Restrictions to Allow Online Law Schools?
There is no way to determine this however; as the Internet becomes more and more prevalent in education the likelihood of expanding ABA approval to worthy online programs increases. It could be in the future that all states, will eventually allow practitioners of law from online schools with or without attorney supervised or clerking in the courts for bar admission.
Are there Alternatives to Practice of Law?
A legal education generally provides an understanding of the law; it also provides an advanced analytical approach to the use and ramifications of the law. So many professions, other than the practice of law, promote or require legal education for advanced employment.
There is such an overcrowding in the legal profession, that the wish to achieve or enhance a work-life balance and the dissatisfaction with the legal profession, attorneys are leaving the Bar to pursue other professions and utilize their legal education. In some cases, graduates of law school who either cannot be admitted or who decided not to bother to be admitted to a state bar, enter these various professions.
Alternatively professionals with a legal education are pursuing employment and work with the government as a policy analyst or a legislative drafter: working for a publisher of a legal information publication, working in banking, finance, real estate, arbitration, mediation and of course in law enforcement. In these fields, law degrees are beneficial and sometimes a mandatory qualifications for employment.