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Concord Law School - are online law schools for real?

What is Concord Law School?

Concord Law School is an online law-degree granting institution that is part of the Kaplan Higher Education network of online schools. Kaplan (different than the test-prep company) has had a lot of success building a web presence offering online nursing degrees, criminal justice programs, and now an online law school.

Concord Law School Online - click here to get information.

The school offers two types of programs. The first is a Juris Doctor (JD) program that gives you a degree that may allow licensure to practice law (there are some limitations - check to see if your state recognizes the program and you must pass the bar). The second program is for a non-licensure track - the "Executive JD" program - you would not be elligible to sit for the bar exam if you complete this program. There is a specialized healthcare track for the Executive JD.

What do you need to practice law with a Concord Law Degree?

Online professional degrees are new to the education realm, so approach this question carefully. Because Concord Online Law School is (as of this writing) recognized by the California Bar Association a graduate is elligible to sit for the California Bar Exam. Passing the bar exam would allow you to practice in California (check with the California Bar Association for the current status of the school), and in theory it would allow you to sit for bar exams in other states based on reciprocity.

That said, approach this topic carefully. Because these programs are new, there is not yet much history of success in the real marketplace of lawyers.

Requirements and benefits

The main benefits of an online law school is accessibility. That means:

  • No LSAT required for admission
  • Online, rather than physical, access to courses and materials
  • Less strict admissions requirements

Disadvantages

There are several potential drawbacks to an online law school:

  • No live interaction with faculty
  • It's harder to network with your peers
  • Reputation has yet to be established
  • Limited recognition by state bar associations

Are there other online law schools?

Until late 2006 Concord was the only game in town. However, the California Law School come online in 2006, since then it seems to have disappeared.

Resources for pre-law and law students

LegalNut.com - a law student's best friend.
LSAT scores - gives you an idea of how competitive your LSAT and GPA are at US law schools.
LSAT preparation
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Law school rankings based on a variety of ranking criteria for US schools.

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