TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Mitchell-Hamline Hybrid-J.D. Program To Graduate Its First Class

Mitchell Hamline (2018)Twin Cities Pioneer Press, Online Law School? Mitchell-Hamline’s Unique Program Will Graduate Its First Attorneys:

Mitchell-Hamline School of Law’s first-in-the-country “hybrid” juris doctor program [is] [n]ow entering its fourth year. [T]he fully accredited program enrolls more than 80 students per year to complete law school through “e-learning,” on top of one or two weeks of on-campus coursework per semester. ...

For students, distance learning cuts out some of the biggest expenses and time drains of law school.

And at a time when law school enrollments nationally have hit a 42-year-low, Mark Gordon, president and dean of Mitchell-Hamline, sees new types of enrollment offerings geared toward nontraditional students — from night and weekend classes to an “executive JD” program for working professionals — as essential to the school’s future.

“It has expanded access to legal education to populations that have not been able to pursue it before,” Gordon said. “It has been incredibly successful. We had between 400 and 500 applications for 96 slots in the hybrid program.”

Some prospective students may worry they’ll lack community or rigorous class discussion plugging into a computer.

Others worry how employers will react after realizing their school was mostly virtual.

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