The Legal Beat
Wishing Law School Cost Less? Attending Law School Completely Online Could Be The Answer
Posted on Tuesday November 21, 2023
COVID is still rippling through our sensibilities. Prior to the air going spicy, it would have been hard to fathom receiving a strong legal education through a computer screen. And yet, the world moved. Classes, business meetings and workdays alike were conducted without leaving the house. Since then, the need for in-person interaction hasn’t been as obvious as it once was. Soon, law school accreditation could reflect that reality. From Reuters:
The American Bar Association’s legal education arm is considering extending accreditation to fully online law schools, marking a major shift from its longstanding prioritization of in-person teaching.
“I am very happy to see that the ABA is finally considering moving in this direction,” said Purdue Law Dean Martin Pritikin said Monday. “Virtually every other field of higher education has been quicker to embrace online learning.”
Besides upsetting law school rankings, the change could make law school a lot more affordable. Internet and Zoom tends to be far more affordable than brick and mortar; the costs of where you learn reflects that.
Purdue Global Law School is the oldest online law school — it was founded in 1998 as the Concord Law School before its acquisition by Purdue in 2017. There are a handful of other fully online law schools scattered across the country.
Annual tuition for Purdue’s part-time online J.D. program is about $13,500. By comparison, annual tuition for ABA-accredited Southwestern Law School’s new fully online J.D. program is the same as its residential program — $38,944 for part-time students.
As for advertising, I have a suggestion for where the completely online law schools can start:
Chris Williams became a social media manager and assistant editor for Above the Law in June 2021. Prior to joining the staff, he moonlighted as a minor Memelord™ in the Facebook group Law School Memes for Edgy T14s. He endured Missouri long enough to graduate from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. He is a former boatbuilder who cannot swim, a published author on critical race theory, philosophy, and humor, and has a love for cycling that occasionally annoys his peers. You can reach him by email at [email protected] and by tweet at @WritesForRent.