8 Benefits of Online Legal Education

Online Legal Education

The legal profession has experienced a major shift in recent years with the rise of online education. Law schools now offer many degree programs fully online, broadening access and opportunity in the field. For aspiring lawyers and legal professionals, online learning provides unmatched flexibility, networking prospects, and career development. This remote format removes geographic and scheduling constraints, enabling students to earn accredited degrees and prepare for bar exams on their own terms. This article examines the benefits of online legal education and how it has transformed 21st-century legal training.

1. Flexibility

The unmatched flexibility and convenience offered to students by online legal education is one of its greatest benefits. With online programs, students can access class lectures, readings, assignments, and discussion boards at their convenience. Working professionals, caregivers, or anyone with other significant responsibilities outside of school will find this self-paced learning to be very beneficial.

Students can view pre-recorded lectures at any time of the day or even rewatch parts they need clarification on. They can participate in course discussions or contact professors according to their availability. Everything is optimized for an asynchronous learning experience. This enables students to seamlessly balance their education with full-time jobs, family duties, or other obligations. They can study at times that fit their schedules and avoid a stressful commute to a physical campus.

2. Access to a Broader Range of Programs

One powerful advantage of online legal education is access to a much wider pool of law schools and programs that would otherwise be impossible. Without geographic constraints, students can enroll in top law schools across the country and even globally. They can now begin their legal journey by pursuing foundational courses, such as a bachelors in criminal justice degree, which can serve as an excellent stepping stone into professional legal studies. This kind of diverse educational path wasn’t as accessible in traditional settings, but online platforms have broadened horizons and offer students myriad pathways that align with their unique career goals.

Further, graduates can then seek specialized LLM or certificate programs that align with career goals. For example, a student interested in cybersecurity law can find related online degrees from schools with expertise in that niche field, regardless of location.

3. Cost Savings

Online law programs provide significant cost savings that make legal education more financially accessible. Tuition for online programs is typically much lower than traditional campus-based programs, even at public universities. This is because remote students do not use campus resources like buildings, libraries, parking, housing, dining halls, and recreational facilities. Schools pass these savings down to online learners through reduced tuition.

Other expenses eliminated with online learning include transportation and other costs associated with physically attending classes. Graduating with less debt gives students more flexibility and options when starting their careers.

The affordability and return on investment of online programs make law school viable for more students. This helps diversify and strengthen the legal profession. Students who fund their education themselves can greatly benefit from the cost savings of online degrees.

4. Networking Opportunities

While online students do not experience traditional campus interactions, they still have ample opportunities to network and collaborate. Through online portals, students connect with classmates across the country and world in dynamic message boards, chat functions, and video conferences. They are exposed to diverse perspectives and form meaningful relationships.

In some cases, the flexibility of online learning can increase opportunities to network compared to traditional programs. Online students avoid missing networking opportunities due to rigid course schedules. They can more easily attend legal events that enhance their professional growth.

The communication and collaboration skills gained in online programs transfer well to building a strong professional network during and after law school.

5. Developing Legal Technology Skills

Online programs introduce students to essential legal technologies and research tools for the digital age. Coursework and research assignments integrate the latest software and online platforms used in law firms and legal departments.

This reflects the tech-driven nature of modern legal practice, where lawyers leverage technology to conduct research, manage cases, file documents, communicate with clients, and run every aspect of their practices.

6. Continuing Legal Education

In addition to degree programs, online platforms provide continuing legal education (CLE) opportunities for lawyers. These courses allow practicing attorneys to keep their skills sharp and meet educational requirements for maintaining their licenses. Online CLE covers emerging legal issues and the latest developments that impact various practice areas.

The remote on-demand format allows lawyers to study at their own pace while working. CLE helps lawyers stay current in the evolving legal landscape.

The accessibility of online courses removes barriers to ongoing learning faced by busy practitioners.

7. Prep Courses for the Bar Exam

Law school graduates can also utilize online courses to prepare for the bar exam. These provide a substantive review of legal principles and doctrines tested on the exam. Students access video lessons, multiple-choice quizzes, essay practice tools, and more. Online prep reflects the computer-based format of the bar exam itself.

Courses are available for both the Multistate Bar Examination and state-specific components. Supplementing bar prep with online courses can help set students up for success. The flexibility also allows them to study while working.

8. Expanded Career Prospects

An online law degree opens the door to a wider range of legal careers than traditional programs. Graduates can pursue traditional legal roles like attorneys, judges, policy advisors, and more. However, online education also enables opportunities beyond the courtroom. For example, graduates may excel at remote in-house counsel roles or legal tech startups.

Strong research and analytical skills gained online transfer well to compliance, legal research, and writing positions too. Online programs produce adaptable graduates equipped for diverse legal career paths in the digital age.


Online learning has transformed legal education, making law school more accessible than ever. For today’s students, online legal degrees offer unmatched flexibility, reasonable costs, and networking opportunities. Programs nurture skills for the tech-driven legal field while allowing students to customize their education. Graduates gain credentials to pursue diverse, rewarding law careers that serve their passions.

With careful selection, online students can earn degrees from reputable accredited institutions. For those seeking legal careers on their terms, online education provides the ideal path.

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