William Mitchell law school first to offer ABA-approved online degrees

  • Article by: Maura Lerner , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 17, 2013 - 9:38 PM

The St. Paul law school is the first to win American Bar Association approval for degrees that students can earn, largely, at home.

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Izzy96Dec. 17, 13 9:49 PM

We definitely need more lawyers in this world so whatever method floods the fields so that the resultant high supply lowers the outrageous fees these people garner, is just fine with me. Ya. More lawyers is what we need.

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pinster44Dec. 18, 13 1:15 AM

Third tier online law school...yikes.

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RankenFyleDec. 18, 13 7:40 AM

What they need to offer are associate type degrees so more people can have access to certain areas of law. Constitutional law sounds like the final word but it's been turned into the jumping off point for all sorts of obfuscation, most often abused by corporate law. It benefits everyone to have more people understanding the law.

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bubzkiDec. 18, 13 8:34 AM

This really isn't all that big of a deal. In actuality, many law school classes are recorded and watched back by students who were absent, for instance, for a class. Yes, we should be wary, but I don't think this is an inherently bad idea.

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raineyrooDec. 18, 13 8:42 AM

As has happened in California, be prepared for a flood of online law schools, to further separate the naive from their wallet. I hope these online law schools are not as worthless as the University of Phoenix, Southern New Hampshire, & Strayer's of the world. As a Supply Chain Director, I never even come across candidates from these schools. My HR department filters them out and tosses them in the trash.

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NewsGooglerDec. 18, 13 9:45 AM

rainyroo, although the degrees from those institutions may be of questionable value, I would fire my HR/Recruiters if I heard them doing what you suggest. I expect a careful review of qualifications, such as real world experience, vs. such a cursory filtering system. There are a number of very qualified candidates for critical roles who happened to go back to school to obtain their degrees while succeeding in the business world. For many companies, having the degree is a "check-mark" vs. any indicator of actual skills or talent.

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EbuddyDec. 18, 1310:04 AM

I have to laugh at the perspective that if you “didn’t go to school like I did” it must not be a quality education or the belief that a post-secondary education is indicative of a person’s intellect. You people can’t retire soon enough.

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George72Dec. 18, 1310:05 AM

Obviously this makes it a lot easier to increase enrollment. It's common knowledge among the legal community that there are way too many law schools in this country and not nearly enough jobs. As an attorney I believe that people skills matter as well, some of which you can learn by going to class and interacting with colleagues. Mitchell doesn't seem to see it that way by doing taking this step...all in the name of increasing profits under the cover of "convenience".

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unicorn4711Dec. 18, 1310:28 AM

This is a terrible idea. The market has too many lawyers. Young grads today are saddled with 150k in debt and end up doing document review for a salary they could have gotten as a high school history teacher. Law school is often the worst decision a person makes in their lives. Money hungry schools like William Mitchell are part of the reason why. If you are considering law school, you should only go if: 1) you have a high paying job lined up after graduation, 2) someone else is paying for it, 3) you have a good deal at top four law school. No, there are no top law schools in Minnesota. U of M is around 20, depending on the year/ranking. If you still have your heart set on being a lawyer, look for a job before law school that will make 1 or 2 more likely or retake the LSAT until 3 is a possibility. William Mitchell is over priced. If you want to move up in the world, a JD won't help you. You'll waste 3 years of your life you could have been making money.

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unicorn4711Dec. 18, 1310:30 AM

I agree that a bachelor's level program that focuses on business and business law could be very useful. An accountant with good knowledge of legal principles could be very valuable in the work place.

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