Distant law education is controversial because it offers a path that is different from the norm. In general, history has shown that people resist change because it threatens established patterns and their own comfort zones. DL law education is not the exception. If we add the economic interests of traditional law schools and the perception of increased competition by traditional law students, it becomes clear why some sectors oppose this new trend.
Personally, I think this movement will continue and eventually become part of the main stream. Here is why:
*As globalization expands, some business models will change. E-commerce and remote business transactions will become the new norm. With the acceptance of virtual business, DL in general and DL law schools specifically will coexist with traditional education.
*As more DL students graduate and begin to occupy leadership positions, they will pave the way to other DL professionals.
*Traditional law schools will accept and participate in DL.
As early as the first part of the 1990's very few traditional B&M schools embraced the idea of distance education or online courses. Today, it is very difficult to find an educational institution that doesn’t offer at least some courses via correspondence or online, many of which offer entire online degrees. Law education will slowly follow this trend.
Some traditional law students oppose DL law education, going as far as mocking those who support it. This opposition appears to be based more on fear than on facts.
Reports from DL law schools such as Taft and Concord indicate that many of their law students are matured, well-educated individuals (many holding advanced degrees) who are seeking to enhance their current careers. As a result, traditional students should not fear DL students because they will not be competing for the same jobs.
The interaction between traditional and nontraditional educated law professionals may occur in the courtroom or perhaps in the interview room where the already accomplished HR professional with a nontraditional law degree may be part of the interview board deciding whether to hire or not a newly graduated, traditionally educated attorney.