Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Kizmet, Apr 22, 2016.
in the works for 2018
Syracuse Law School Exploring Online Degree Program - Law Blog - WSJ
Here's the article for those w/o WALL STREET JOURNAL access:
Syracuse Law School Exploring Online Degree Program
By Sara Randazzo (Apr 20, 2016 4:02 pm ET)
Online law degree programs have never gotten much respect from the legal education world. Their best known graduate isn’t a real person but television’s most famous ethically-challenged lawyer, Saul Goodman.
But times may be changing.
Syracuse University College of Law in New York is drawing up plans to launch an online law degree program. William Banks, the interim dean at Syracuse Law, said that while the concept is “not final by any stretch,” the vision is to offer an online J.D. with the same requirements, admission standards and price tag as attending a brick-and-mortar campus. The online version, though, will be spread over a four-year period.
A Syracuse Law degree costs around $139,000 in tuition, plus fees, books and living expenses.
As envisioned by the school, students would take classes online part time, come to campus once or twice a year for intensive training sessions, and complete an “externship” with a legal employer.
The school is developing the program with 2U Inc., a company that helps universities create online courses.
Mr. Banks said the offering is partly in response to the declining enrollments law schools are facing. It’s also a way to attract students who may not be able to pack up their lives and move to get a law degree, like people with established jobs and families, those in the military, or those with disabilities.
“There are some populations we think we might be able to serve that are not well served,” he said.
The central New York school still needs to secure the blessing of the American Bar Association and state regulators, a process Mr. Banks said could take nearly a year. If all goes well, he said, students could enroll in the program as early as January 2018.
Syracuse Law would be just the second law school to get ABA approval for a hybrid online offering, after Mitchell Hamline School of Law in Minnesota. Some state-accredited schools in California also offer online law degrees.
Chip Paucek, the chief executive of 2U, said his company’s goal is to work with well-known schools to improve the reputation of online education. The company has created online programs for several other Syracuse grad programs, including business, journalism and engineering.
The 2U platform, he says, looks like “the beginning of the ‘Brady Bunch,’” with students and professors seeing each other’s faces on a shared screen. “You’re not a voyeur of a campus class,” he said. “The most common adjective used is ‘intimate,’ which is the exact opposite you usually hear when talking about online education.”
Another crack in the dyke. Good.
I'm glad to see this finally happening. Still can't justify the price tag though.
It makes sense--to a point. LLMs are already offered online by some top-tier law schools (Wash U in St. Louis, NYU, G-Town, Alabama), why not the JD? I know lawyers rattle on about the "law school experience" (I'm a lawyer, FWIW), but I'm at a loss as to why the same concepts and methods of case study couldn't be translated to a distance format. Having taught online and on ground business law (not case study method, but big whoop, no substantive difference that would make the online format incompatible) for over a decade, let me say that they could be taught online, absolutely.
The only way in which it doesn't make sense is in the pursuit of a very expensive degree in a field in which there isn't a great deal of demand, and of course, that applies to online or on ground law studies, but at least the online might allow someone to pursue a career part time to help keep down the debt, like the handful of PT night school law schools.
I won't put much stock into it until the American Bar Association has approved. This isn't the first time a school has thought about an online JD program. Normally, the ABA crushes it. However, that was before admissions bottomed out.
I cringed when I saw the price tag.
It's already been done. Mitchell Hamline already offers a (mostly) online ABA accredited JD program. Syracuse won't exactly be treading into new territory here.
Hybrid J.D. Program
Great article! Thanks for posting.
I think Syracuse wins the name recognition category.
I was accepted to Syracuse's law school a few years ago. Had a decent financial aid package as well. What held me back was that I would have had to quit my job to go to school full time. And when I left law school I would be facing a very real possibility of taking a pay cut by practicing law or returning to HR with a three year employment gap and a stack of student loan debt.
Still, this is an interesting development.
Very interesting development, but they'd have to do much better on the price tag. I was a paralegal briefly and always wanted to go to law school, but didn't for the same reasons as Neuhaus. I wouldn't go to law school now because unless you know someone who is going to give you a job, the ROI is nonexistent.
I have no idea how the online JD will play out with regard to financial aid but for the B&M program they made me a very generous offer that would have basically cut the total tuition down to around $60k which was about a 50% ride at the time.
Of course, $60k worth of debt plus the salary I wouldn't have earned during that time still wasn't a very compelling proposition.
That is a good deal, but I can understand why you didn't do it. I'm from upstate NY originally (left 20 years ago) and would love a degree from Syracuse, but only if the price was right and they had something part-time online that I could do while I keep my current job. Law schools are going to have to start offering online and part-time programs if they want to stay in business.
For those with no desire or intention of actually practicing law, I think the online Kaplan/Concord E.J.D. (or the J.D. if you don't mind the travel & hassle of the Baby Bar) is a great option. You get a RA law degree at the fraction of the cost of an ABA school, and have a marketable credential for teaching, non-lawyer jobs, etc.
I agree. And CalSouthern is another good option along those lines. Though they don't have the E.J.D. they do have the MSL (or you could just earn the JD and not take the baby bar).
I don't think you can even get the JD from CalSouthern without passing the Baby Bar.
Right. If you're studying law online - I'm guessing you DEFINITELY have to write the FYLSX. Here's the word:
"Regularly enrolled students at ABA and California accredited law schools who successfully pass their first year do not need to take the Baby Bar. If you attend an unaccredited law school, you may find yourself needing to sit for this exam (online law schools require it). (Emphasis mine - J.)
In addition, some law schools require the Baby Bar for students who have been academically disqualified from an ABA approved and California accredited law school. In order to gain re-admission, the school may require students to pass the Baby Bar to continue their law studies. So if you find yourself in some academic trouble after your first year, visit your dean’s office and find out whether sitting for the Baby Bar is required to continue your law studies.
It's all here: What Is the First-Year Law Students
This is an assertion that gets repeated more and more around here without enough to back it up. Particularly for people who are also technically proficient and are good at networking for clients, there still seems to be plenty of opportunity for lawyers.
I don't think it's as simple as "instant millionaire, just add JD", but the idea that a legal education is a bad choice for everyone doesn't hold water.
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