Online Law degrees/JDs - Pros & Cons

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Poidah

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9 November 2017
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Love to have a discussion about the pros and cons of online law degrees. There is a definite move away from online law degrees, and many universities which were offering law degrees and Juris Doctors online have now slowly ceased.
Anyone here are doing or have done law degrees online? Distance? What advice would you give to anyone considering doing it now? What are the best way to maximise the experience?
 

Rob Legat - SBPL

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I did my law degree externally while undertaking my five year articles of clerkship (which means I'm old-ish - they don't exist anymore). This was in the pre-internet days so it was study guides and lecture cassette tapes in the mail.

Without notes and assistance from my higher up articled clerks, which was standard in those days, it would have been a massive struggle.

To get a proper understanding of the law, I think you need others around you who you can debate and consider legal concepts with.
 

Poidah

Well-Known Member
9 November 2017
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Qld
To get a proper understanding of the law, I think you need others around you who you can debate and consider legal concepts with.

I have done some online studies too. The good courses have great discussions in their online forums, which can be more insightful and detailed than tutorial discussions depending on how well set up it is. I hope online law degrees have enough informal supports as well, like your from your articled clerks. The fact that we have forums like this Lawanswers one, makes distance law studies more feasible I would have thought.
 

Tim W

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28 April 2014
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There is a definite move away from online law degrees....
Says who?
... and many universities which were offering law degrees and Juris Doctors online have now slowly ceased.
Might just be demand and supply. Or funding cuts, even if demand is there.

Anyone here are doing or have done law degrees online? Distance? What advice would you give to anyone considering doing it now? What are the best way to maximise the experience?
I have taught online (cheers, COVID-19!!).
Given that my personal teaching style is some some sort of mix of
Geoffrey Robertson, Julius Sumner Miller, and Angry Anderson,
I find the whole sit-in-front-of-a-screen thing to be very tedious.
YMMV.

There are two things to consider:Why Law at all?
and
"What is the learning style that best suits me?"
 

Poidah

Well-Known Member
9 November 2017
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Qld
"What is the learning style that best suits me?"

I guess what I am interested in, are the factors that can improve and enrich the online/distance learning experience. Also what factors or strategies online/distance studies can use to improve employability if they do not have access to a workplace.

Might just be demand and supply. Or funding cuts, even if demand is there.

I suspect the online demand for the high cost JD model has not been sustainable, hence the retreat to more face to face model, embedded in the undergrad teach supported by CSP funding. ANU has phased out their online offering for example.

 

Tim W

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< shrug >
I'm not getting into the decision making of a University I don't work at.

Biggest marketing issue with the JD is that would-be students think
that it's a fast track to being called "Doctor".

It isn't.

As to DE law studies generally - there's a goodly amount of comment here already - not just from me.
And there's at least one (new-ish) lawyer here who did it his degree via DE (ie the hard way) very recently.
I hope that he will contribute to this thread.
 

Rod

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Biggest marketing issue with the JD is that would-be students think
that it's a fast track to being called "Doctor".

I agree. Mostly not worth it. Your performance in the job after a few months/years is much more important than 2 letters in front of your name.

While my recent studies were nominally online, I spent a lot of time on campus. It took me a trimester, but getting into/forming a study group with like minded people really really helps. Use online chat groups and other online links to people. You might churn through a few to find the right people. I got lucky and stuck with the same group from the start.

I had no, zip, nil, zilch contacts already in the profession to assist me and found my study group to be invaluable.

There is no difference in content, and you sit the same exams, so it is only the method of delivery that varies. I really liked asking questions after/between lectures of the lecturers and tutors. Not so easy to do online as not all lecturers engage to the same extent online but you just cope and adapt. To some extent it is part and parcel of your training to see if you can adapt and cope. Those who can't probably should not be lawyers anyway. Being a lawyer is not easy, and to me it carries a large degree of responsibility that while was known in an abstract sense before becoming a lawyer, the weight of it is heavier than I anticipated.

Would I do it again, most definitely yes. Do I like being a lawyer and helping people - YES.
 

Terry Yun

Active Member
7 July 2020
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Love to have a discussion about the pros and cons of online law degrees. There is a definite move away from online law degrees, and many universities which were offering law degrees and Juris Doctors online have now slowly ceased.
Anyone here are doing or have done law degrees online? Distance? What advice would you give to anyone considering doing it now? What are the best way to maximise the experience?
Hi, it is interesting to discuss pros and cons of distance education of LLB. These days(COVID 19), I believe more of students would enrol in Online course? however, online course won't have advantages from resources and a wide network of support and connections.