Becoming a lawyer via pursuit of a distance education law degree is not easy, however, it can be done. Being aware of the schools which offer distance education law degrees is helpful. Also, applying, completing the required coursework, and passing the required exams are all necessary parts of successfully completing the distance education law degree.
Examples of schools which offer distance education law degrees include Concord Law School, Abraham Lincoln University Law School, Southern California University for Professional Studies, and American Heritage University School of Law. All of these schools are registered with the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar in California (CBESBC). As of 2010, California is the only state which allows individuals from distance education law programs to participate in the bar exam and become lawyers.
To apply to a distance education law school, it is typically necessary to complete at least 60 credits of college work before submitting an application. Most students complete an entire bachelor’s degree and sometimes even a master’s or higher degree before applying, depending on their particular career interests. Students can major in any subject prior to applying to a distance education law school. Regardless of major, it is helpful to attain high grades since a high grade point average (GPA) is more likely to convince admissions officers that you are ready for the rigors of law school.
Participation in a distance education law school enables much more flexibility than a typical classroom law program since you are able to participate online from home. Typical days of participation in distance education law training could include viewing a video lecture online or reading case law online. Days may also include participating in online discussion groups with fellow students, completing online quizzes, or submitting assigned homework online.
In addition, during the first year of enrollment in a distance education law school, it will be necessary to pass the First Year Law Students' Examination (FYLSE). This is an exam which covers basic elements of criminal law, tort law, and contract law. These are typically topics covered during the first year of law school.
The remaining course requirements during subsequent years at a distance education law school will be similar to the courses required at a traditional classroom law school. For instance, courses will typically include topics such as civil procedure, constitutional law, remedies, secured transactions, intellectual property, or patent law being taught in a distance education format. Also, by the time law school is completed, there is a requirement that students must do at least 864 hours of study and preparation each year which must be formally registered with the CBESBC.
If the aforementioned requirements are met, you can get a distance education law degree. Keep in mind that you will likely be able to practice solely in California for several years. The reason for this is that a majority of states require graduation from an American Bar Association-approved law school, and these schools are not approved by the ABA. Thus, completion of a distance education law degree from a distance education school would not render you qualified to be licensed as an attorney in most states. This could change in the future.