Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Hybrid law school program allows far-away students to earn degrees - G.M. FILISKO, ABA Journal

"The ABA was already allowing schools to provide one-third of their program through online learning," explains Eric Janus, Mitchell's president and dean. "We asked for a variance to 50 percent. That little bit of extra leeway gave us the flexibility to arrange the instructional time in a radical way." The program is experimental, notes Barry Currier, the ABA's managing director of accreditation and legal education, and the association will track it closely. The school must report back on students' performance, their integration into the school and attrition. The ABA hopes to learn whether the program can maintain quality while complying with ABA standards, Currier says. It also seeks insight on changes to standards that would give schools more discretion in distance learning. Only time will tell the value employers will place on a degree from a hybrid program. Black says he doesn't plan to seek a law firm job.

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