The ABA doesn't approve distance education-only law degree programs for the Juris Doctor (J.D.), which qualifies someone to become an attorney. Many states won't license lawyers without an ABA-approved degree. That said, there are other degrees in law available purely online that are designed for other professionals who want a stronger understanding of law.
Some graduate-level distance learning programs are entirely asynchronous, allowing for self-paced studies throughout the program. However, others combine asynchronous and synchronous activities, which require students to login at specific days and times for live class participation.
Distance learning students often need access to videoconferencing components, such as a web camera and headset with microphone for class participation. MBA students typically need access to Microsoft Office, while law programs may only require students to have Microsoft Word. To qualify for these programs, students will generally need an undergraduate degree.
Find schools that offer these popular programs
J.D. Program at Nova Southeastern University
Nova Southeastern University offers various law programs in mostly online formats. This private, not-for-profit school has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools since the early 1970s. Students who enroll in one of this ABA-approved law school's online programs must complete three mandatory on-campus sessions in Fort Lauderdale, which allow for student orientation and networking, computer training and presentation of research projects. The university's Juris Doctor degree program is based on campus.
Master of Science in Health Law
Aimed at non-lawyer healthcare professionals, this two-year degree program focuses on the interrelationship of healthcare delivery and law. Courses cover the following topics regarding health care management and regulation:
- Legal research
- Health care policy
- Legal methods and reasoning
- Health care ethics as seen by the law
Master of Science in Employment Law
Business executives and human resources professionals gain a good understanding of the intricate regulatory system surrounding the employer-employee relationship. Subjects include the following employment law issues:
- Harassment and discrimination
- Discipline and discharge
- Medical leaves
- Workplace safety
Master of Science in Education Law
The first 18 credits of this program, lasting one year, result in a Certificate in Education Law. The second year deepens study of the IDEA, First Amendment, FERPA and No Child Left Behind laws. Students also learn about these topics:
- School discipline
- Equal opportunity
- Educational accountability
- School vouchers
- Legal issues faced by school administrators
Accredited online Master of Business Administration programs abound at state and private universities. Check your preferred public or private university to see if it offers its MBA program in an online or hybrid format. Students may be required to work in teams for certain assignments. Programs often examine the following topics:
- Leadership and management
- Finance and economics
- Industry perspectives
Specializations may be available in the following:
Schools Offering MBA Programs
Private, non-profit Drexel University is ranked as one of the 'Best National Universities - Top Schools' by U.S. News and World Report. The university was slotted in the 88th position in the 2009 rankings, and the LeBow College of Business was earlier ranked #99 in the National Universities - Doctoral category. This school offers a 51-credit MBA program that is AACSB-accredited and features three on-site seminars at the university's Philadelphia campus.
Arizona State University
Arizona State University offers a 2-year cohort-based online Master of Business Administration that requires completion of 36 credit hours. One on-campus residency is required. U.S. News & World Report ranked the university's W. P. Carey School of Business' MBA at #29 among all MBA programs in the U.S. in 2009.
While online law programs that end with a J.D. are very uncommon online, other online law programs are available and are generally aimed at professionals who want to pursue a master's degree in a particular subfield of law, like health law or education law.