Online Law Degree in California: Introduction: The majority of the universities in the United States are offering online courses these days. Online degree programs have become popular in the country due to several reasons. Online degree programs have many advantages in comparison to traditional classroom learning programs. A student can take the online lecture at home at his or her preferred time, while in traditional learning a student must be physically present in the class at the specified timing. Online degree programs are less costly in comparison to traditional classroom learning. All the study material can be reached out at a single click of a mouse, which is not the case with traditional learning. All this information is available from here.
The universities in the United States are offering different online courses to students around the world, which also includes Law degrees. Here we will discuss the online Law degree program concerning California. We will find out whether a student can practice law in California with an online law degree.
For Further Reading: ONLINE PRE-LAW DEGREE
Practicing law in California with an online law degree
Almost every university in the United States is offering online Law degrees to the students. A student cannot just practice law after earning a Law degree virtually from a random university in the country. Students can practice law only if their University is authorized by the American Bar Association (ABA). It means that only if a student’s degree is recognized by ABA, then that student can practice law after passing the degree.
Only four states of the country which include California, Minnesota, New Mexico, and Maine recognizes the online law degree as an acceptable means of legal study. Those students who have an online law degree must pass the state bar exam to get a license to act as an attorney. After passing the state bar exam a student can legally practice law, especially in the state of California.
The difficulty for online degree holders
Although some states such as California, Minnesota, New Mexico, and Maine recognize online law degrees as an acceptable means of practicing law in these states. Most firms still prefer employees having a traditional law degree, these employers still feel reluctant to hire employees who have an online law degree.
There is a trust issue between these employers and online degree holders. The employers believe that traditional degree holders are more productive and effective as compared to online ones.
The students having an online law degree can still work as an independent practitioner, but cannot benefit from the lucrative salary and other perks offered by the large firms. It will take a bit of time for these legal firms to realize that online degree holders are as effective as traditional degree holders.
Best Law colleges in California
California is among the four states who authorize online law degree holders to practice law in the state. Some reputable institutions in California offer online law degrees. The following are some fine colleges in California that offer online law degree along with their admission procedure.
Stanford Law School
Stanford University is a private law university that is famous all around the world for its law studies. This university was found in 1893 near Palo Alto, California. It has been ranked among the top three law universities in the country. The other two are Yale Law School and Harvard Law School.
Admission procedure of the Stanford Law School
Admission to Stanford Law School is done through an online process. You have to make an account on the official website of the university. You will sign up by giving your username and password.
The first step in the admission process to fill up an online form. The candidate will have to log in to his account, which he or she has already made. This form requires all personal and academic details of the applicant.
The second step in this process is to deposit the application fee. The amount of the application fee for Stanford Law School is $85. This fee is non-refundable in any case whether the applicant gets the admission or not. The purpose of the application is to discourage all non-serious applicants.
The next step in the admission procedure is to submit a resume or CV. The resume or CV summarizes all the academic record of the applicant. It also mentions the work experience of the applicant along with its duration. Work experience is regarded as a plus point in the admission process.
The next step involved in this process is to submit a personal statement. It is also called an application essay. The personal statement includes a brief overview of the candidate such as his or her strengths, work experience, and education he or she has got. The applicant should also include the skills he or she has got as teamwork, customer service, and computer skills, etc.
A letter of recommendation also has to be submitted to the admission committee. It is strongly suggested that only those recommenders should be in the letter who the applicant personally worked with and who can talk about the applicant’s strength and other experience details. The recommendation of close relatives and friends is strongly discouraged as it can create issues in the selection process.
The next important element in the admission procure is the submission of all the transcripts which are necessary for admission. The transcripts must be from the recognized institutions of the country, which should also include the name of the degree which he earned from there.
The applicants are required to show their TOEFL scorecard. TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language. The test is only applicable to non-speaker to check their fluency in English.
The admission committee of the Stanford Law School checks all these credentials and a list of candidates based on the comparative analysis. The shortlisted candidates are then called for an interview through phone and email. Those applicants who applied as online learners have been interviewed virtually through Skype or Zoom app.
The tuition fee for each subject that is taught online by the Stanford Law School is $1352. The number of subjects in each semester is 3-5. The average of these subjects in one semester has become 4. So if we multiply the $1352 which is the cost per subject, with 4 which is the number of subjects in each semester. We get the figure of $5408 which is the total tuition cost in the semester.
