Online Law Schools and Courses

Find out whether an online law school will prepare you to practice law and how common online degree programs are. Learn more about potential coursework and how online classes will be formatted. Schools offering Juris Doctor degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

There are no online law schools that are accredited by the American Bar Association, and only California allows graduates of online law programs to take their bar exam. However, a degree from an online school can prepare graduates for a variety of careers that require a knowledge of law.

Online_ Online programs available, but none are accredited by American Bar Association
_Programs Bachelor of Science in Law; Master of Laws; Master of Science in Law; Master of Science of Law; Juris Doctorate, Executive Juris Doctorate; Doctor of Juridical Science
_Future Career Options Certified Wealth Manager; Master Financial Planner; Registered Financial Specialist; Chartered Market Analyst

Will an Online Law School Qualify Me to Practice Law?

Online law schools give you the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Science in Law (B.S.L.), Master of Laws (LL.M.), Master of Science of Law (J.S.M.), Master of Science in Law (M.S.L.), Juris Doctorate (J.D.), Executive Juris Doctorate (E.J.D.) and a Doctor of Juridical Science (J.S.D.). A Juris Doctorate is required to practice law; however, there are currently no online J.D. programs accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA). In most states, you need to graduate from an ABA-accredited program in order to take the bar exam and practice law. Currently, online J.D. programs only qualify you to take California's bar exam to practice law in that state.

The M.S.L. and E.J.D. programs will not prepare you to practice law, but they are suitable for you if you are simply interested in gaining a better understanding of the law for either personal or professional reasons. If you are a graduate of a foreign law school, you can consider the LL.M., J.S.M. or J.S.D programs to train you in U.S. law and legal methods. These programs are also for U.S. law school graduates pursuing careers in government service and legal education.

The B.S.L. is a degree you can earn either before pursuing a J.D. or during your J.D. program. It is an undergraduate, non-professional degree that indicates you've been trained in U.S. common law legal tradition and have gained problem-solving and analytical skills useful in many legal and non-legal settings.

How Common Are These Degrees?

The Master of Laws degree is the most common law school program found online. There are several private and public schools offering LL.M. degrees. Online J.D. programs are offered through multiple California-based schools, although most of these schools are private for-profit colleges. B.S.L., M.S.L., J.S.M., E.J.D. and J.S.D. degrees are less common. You may only find these programs online at a few different schools.

What Will I Learn?

As an online law student, you'll learn how to act as both advocate and advisor, representing individuals or entities in civil and criminal trials as well as providing counsel to clients concerning their legal rights and duties. Depending on the program, you may be able to declare a concentration in areas such as law and technology, American jurisprudence or criminal justice.

Several online LL.M. programs may train you in other disciplines where skills gained in a law degree program would be useful, such as international taxation or financial services. You may be able to earn certifications, such as Certified Wealth Manager, Chartered Market Analyst, Registered Financial Specialist and Master Financial Planner.

What Will Be the Format for My Classes?

Each course and degree program will be different. Some things you can look for include independent study, asynchronous assignments and participation in study groups that could take place via online chat, phone or webcam. Some classes may offer live classroom sessions and directed study.

Depending on the degree program, course materials may be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. These materials could include recorded lectures, outlines, treatises, casebooks, a syllabus and a student handbook. An online library may be available as well. Here, you'll be able to access online tutorials and legal resources such as state and federal regulations, law review articles, administrative rulings, state-level statutes and major law archives.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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