Monday, December 5, 2016

Online law degrees flourish under tight supervision - Ian Wylie, Financial Times

The latest law school to say it will venture a hybrid JD programme is Syracuse University College of Law. From 2018, pending approval from the American Bar Association, students will take classes online then come to campus for weeklong residential sessions. The school, which hopes the programme will help reverse its enrolment decline, is delivering the course with edtech company 2U. The school’s intake for 2016 is up 14 per cent on last year, but — in line with the national trend — still almost a fifth lower than a decade ago. The cost of tuition will be the same as the standard JD programme at Syracuse but the “opportunity cost” of attending will be “significantly lower”, says Nina Kohn, associate dean for research. “Students can continue working while completing their degree and will not have to move their families or leave their existing support systems,” she says. Syracuse will be only the second law school accredited by the ABA to offer such a hybrid JD programme; Mitchell Hamline School of Law launched the first last year. In 1998, non-ABA-accredited Concord Law School rolled out the first online JD programme, and other non-ABA accredited schools soon followed.

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