Online graduate programs have gained in popularity quite a bit over the past few years. Thanks to technological advances, many colleges are able to offer degree programs to students who aren't in their local area. That's a win-win for schools and for students. But, unfortunately, not every type of degree can be earned online.
You may wondering if you can earn a law degree online. For now, the answer is no if your goal is to become a practicing attorney. However, that doesn't mean online options aren't totally off-limits.
To take the bar exam, you must first graduate from a law school that has been accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA). At the moment, the ABA does not accredit any online-only law schools. It does allow students to take a limited number of credits online, but the rest must be earned at a bricks-and-mortar institution.
However, the ABA is taking a fair bit of heat for this. Many critics point out that the legal profession tends to lag behind other professional fields in terms of adopting new technology.
Online options for law school
Even though you can't become a fully fledged lawyer through online study, online law schools do exist. If you'd like to get some classes out of the way online before matriculating at a traditional law school, be sure to do your homework to ensure that your credits will transfer and count toward graduation.
If you want to work in the legal world but you don't want to be an attorney, you can earn your legal studies degree online, or you can study to become a paralegal.
You can also take study-prep courses online for the LSAT or the bar.
Whatever you decide, make sure you investigate all of your options for financial aid so you can reduce your student loan debt burden after graduation.
Trish Sammer is Nitro's managing editor. Her work has appeared in Woman’s Day, Redbook, Huffington Post, TechCrunch, and Forbes. She has also written for various corporate clients, including the tech giant SAP, The Franklin Institute, and PSE&G. When Trish isn’t busy acting as a writing ninja for other people, you can find her … well, writing about other stuff, like divorce and blended family life. She lives outside of Philadelphia with her husband, their combined brood, and the world’s laziest dog. Read more by Trish Sammer