How to Become a Lawyer 100% Online

Beginning a legal career starts with taking a degree course and eventually applying and passing the bar exam. The way education is approached has changed and distance education courses have become very popular. Rather than sitting in a classroom and learning about the basic concepts, many aspiring lawyers are opting for online classes and flexibility during study.

There are hybrid courses available but you can also become a lawyer 100% online. There are many accredited universities that offer online courses and distance education curriculums for students across the globe. Going to law school online is preferred by many students who cannot commute to the University campus everyday.

The American Bar Association has some restrictions on what can classify as an online law program. A hundred percent online course is yet to be introduced but the ABA introduced many waivers in the favor of online JD programs. It is important to get a degree from a university in order to practice.

The rules are likely to change in the future as well depending on the performance of the students who studied predominantly online. Based on the current rules in regulations, we will outline different steps that can help you study law online.

Get an LSAT Score

Majority of the universities offering a law program will ask for the LSAT scores even if you opt for distance education. Some institutions may also accept a GRE score but it depends on the university you are applying to. The LSAT exam can be given online which is allowed by the Law School Admission Council.

The highest score is 180 and any good universities will want a top scoring student. One has to deposit a fee of $200 before sitting for the assessment so it is natural that sums rooms may not be able to give it multiple times. One can use digital resources and Guides to score better on the first attempt.


Send Out Applications

All universities in the US have websites that outline the application process. One can easily submit the application fees digitally and upload their documents to send out their application. Online law programs required ABA waivers for many universities.

It is important to know the accredients from the American Bar Association before applying to any institution. If there is any doubt about the accreditation of a school you can directly contact the administration for further details. Check here to know more about universities that offer distance learning law programs.

Complete the Program

Whether it is a hybrid program or distance education course, it is important to complete the entire duration. The bar association does not let an individual practice law without a degree from an accredited university.

Since the distance education mode offers a high level of flexibility to take up internships, volunteering work, clerkships, and fellowships in law firms. Work experience is extremely important as it gives practical knowledge about how an attorney is supposed to conduct themselves professionally.


Go for an Ethics Exam

The ethics exam is also called the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE). Except for Puerto Rico and Wisconsin, all states allow a student to sit for this assessment which has a standard duration of 2 hours. It has 60 multiple choice questions that assess the comprehension of an individual on how an attorney is supposed to conduct themselves in a professional setting.

The Bar Exam

The basic criteria for any individual to become a lawyer and practice law is to pass the bar exam. You will have to apply for the assessment and get approved by the state in which you are applying. Since every state has different rules, there may be an instance where a student is not allowed to sit for the examination.

An individual who has studied through distance education can make a formal appeal to sit for the exam. More than 75% of the applicants pass it on their first attempt even if it is considered a lengthy process. There are guides and prep courses available to support students.


Get Sworn In

The swearing in ceremony is always held offline and it is the final step towards becoming an attorney. It is a legal ceremony where another lawyer makes an appeal on your behalf to have you practice law in the state.

The judge will grant the motion after which you can practice law as a professional. Many states have an oath for lawyers which features swearing that they will uphold the ethics of the US Constitution and their profession. Based on the jurisdiction, there may be a fee for this particular ceremony.

Mandatory Continuing Education

All legal professionals, after receiving the bar card and attorney number, need to partake in mandatory continuing legal education (MCLE). These are credits that each individual has to get. There is an annual fee for the same.


How Long Does an Online Degree Take?

The offline program spans a course of three years but it may take longer for a hybrid student. Distance education will include a mix of online and offline learning and hence the course period can be longer. It is more convenient to study through distance education even if it takes longer than expected.

The Takeaway

The process to become a lawyer online varies according to the state rules in regulations. It is important to research the eligibility criteria of each state. There are online resources available that will let you know the state eligibility criteria for a student who wants to sit for the bar exam after studying online. For ABA accredited universities, the rules may be different.

It is also possible to study in a different state and then return to the home state to give the bar exam there. In such a scenario, knowing the regulations of both the states are important. How a university approaches a hybrid program is not standardized across the country. The general steps are similar for every student with minor changes depending on the state in which they are studying.