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Taking Classes at Online Law Schools – A Wise Move or Not

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With the advent of more and more online degree programs, some of us may be wondering whether it’s possible to become a lawyer through a fully online law degree program.

Good news is that various law schools are offering law courses online currently. However is it a wise decision to take classes at online law schools? Perhaps it depends. Generally, there’re two groups of people with different views.

Some people support the idea of taking classes at online law schools. Some reasons are also given, such as wide availability of online law classes, convenience of taking online classes and affordability. Without any doubt, there’re numerous online courses in law, legal and criminal studies. These online classes are always self-paced, allowing students to take courses without abandoning family or work obligations.

For those who support the view, they think that online courses in law and legal studies lay a good foundation for people who are looking for employment and advancement in the growing professions of legal secretaries, paralegals and transcriptionists.

In addition to individual online law classes, some fully online degree programs in law are also available. One example is the Washington University Law School, which offers a fully online master’s degree program in the U.S. law. The new online program begins enrollment in January 2013.

This 100% online program is primarily created for practicing lawyers in foreign countries. The program affords excellent opportunities for them to learn professional knowledge in American law. All classes can be taken online. However, this fully online program cannot prepare students to take the bar exam in the United States.

That’s where objections come from. Given the fact that fully online law degree programs are not accredited by American Bar Association, many people are against the idea of taking online courses in law studies. Online graduates are not eligible to sit for the bar exam. However, there’s one exception. California is the only U.S. state where online law schools can get official registration. It means that graduates of fully online law degree programs are allowed to take the California Bar Exam.

But most states do not allow online graduates to take the bar exam. So it’s almost impossible to get license through fully online law degree programs. It’s easy to understand that why many people do not think taking online law classes is a good idea.

As for me, I think it’s not a bad idea to take online courses in law studies. Though only ABA-accredited law school graduates are allowed to take the bar exam and become licensed attorneys in many states, online law classes can speed up your degree earning process.

Now many law schools are allowed to offer some online courses in their law degree programs. However, law students cannot earn more than 12 credits through online classes. In addition, each student can only earn a maximum of 4 credits in a semester. Law students in the first year of studies are forbidden to earn credits online. It doesn’t matter anyhow.

Those who’re considering taking online law classes may be pleased to learn that ABA may make some changes to the online law school standards. It means that more online law schools will earn accreditation from ABA. Online law school graduates could have chances of taking bar exams and becoming licensed lawyers.

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