If the ABA did not discriminate against online degree holders by locking them out of 95% of state jurisdictions, the pass rate would be higher because more competent students would opt for online degrees. I get a kick out of all those sanctimonious law school graduates who suffered through endless boring and pointless lectures on Property law and Civil Procedure who claim online degrees worthless. In the end, most students get by memorizing outlines and taking Barbri.
So are argument is that online grads do worse being they are not as good of students and the ABA steals away all the "competent students" (as you word it)?
If all that passing took was memorizing outlines and taking Barbris then why don't the onliners do the same thing and do just as fine? (It that is really all it is)
Plus come on, T4's take people with the same GPA's and LSAT score's that most online students could get. They somehow do better on the bar when compared to online grads as well. So the "competent student" absorbtion argument can't be 100% definitive either.
No one is saying the degree is "worthless" but there clearly are flaws that need to be worked out before anyone can expect them to get the respect equal to an oncampus education.
On campus non-ABA tend to do worse on the bar compared to ABA as well (albeit not as much as online) so it's not just an online issue.
Is your argument that if the ABA had online school they would be ok (it seems to be) Isn't that saying more about a pro-ABA argument than against it?
Personally I have taken undergrad both online and on campus, and the argument that on campus is somehow less than off campus is a pretty weak argument. I even tried a few DETC classes and despite the argument that they are "equal" to regional school education, I can tell you first had. They are not. Open book self paced stuff is not the same. It would be nice if it was, but it is not. Now factor in that most online JD is DETC at best (many not even that).
If online lawschools cared about their students and wanted to get the ABA to eventually approve on line courses, they need to clean house first. ABA has it's flaws, but bar exam results don't lie. We aren't talking about any conspiracies or near misses we are talking about comparing a vast majority passing to a vast majority failing (both the schools degrees and then latter the bar exam itself) And that is comparing the best of the online to the worst of the ABA.