Deciding to become a lawyer can be one of the most daunting tasks a person can set for themselves. Becoming a lawyer takes dedication, many years of schooling and long hours of study. If a person wants to become an expert in a particular field of the law, for example juvenile law or financial services regulation law, there are even more hours of study and testing to successfully complete. Once you have your degree there is then the bar exam that must be passed in the state you wish to practice law. Most states require that anyone sitting for the bar exam be a graduate of an ABA (American Bar Association) accredited school, with California being the exception to this rule. There are no on-line programs currently that are accredited by the ABA. Interestingly enough, the California bar exam is one of the hardest to pass in the country.
Taking the time you need to finish law school particularly if you hold a full time job can be next to impossible, which is why studying online is so attractive. Obtaining a law degree on-line can be done at the individuals own pace in what is considered very untraditional places, such as the kitchen table. There are many schools that offer law degrees through on-line programs but they face an uphill battle being accepted into the mainstream.
There is a bias towards on-line degree programs that does not exist with the traditional brick and mortar types of education. There are some recruiting firms that will not even look at an individual’s resume if they have obtained their law degree online. There is a perceived notion of prestige that comes with an individual being able to say they obtained their law degree from a particular school. There are some law schools that are so well known simply graduating is almost a guaranteed position within a firm. However things are slowly changing. As people age, more and more young persons with an interest in the law are doing their study online and according to these students, are getting more out of their lectures than if they had attended a traditional school. Because they can watch a recorded lecture repeatedly, study when it is convenient and have access to on-line study groups some are finding they are better able to understand the material presented.
Going forward it will be interesting to see how opinions may change. There has always been and will always be resistance to change and on-line law degrees are no different. As more people decide to change careers when they are older they will generate the need for on-line study. The younger generation will decide they would much rather study in the comfort of their own homes at their own pace and traditional law schools may find themselves offering on-line study courses (as many already do for executive, health care and other studies) if they want to continue to grow their alumnus.