As we know a law degree consists of four years, each year includes 2 semesters. So, the total number of semesters of online law degree becomes 8. If we multiply $5408 with 8, we will get the total cost of a law degree in four years. The total which comes out by multiplying these figures is $43264. The applicants should keep in mind that all these figures are calculated in USD.
University of California, Berkeley
The University of California, Los Angeles
University of Southern California Gould School of Law
These are some other fine universities in California that also offer online law degrees. The admission procedure of these universities is almost similar to the Stanford Law School. There is not much of a difference in fee structure either.
Value of the degree
Law degree is one of the renowned degrees which are offered by universities around the world. That is why the majority of the law universities in the United States are offering online law degrees to cope with that pace.
Various firms in the country offer high salary jobs to these graduates from recognized universities. These jobs include corporate lawyers, intellectual property lawyers, and immigration attorneys. The law graduates can also work as solo-practitioner and earn lucrative income in time.
There are many job opportunities for law degree holders in the United States. Different firms offer lucrative salaries to these graduates in return for their services. The following are some well-known jobs for these law graduates.
An attorney is also called a lawyer in some countries. An attorney is a person who represents his client in civil and criminal cases. The Attorney advises his clients regarding different legal issues, make supporting documents, and appear in the courts on behalf of his client to protect his interests. He also prepares pleadings and other important documents, agreements, and contracts.
The salary of an attorney depends upon whether he or she is a solo practitioner or employee in a firm. The salary of firm employees ranges from $120910 to USD $208000.
b) Corporate lawyer
The job responsibility of a corporate lawyer is to make sure that the commercial transactions are by the law of the country. They advise the corporation about their rights and duties within the legal framework. A corporate lawyer usually has command of security law, tax law, and intellectual property rights.
The Corporate lawyer in the big law firms earns around USD $180000 per year. The amount excludes all the additional bonuses, which makes it a lucrative job for law degree holders.
c) Immigration attorney
The immigration attorney advises his clients who are facing issues regarding visas, green cards, and citizenship documentation. Immigration lawyers are also hired when a person is seeking asylum from another country. These attorneys help clients if there is any technical issue with their current documentation. They also help people to get study visas and solve other immigration issues.
The national average salary of Immigration attorneys is USD $76769 per year.
d) Intellectual property lawyer
An intellectual property lawyer helps his clients or organization on issues regarding trademarks and intellectual property rights. They offer their expert opinion to clients who claim that somebody has misused their intellectual property without informing them or refused to pay for the copyrights.
Intellectual property lawyers can also be hired if somebody wants to use the trademark which belongs to a company. These lawyers then negotiate with the company on behalf of his client to convince the company for allowing the trademark or intellectual property to his client.
The national average salary of intellectual property lawyers in the United States is USD $77780 per year.
e) Employment lawyer
Employment lawyers are usually hired by a company to get his or her help in the employees’ issues. The company may have some trouble with an employee or to help an employee who is having a bad time with the company. The Employment lawyers are also hired to settle a dispute between opposing parties such as the employee and employer. These lawyers also help in making job contracts for organizations.
The average salary of these lawyers in the US is around USD $132360 per year.
Employment proportion in the USA
Law degree holders have the sixth-highest employment rate in the country. These law graduates can get jobs in a variety of fields, and are not just specific to the legal profession. That is why about 60% of law graduates get jobs other than in a legal firm.
A recent study shows that law graduates secure jobs within nine months of graduation. According to the National Association for law placement (NALP), around 70% of law graduates got a job straight away after completing their studies. All these figures signify that a law degree has more value as compared to other degrees, especially when it comes to getting a job.
An online law degree is slowly gaining pace with time to match other online degree programs. People in the United States are now diverting from traditional classroom learning to distance learning. There are some fine universities in the country especially in the state of California which offers online courses including law degrees. Online law degree gives all the leverage to students to make a balance between their job and studies. Students can continue with their job while taking the lecture in their spare time. Another benefit of online learning is that all the study material can be accessed easily without any hiccups, which is not the case with traditional classroom learning. Different firms in the United States are now gradually realizing that online law degree is as effective as traditional degrees, which is an encouraging element for all the online degree holders.