I completely agree, it's absurd. If an individual can pass the California bar, isn't that a far better indication of their legal acumen than the fact that they hold a degree from an online foreign school? Pure snobbery, that's the issue. Bar associations tend to be archaic, fussy, and elitist. A British degree, even if it's from an online school, sounds better to the petit bourgeoisie than a non-ABA California school.
A few questions:
1) Does NY require that the applicant be a licensed solicitor first? California's rule on this particular aspect is still unclear to me.
2) Don't LL.B programs usually require some supervised training in order to earn the degree, a sort of practicum? If so, it would seem very difficult for an American to complete an LL.B online. Wouldn't they have to secure a training contract? Or is the training only required to qualify as a solicitor?
3) If an individual's only exposure to U.S. law is a one year long LL.M program, and maybe BARBRI, what are the chances of passing the CA or NY bars?
I ask these last two questions because I don't really understand why an American law student would choose to pursue an online LL.B rather than an online or correspondance J.D. (assuming they plan to practice in the U.S.). An American J.D. doesn't require the added expense of an LL.M to meet bar eligibility, and actually teaches American law (which you may encounter on say, an American bar exam).
I suppose if the individual holds dual citizenship, like my family does, and plans on eventually moving to the U.K., it might make sense. Otherwise, the chances of landing a job in the U.K. are pretty minimal.