Going to law school requires an investment of both money and time, which are two things that unfortunately are often in short supply. In an attempt to circumnavigate both of these impediments to the completion of a legal education, many desirous students have turned to online law degree programs. The convenience of such online law programs are obvious, though questions of quality and legitimacy are sure to arise. While there may be many advantages to taking classes online, there are also several disadvantages. Below are a few examples of the disadvantages that one should consider before investing in an online law degree program.
Accreditation. There are certain requirements dictated by the American Bar Association (ABA) that must be met before a person can become a lawyer. One of the most obvious requirements is that a person has to have graduated from law school. And not just any law school, but a school accredited by the ABA. The ABA currently allows accredited institutions to only teach a maximum of 12 credits online. Therefore, with a 12 credit ceiling, it is currently impossible for an online school to meet this ABA requirement. This therefore means that there are currently no ABA accredited law schools in the United States. While there may be minor exceptions to the rule, given considerations for student disabilities or more extreme circumstances, such exceptions are very rare. Why therefore waste the money and time to complete a law school education, only to have it not recognized by the ABA or a testing state bar?
Networking. Law school is not just where a person can make new friends, but it is also the place where one will meet tomorrow’s lawyers and judges. This therefore makes the law school campus the first and easiest stomping ground for networking opportunities. This opportunity is lost when the legal education is completed online. No number of forums or email exchanges can replace the intimacy of a face-to-face exchange among friends. Networking with colleagues and peers can lead to not only job opportunities now, but also in the more distant future.
Classroom Experience. And while the most common disadvantage of any online degree program is the lost classroom experience and atmosphere, it takes on even more detrimental effects when considered in the context of a legal education. Certain skills are honed and mastered in a legal classroom that cannot be emulated via an online portal. Speaking skills, maneuvering of the Socratic Method, or learning how to respond impromptu to a difficult set of facts, are all skills mastered in a law school classroom. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to simulate these academic growth opportunities through online learning.
Reputation. The name of your law school means a lot when applying for employment. Employers feel secure knowing that there future employee graduated from a respected and well-known institution. This security is lost when you receive your degree from an unknown and unaccredited school. Strongly consider your long-term career aspirations when determining whether to explore online learning options.
If still looking to gain more insight into legal learning through an online platform, seek for more advice from www.bac.edu.my.