Part Time Law School Degree Programs

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It’s almost universally-accepted that getting a part time degree is a great way to either advance an existing career or pursue a new one. However, in a tough economy especially, getting one can be almost impossible.

Not only is the cost usually prohibitive, even after financial aid, but the energy spent taking classes and the cost of missing work makes traditional campus almost impossible for those struggling to make ends meet.

This is definitely true for those who want to obtain legal studies as law schools are notorious for their price investment. However, a variety of online colleges have cropped up to offer affordable alternatives that students can manage from the comfort of their own homes while attending college on an asynchronous schedule.

But is a part time law degree program right for you? There are many advantages and disadvantages to consider before taking the plunge but many reasons to give it a much closer look.

The Advantages

The benefits of distance learning institutions are legion. Not only is the cost of the education usually much less, often only half as much as through a traditional college, but one can usually attend their classes & study while still going to work every day.

Also, they tend to focus more on the practice and the practical application pertaining to it. This is a common criticism of the mainstream law schooling system that it doesn’t prepare attorneys for the realities of legal practice.

Finally, since so much of the proceedings are handled digitally, including emailing court filings and reviewing contracts via fax, a post graduate in criminal justice simply makes a lot more sense than in other professions. In short, eLearners don’t sacrifice as much of the “real world” application by going online as other professions do.

The Drawbacks

Unfortunately though, an online degree in law is not for a student who is pursuing to be a practicing attorney. Currently, 49 states requires that a candidate for the bar exam hold a Juris Doctor graduation from an American Bar Associate accredited school. Currently, no e-universities qualify.

California is the lone exception though bar applicants there have to take extra steps if their education was obtained online. You may also be able to transfer credits from an local university to an accredited one, but that is a decision up to the university and is unlikely without ABA accreditation.

That being said, it may still be useful for advancement within your current career. For example, a real estate agent with a legal background may be able to better understand contracts, wills, trusts and other things related to their profession.

Where to Go

If you’re interested in a distance education, the California Bar Association provides a list of distance education providers on its site that are registered with the state. Some of the bigger names, however, include Concord Law School,Taft Law School ,California School of Law
all of which offer Jurist Doctor curriculum.

However, a variety of other e-Learning colleges, such as the University of Phoenix and Kaplan University offer masters and bachelors-level targeted at criminal justice and other aspects. Though they are not similar to a Juris Doctor , they may still help some advance their academic goals.


Criminal JusticeAll in all, whether graduate degree programs are right for you is based on what you want to do with it. If you desire to become a practicing attorney, the answer is most likely a “No”. But if you want to advance within your current profession or get a non-lawyer job in the legal profession, it might be a smart move.

As always, shop around at various learning programs to seek out the best prices and financial aid offers. Finally, always check the accreditation level that the bar institution has to ensure your academic credentials will carry as much weight as possible.

If you do that, then your internet based part-time education can definitely help take your career to new heights.

Anderson University316 Boulevard, Anderson, South Carolina 29621-40354-year, Private not-for-profit
Paul Quinn College3837 Simpson Stuart Rd, Dallas, Texas 752414-year, Private not-for-profit
Saint Johns River State College5001 Saint Johns Ave, Palatka, Florida 321774-year, primarily associate's, Public
Thomas University1501 Millpond Rd, Thomasville, Georgia 317924-year, Private not-for-profit
Lubbock Christian University5601 19th Street, Lubbock, Texas 79407-20994-year, Private not-for-profit

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