Online Law School: It's Working!

By William Vogeler, Esq. on September 27, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

You don't have to be religious to have an epiphany in law school.

It can happen almost anywhere, including the internet. Even science fiction characters have epiphanies.

Likewise for students in online law school, it can be other worldly. Young Anakin Skywalker said it best: "It's working! It's working!"

Effective Distance Learning

According to researchers, students say online law school delivers. It is more than a success; it is the best for them.

Margaret Ryznar, working with associates at Indiana University's McKinney School of Law, says their research provides empirical data on the effectiveness of distance education in law schools. Their study will be published in the Denver University Law Review.

She said the data reveals key findings. Students like distance learning best when:

  • Online courses are organized
  • Quality courses engage students
  • Classes provide assessment and feedback

"Our data gathered from students who have taken online courses at IU McKinney supports a conclusion that students not only want more online offerings, but that online classes can deliver the same quality learning experience as can quality live classes," she said.

"A No-Brainer"

The American Bar Association approved the first online program for juris doctorates five years ago. It recently said law schools may offer courses for up to 50 percent of a student's credits.

Jessica Islas, one of the first online students, said it was perfect for her situation. As a full-time working mom, she needed the flexibility.

"When the hybrid program came along, it was kind of a no-brainer for me; it's the one program that fits in my life," she told U.S. News & World Report.

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