Distance Learning Schools for Becoming an Attorney: How to Choose

Learn about important considerations when selecting an online school to become an attorney. To get an overview of the program options, skill enhancement practice avenues, and common topics offered for the field of study, keep reading.

Individuals interested in online law degrees have a couple of options in this field, though there are a number of factors to keep in mind when making a choice. We will discuss whether programs are approved by the American Bar Association, how well they prepare students for the bar exam, and how the program is delivered to students.

How to Select an Online Attorney School

Becoming an attorney involves first obtaining a graduate degree (a Juris Doctorate - J.D.) from a law school. Online law programs are offered by a small number of law schools. Students interested in becoming attorneys should consider the program type, bar exam preparation, ABA approval and program specifics of the distance educational institution they choose to attend.

Accessibility to Students, Professors and Materials

A distance learning attorney or law degree program should allow students to interact with one another. A program should schedule meetings via conference calls, message boards or e-mail as well as meeting on-campus sporadically, if desired. Faculty should be easily available for consultation. In addition, materials necessary to complete coursework should be readily accessible to students, preferably online. This may include LEXIS (an online law library), casebooks, treatises, online lectures and other aids.

ABA Approval

Student should choose a school offering a distance education attorney program that is approved by ABA (American Bar Association). As of 2014 the ABA doesn't approve any fully online degree programs. However, some schools offer a few courses via distance education.

Bar Exam Preparation

In order for an attorney to practice in a specific state, a graduate must pass the state's bar exam. Though not all, many states require prospective attorneys to have graduated from an ABA-approved J.D. program to be eligible to take the bar. Some schools also offer bar exam prep and review courses to J.D. graduates.

Program Length

Students looking into a distance learning attorney program should consider how long he or she would be given to complete the program. Law programs generally take three years to complete full-time.

Online Exams

Students should find out if exams and tests are available online or whether they need to travel to the school or an exam center. Graduates must take the state bar exam in person.

List of Online Degree Program in the Study of Law

Online Juris Doctorate (J.D.) Degree Program

Distance education programs leading to a Juris Doctorate are available to participants in either full- or part-time program formats. Participants study the law and learn to analyze a client's legal problems and find the best solutions to them. Students delve into researching cases and studying statutory and regulatory laws and learn to develop effective legal strategies to win legal arguments and cases. Juris Doctorate students meet online or by phone with classmates in study groups to share educational and work experiences and support each other in their law program studies. Like an on-campus law program, an online law program offers courses in:

  • Contract law
  • Professional responsibility
  • Civil procedure
  • Criminal procedure law
  • Community property

Schools with Online Law Programs

Taft University offers a Juris Doctor-Attorney Telecommunications program that takes about four years to complete, one year longer than traditional on-campus programs. The academic year is made up of 44-45 weeks of courses followed by 3-4 weeks of review and then a final examination. Students can complete the coursework on their own time, meaning there are no required login times, and all work can be completed online. This program has been designed to prepare students to take only the California Bar Exam, as it is not approved by the American Bar Association and therefore students graduating from this program cannot take the bar exam in other states. In general, students need to possess a bachelor's degree to apply, though some exceptions may be made if the student has fulfilled the other requirements as set by the California Bar Association.

Concord Law School from Kaplan University also offers an online Juris Doctor program, which is similar to the above program in that it also prepares students to take only the California Bar Exam. This program also takes four years to complete. It emphasizes providing timely and frequent feedback to students, beginning in year one. During the final two years, students can choose elective courses in the area of law that most interests them. Concord requires all first year law students to take State Bar of California's First-Year Law Students' Exam, for which the school has developed a special preparatory program.

Online law school graduates can take the bar exam in some, but not all, states. When choosing a school, individuals should look at the time commitment of an online program, its delivery method and the program's credentialing.

What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma or GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

    • Master of Science in Nursing - Doctor of Nursing Practice Path, Executive Leader Specialization
    • Doctor of Nursing Practice
    • Master of Science in Nursing - Doctor of Nursing Practice Path
    • MS in Psychology - Forensic Psychology
    • Master of Science in Legal Studies
    • MS in Psychology
    • MBA
    • Master of Public Health
    • MBA - Human Resources
    • BS in Liberal Studies
    • BS in Business Administration
    • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Investment Career Focus Area
    • BS in Liberal Studies Leadership
    • BS in Nutrition Science
    • BSFIN in Accelerated MS Finance
    • AAS in Business Administration - Business
    • AAS in Legal Support and Services
    • AAS in Business Administration
    • AAS in Business Administration - Food & Hotel Management
    • AAS in Business Admin-Office Management
    • AAS in Criminal Justice

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • DCJ: Education
    • DBA: Business Administration
    • DCJ: Homeland Security
    • EDD: School Leadership
    • BA: Criminal Justice
    • BA: Criminal Justice - Criminalistics
    • BA: Liberal Studies
    • BA: Psychology
    • BA: Psychology - General
    • BS: Computer Science
    • AA: Criminal Justice
    • AA: Liberal Arts
    • AA: Business Administration
    • AA: Information Technology
    • AA: Cybersecurity

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Science in Accounting
    • Master of Public Administration in Non-Profit Management
    • Master of Business Administration
    • Master of Business Administration - Accounting
    • Master of Business Administration - Finance
    • Master of Business Administration - Marketing

    What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Arts - Communication and Media Studies
    • Master of Education - Early Childhood Education
    • Master of Education - Middle Grades
    • Master of Science - Entrepreneurship
    • Master of Science in Organizational Leadership
    • Master of Science in Organizational Leadership - Communication Management
    • Bachelor of Science - Psychology
    • Bachelor in Business Adminstration
    • Bachelor in Business Adminstration - Accounting
    • Bachelor in Business Adminstration - Financial Economics
    • Bachelor in Business Adminstration - Human Resource Management
    • Bachelor in Business Adminstration - Marketing
    • Associate of Arts - Liberal Studies
    • Associate of Arts in Liberal Studies - Early Childhood Education
    • Education Specialist - Early Childhood Education
    • Education Specialist - Middle Grade Education
    • Education Specialist - Special Education
    • Post Graduate Certificate - Communication Management
    • Post Graduate Certificate - Finance
    • Post Graduate Certificate - Health Care Management

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Master of Science in Marketing Analytics

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Master's in Business Administration/Management
    • MA in Organizational Leadership
    • MS in Information Technology/Database Administration
    • Master's in Business Administration
    • Master's in Business Administration/Accounting
    • Master's in Business Administration/Accounting & Finance

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Criminal Justice, M.S.
    • Business Administration, MBA
    • Business Administration, MBA - Emphasis in Advanced Accounting
    • Business Administration, MBA - Emphasis in Health Care Administration
    • Business Administration, MBA - Emphasis in Leadership
    • Business Administration, MBA - Emphasis in Project Management
    • Communication Studies, B.A.
    • Criminal Justice, B.S.
    • Psychology, B.S.
    • Psychology, B.S. - Emphasis in Biblical Studies
    • Accounting, B.S.
    • Business Administration, B.S.
    • Criminal Justice, A.S.
    • Psychology, A.S.
    • Communication Studies, A.A.
    • General Studies, A.A.
    • Business Administration, A.S.
    • Health Care Administration, A.S.

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • What is your highest level of education?

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?