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Written by Norton Gappy   

A law degree is a great general education. Traditionally, a law school education was earned in the classroom, among peers of fellow law students and taught by a professor who teaches by practicing the socratic method of learning on the students.

Recently, the California Bar Association announced that students may sit for the California Bar exam if they receive "instruction in law from a correspondence law school requiring 864 hours of preparation and study per year and which is registered with the Committee of Bar Examiners." This encouraged the birth of many new online law schools (i.e. distance learning).  The California Committee of Bar Examiners does not accredit online law schools, but rather they allow online law schools to register with them if the online school meets certain requirements.

Please note the the American Bar Association (ABA) has not accredited any online law school/pragram.  In addition, all states, with the exception of California, reqire that law school graduates earn a degree from an ABA accredited law school in order to take and pass the bar exam prior to practicing law.

Lets assume if you live in California and want to obtain a law degree online.  How do you determine which online law school program will permit you to sit for the California Bar Exam?  The answer is by conducting your own detailed investigation of each online law school program to find out if the programs will qualify you to sit for the California Bar Exam.

The following online law schools are currently registered with the California Committee of Bar Examiners:

  1. Abraham Lincoln University School of Law
  2. American Heritage University School of Law
  3. California School of Law

Disadvantages to Online Law Degrees:

 

Its great that people can learn more about the law online.  However, will you get a standard law eduction from an online law school?    

 

Consider the following disadvantages before obtaining an online law degree:

  1. A distance learning law degree may not provide you with the skills necessary to defend and protect your clients.  
  2. Employers (especially law firms) may not respect or recognize a law degree from an online law school.
  3. Its questionable whether you can learn by socratic method through online instruction.
  4. Limited ability to network with peers.
  5. No real interaction with professors. 

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