Saturday, January 12, 2019
Following up on my previous posts:
Law.com, Syracuse's New Online JD Portends Popularity of Hybrid Programs:
Syracuse University College of Law this week kicked off its hybrid Juris Doctor program in which students complete the bulk of their coursework online—only the second such program in the nation approved by the American Bar Association.
The inaugural cohort of Syracuse’s JDinteractive program comprises 32 students selected from a pool of 241 applicants. The online students were subject to the same admissions standards as applicants to Syracuse’s residential program, and in fact the LSAT scores of the first admitted online class were higher than those of the residential students, said Nina Kohn, associate dean for online education at the school.
The high interest in Syracuse’s new hybrid bodes well for other schools with plans to break into online J.D.s. (Many law schools already offer LL.M.s, Masters in Law, and certificates online, but schools have experienced more barriers to obtain accreditation of online J.D.s, because of the ABA’s 30-credit limit on distance education.) Like Syracuse, Southwestern Law School and the University of Dayton School of Law have received variances from the ABA to offer those hybrid J.D.s that exceed the 30-credit limit, but those two programs aren’t due to launch until August. Still other schools have or plan to add hybrid programs that work within the existing 30-credit limitation by incorporating more on-campus time.
Mitchell Hamline School of Law in 2015 launched the first hybrid program and graduated its first class of online students in early 2018. (A spokesman for the St. Paul school said Wednesday that 292 students are currently enrolled in its hybrid program, but Mitchell Hamline doesn’t yet have bar pass data for the 73 graduates.)
Syracuse’s hybrid differs from existing offerings in part due to its emphasis on online classes delivered in real-time, alongside the more common self-paced online classes of other programs that allow students to complete them at their convenience. JDinteractive took four years of planning, Kohn said, and classes are taught primarily by the school’s regular law faculty.
Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:
- ABA Approves First Hybrid Online J.D. (Dec. 19, 2013)
- Syracuse Law School Seeks Approval For Nation's Second Hybrid Online J.D. Program (Apr. 20, 2016)
- Ben Barton (Tennessee), Syracuse's Hybrid Online J.D. Program Is Not The Reboot Legal Education Needs (Apr. 23, 2016)
- Loyola-Chicago, Mitchell Hamline, And Seton Hall Offer Weekend J.D. Programs (Dec. 4, 2016)
- Mitchell Hamline Revamps Weekend J.D. Program To Require Students To Be On Campus Only 7 (Rather Than 13) Weekends Per Semester (Dec. 6, 2016)
- ABA Rejects 2U-Syracuse Initial Proposal For A Hybrid Online J.D., While Other 2U-Syracuse Graduate Programs Are Flourishing With Over 1,700 Students (May 7, 2017)
- Mitchell-Hamline Hybrid-J.D. Program To Graduate Its First Class (Jan. 3, 2018)
- Seton Hall's Innovative Weekend J.D. Program (Jan. 13, 2018)
- Touro Law School Offers New York's First Hybrid J.D. (Jan. 18, 2018)
- ABA Approves Online JDs At Syracuse, Southwestern (Feb. 14, 2018)
- The Uncertain Landscape For Online Legal Education (Feb. 19, 2018)
- Syracuse Law School's New Hybrid J.D.: 75% Online, 25% Residential/Externships (Feb. 22, 2018)
- Dayton Is The Seventh Law School To Offer A Hybrid Online J.D. (May 29, 2018)
- Denver Is The Eighth Law School To Offer A Hybrid Online J.D. (Aug. 23, 2018)