By Dean Hunt
The California School of Law
If you have ever considered attending an online law school you likely have a full-time job, family commitments, and a strong desire to succeed. This is exactly what online law schools are intended to do – provide as close to a real classroom experience and provide the same level of education that any brick and mortar law school offers.
Are We Online?
Unfortunately, “Online Law School” is a very vague term.
Many “Online” law schools offer only one-way video where you watch a live professor but cannot interact.
Others offer audio only classes. Even others provide recorded lectures. All of these are considered online law schools. The California School of Law offers completely live online classes. You are able to see and speak with your Professors and classmates, raise your hand in class, and records all classes so their students can review their classes at any time they wish.
When seeking out an online law school be sure you are completely clear on the format the school will offer. Is it truly live?
In Your Spare Time? NOT.
A misconception about attending an online law school is that is much easier than attending a full-time law school. Not the case. Attending law school online requires the same commitment, the same amount of studying, the same exams, and is not much different than attending on campus. Don’t be fooled thinking you will breeze through. Only law schools may be more convenient however what you will study and the obstacles you will encounter are no different than an on-campus law school.
Why No LSAT?
Online law schools typically do not require the LSAT. The reason they can do this is because they do not have the class size restrictions an on-campus law school has. An online school can enroll an unlimited number of students while a full-time law school is limited to classroom seats and must use the LSAT to “weed out” applicants.
Most online law schools are not ABA accredited at this time. This is because the ABA has not yet developed any means to accredit online schools. While some ABA accredited schools do offer online classes, these are typically NOT live. The truth is that ABA accreditation does not come into play when seeking employment, and in addition if you are planning on private practice it is just about unheard of for a client to be concerned with where their Attorney went to school. Online law school graduates take the exact same bar exam and full-time students, earn the same degree, and once they pass the bar have the same rights and benefits as anyone else.
Online law school tuition is typically 40% or less of that of full time law schools. For instance, The California School of Law offers its four-year JD program for just $36,000 while some online schools run at $75k a year or more. And in the end – it’s the same bar exam – the same degree.
If you are considering attending law school online these are all important issues to consider. Ask a lot of questions. Speak with current students via social media. Then apply to the online law school of your choice and start changing your life!