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Online Law Schools

Updated on March 26, 2013

Law degree is one of the many different degrees that can be achieved through an online education but just because you have your law degree does not mean that you can practice as a lawyer or a licensed attorney. Getting your law degree online is very different from the tradition way of going to a physical law school.

Doing your law degree online takes the same amount of time as doing your law degree at a physical school which is four years. Also there are courses and electives that are required that each student must take. Even though there are many similarities between traditional law school and an online law school, as of right now, an online law degree is not actually accepted anywhere in the United States except in the state of California.

If you want to become a lawyer you will have to pass a state bar exam. Because each state has their own court system and has their own set of rules for the bar admission the admission standards can vary from state to state. That being said, just because if you are pass the bar state exam in one state also does not mean that you are qualified to practice in another state. All states, except for California, require students to be graduated from an ABA-accredited law school and as of today there is no online law school that is accredited by the ABA.

If you do sit in a state bar exam in California after you have earned you online law degree there is a possibility that you can practice in other states eventually. Some states have agreements with each other, to practice law in their states, for lawyers that have practiced law for a number of years. This agreement is called reciprocity. If you practice law in a federal court then you are also allowed to practice law in any state. As well if you choose to get a Masters of Laws degree, which only takes another year or two, some states will allow you take the bar exam. Or if you are a really good lawyer, you can make a case to argue why you should be allowed to take the state bar exam in their state, which has been done!

Of course whether you want to attend a traditional school or an online law school has cons and pros for both. Keep in mind that some employers still prefer lawyers with a traditional law degree oppose to an online law degree.

Extra Info:

Extra info for getting a law degree in general: What you need to be admitted as a lawyer is to have a Juris Doctor degree and have passed the bar exam administered from a law school that is approved by the jurisdiction that you want to practice law in. After you have passed the exam you will need to do a background check and often they also do a character and fitness evaluation. Again, passing all the requirements in one state does not qualify you to practice law in another state.

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