NY restricts DL for law students

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by CalDog, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    It's well known that the ABA will not approve JD programs by DL. The ABA does allow JD programs to have a DL component, but only up to 12 credits (JD programs are typically around 85 credits). As far as ABA is concerned, such DL classes can either be synchronous (allowing live interaction with the professor) or asynchronous (recorded prior to viewing). Most law schools that offer DL classes currently use the the asynchronous approach.

    In theory, states can establish their own standards for legal education, and these can be more flexible. It's well known, for example, the state of California allows JD programs entirely by DL (although such degrees have limited to no value outside of California, since they lack ABA approval).

    However, when states establish their own standards, they can also be less flexible about DL, and this has now happened in New York. New York will no longer accept any DL credits from ABA-approved law schools, unless the DL classes were synchronous:

    This is a significant issue for law schools nationwide, not just in NY. The problem is that NY is the top legal job market in the country, with the most jobs and the best-paying jobs. No law school, regardless of location, wants to tell its students that their JD won't qualify for the bar in NY.

    Law schools can get around this problem if all of their DL classes are synchronous, but currently most of them aren't, and it may take some time to convert. So it's likely that ABA-approved law schools nationwide will be moving even further away from DL than they are today, at least in the short term, in order to meet the state-specific NY requirements.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 5, 2012

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