Many people dream of a career in law. And why not? It’s an intellectually stimulating and financially rewarding field in which you can have a tangible impact on the lives of individuals and society as a whole. Unfortunately, the path to a legal career has traditionally presented numerous obstacles that have prevented people from fulfilling those dreams.
Attending law school typically requires significant amounts of time and money, not to mention relocation. For students with limited financial resources and professionals who are currently pursuing established careers in other fields, these challenges have often been too much to overcome. However, the advent of online education programs has eliminated a few of these difficulties. Some law schools now offer online Juris Doctorate (JD) programs that you can attend right from home, on a convenient schedule.
Flexibility and Affordability
As with any law school, there are some basic requirements that you must meet before entering an online JD degree program, like holding either a campus or online bachelor’s degree and earning an acceptable score on the LSAT. Once you have fulfilled these criteria, the next step is to identify a respected, accredited program that aligns ideally with your specific interests and objectives. After you have applied and are accepted, you should have the flexibility to design your own course schedule, fitting it comfortably into your existing routine.
Not only can you pursue your dreams of a career in law without sacrificing your current job and location, but you can also do it without breaking the bank. According to the American Bar Association, the median cost of on-campus law school tuition and fees in 2009 was $16,546 annually, which does not even include the price of books or cost of living, which averaged $13,676 over the same period. By contrast, online Juris Doctorate programs allow you to live at home while attending school, and so your current cost of living will not change.
Online Juris Doctorate and Practicing Law
One thing that is important to keep in mind when considering the pursuit of an online JD degree – only California currently allows holders of such degrees to sit for the bar exam. If you wish to become a practicing lawyer in California, an online Juris Doctorate program might be ideal for you.
Even if you do not live in California, the JD degree can still provide professional benefits. If you’re in healthcare, for example, your legal knowledge might enable you to thrive in the administrative context. Likewise, scientists and engineers may move into positions of compliance and patent law. Whatever your career objectives, an online JD degree offers an easily assessable opportunity to develop your legal knowledge and broaden your professional horizons.