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Online Law Degrees Could be Very Close to Happening with New Program

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The William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota offers a hybrid program that allows law students to study online and at school, according to U.S. News.

The program was the first of its kind approved by the American Bar Association. Students are required to visit campus just nine times in four years.

The new program at William Mitchell does not commence until January. According to the ABA managing director of accreditation and legal education, Barry Currier, the new program should allow for students to take bar exams in any state.

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Right now, the ABA permits accredited law schools to offer no more than 12 credit hours of distance learning. Currier said this could increase to 15 credit hours very soon.

The assistant director for education technology at the John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Chris Bevard, told U.S. News, “We’re definitely looking at expanding our offerings. As far as whether we’re looking to do what Mitchell has done, I don’t know that we wouldn’t; it’s just not anything we’ve discussed.”

A new online LL.M. will be offered by University of Southern California’s Gould School of Law beginning this fall. Ten online courses will be available and the school is considering offering one or two of them to law students, according to Deborah Call. Call is the associate dean of graduate and international programs at the school. She did tell U.S. News that the school is not planning any online J.D. courses right now.

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