Law School Discussion

Undergrad in Business Administration...Now planning to join online law school

Hello Everyone,

I am new to this dicussion forum and I need you all's input/advice to my questions.. I will be finishing my B.A. in Business Administration in few months and was planning to study Immgration Law. I live in a very small town and I can't afford to move to a bigger city that has a well-known Law school. I am thinking of enrolling in a good online law school were I can finish my degree soon.

Please recommend good well-known online law schools.. I have done a little research and found out that LSAT exam is required to get admission into any law school even if it is online law school, is that true ?? Also, before studying Immigration law, Do we have to have JD done ? Please advise/share any additional information pertaining to "Immigration Law"...

Thank you so very much...

I hope your in CA.  If not, online law school isn't even an option.  There aren't any "good" online law schools.  People usually go out of desperation.  Supposedly,   Novis is a fake school.  California School of Law is real, but getting a job after graduation is unlikely (insanely poor).  There is at least one more major one, that I can't remember at the moment- Kaplan maybe.   

Saying you can't afford to move confuses me a bit.  Going to law school is a huge investment that you will have to finance.  Taking that into consideration makes the expenses of moving seem irrelevant.  What state are you in?  Non ABA schools might be a more affordable option.  Most of them also organize classes for long commuters.  I have heard of people commuting 3 or 4 hours once or twice a week at state bar schools.  Good luck.

Oh, and no you do not need to finish a JD, then specialize to practice.  You can do an LLM, but it is not required.  Some states have a certification process for some specializations that require a seminar and a fee, but I am largely unfamiliar with that.  Typically, your practice area will be determined by where you intern.  Immigration law is kind of a smaller specialty, but I'm sure you can do it depending on where you are willing to practice. 

I also don't know if the online schools require an LSAT, but I doubt it.  Online schools can't be ABA and can take as many students as their tech allows- potentially thousands.  Schools that are businesses see students as customers, not future colleagues.

Thank you for your reply...

I live in IL... The reason I said I can't afford to move is because my husband has a very good job and we have no problem of finance. I really want to specialize in "Immigration Law" and once I have the degree or certification I want to practice either in CA or in FL. What is LLM?? Without completing JD, can you practice as a lawyer, let's say in CA ??

I have researched there is a certification course in "Immigration Law" which can be completed from a online school.

Thank You,

Technically yes, you can practice in CA without a JD, but I have never known anyone like that.  There may not even be a single person who practices without a JD anywhere- it really isn't an option.  An LLM is a masters after your JD that is a specialization.  Most people use them to boot their resumes when the go to a less prestigious law school.  Bachman, for example, got her LLM in tax law at W&L.

IL has a bunch of schools.  If money isn't a problem you can look into part time programs and commute a day or two a week.  The problem with online schools is that the ABA and all states but CA don't recognize them.  Its analogous to a PhD or MD from an online school- kind of useless.  Online grads can't get licensed outside of CA.   

You don't need any special certification to practice immigration or anything else for that matter, just a JD.  The word "certification" actually makes me a little suspicious.  Lawyers specialize with seminars and LLMs for resume purposes, not certifications.  You can check the distance education boards on LSD if you want, but "online law school" is somewhat of an oxymoron.  I can understand why some people go to state accredited schools, rather than ABA.  Online school students, however, seem like they are getting bamboozled.  Bottom line, you'll have to find a brick and mortar school if you want to practice law.

List of IL law school-

Good luck.

P.S.- Don't tell the online law students on LSD I said that.  They're a pretty darn defensive group. I don't want to be inundated with comments by people defending such hopeless position of "online law student" :).

OP - while you are receiving some good information here, much of it is incorrect.  The "Distance Education Law School" board has better information, but there are still many people that post there with little knowledge of the subject.  If you wish to practice in CA then online schools may be an option - plus there are several other states where you can theoretically (eventually) practice, but it is a hard road.  Even in CA the bar passage rates for online students is very low, and there is something called the "Baby Bar" which you must pass after your L1 year - and few do, at least on the first try.  I would investigate the regulations of any state in which you may wish to practice - not take the word of an anonymous person in a discussion group.  This information isn't hidden, and is readily available online.

Even though I sound very "gloom & doom" about online schools I am actually a supporter, but currently there are very few personal situations where they represent the best solution.  Hopefully the situation will someday change, but at the moment online law schools aren't really a viable recourse for most people wishing to actually practice law.

Immigration, Social Security Disability, and Veterans Disability are federal practice areas, it is possible to practice nationwide with just a California license if you are careful. California also has state regulated Immigration Consultants who are not attorneys.

You do not need a law degree to be one.

PS Assuming one could get into a LLM program without JD, they would not qualify to take the bar unless they already had a foreign Bachelors in Law or a JD.