Paul L. Caron

Monday, May 15, 2023

ABA Increases Law School Online Course Cap From 33% To 50%

Reuters, Law Students Can Take 50% of Classes Online, With ABA Rule Change:

ABA Legal Ed (2022)The arm of the American Bar Association that accredits law schools on Friday voted to increase its limit on distance education courses from one-third of a student’s total credits to half. It also eliminated the rule that students take no more than 10 credit hours of distance education classes during their first year of law school.

Those changes bring the law school accreditation standards in line with distance education limits set by the U.S. Department of Education — which has tasked the ABA with overseeing law schools — and will reduce the number of law schools applying to the ABA for special approval to offer distance education programs that exceed the one-third credit limit.

ABA Journal:

[T]he council approved proposed revisions aimed at allowing more law school distance education credits. That will likely go to the House of Delegates in August. ...

Besides language changes to allow up to 50% of a JD program’s credit hours online without ABA approval, the proposed revisions add wording aimed at ensuring quality in distance education. That includes using technology that supports learning outcomes and providing students and faculty training for the technology.

Also, the proposed revisions suggest that if an outside party delivers distance education courses, the law school will actively ensure the quality and effectiveness of the programs. The quality-related proposed revisions relate to Standard 306.

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

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