Online learning has been around for awhile now. Heck, I even took a few online classes back in college in the early 2000s. But like most things in the law, online classes were slower to appear in law schools. There are currently no fully online JD programs that are accredited by the ABA. Further, if a student earns a JD at a non-accredited online law school, the only jurisdiction in which they are currently eligible to sit for the bar exam is California.

Today, however, many law schools offer at least some of their classes online, even though most jurisdictions limit the number of online credits a law student can take, usually around 12. If you’re a law student thinking about taking a traditional law school class or an online class, here are some questions to ask yourself to help you decide.

Do you need flexibility?

One of the most appealing things about online classes to most law students is the flexibility they afford. For many online courses, you don’t have to be present online at any specific time which leaves a lot of freedom to create your own schedule. Further, avoiding the commute to campus for all your classes can be a real time saver, particularly if you have kids or a part-time job. Additionally, an online class can also give flexibility to a student who is participating in an internship in another state but has time to also take a class or two.

What is the format of the class?

An important piece of information to know about the online course you’re considering is whether it is synchronous (meaning that there are live online classes that you must report to at a specific time) or asynchronous (meaning that there are no specific times you must be present online). A synchronous class would still allow for location flexibility but not time flexibility. So, if your class meets at the same time you have to pick your kids up from school – that wouldn’t work.

Another formatting question to ask is how the course will be delivered. Will there be video […]

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