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15 Best Online Colleges for Law in 2016

Lawyers are bred to be sharp thinkers who employ strong reading, writing, and communication skills. Individuals who practice law may advise and represent individuals, businesses, or government agencies. Outside the courtroom, they will be responsible for preparing and filing legal documents, conducting research, and communicating with their clients. Inside the courtroom, they will be responsible for delivering cogent arguments before judges and juries. While the individual responsibilities of lawyers can vary greatly, they must develop strong analytical skills, acting as both advocates and advisors for their clients.

Though law is almost never offered as a major at the undergraduate level, students can pursue a pre-law advising track in college. This program will consist of a series of recommended courses for students who plan to attend law school. Majors such as English, journalism, and political science are the most popular among pre-law students. Consider volunteering or interning with a law firm or legal rights organization to sharpen your skills and prove that you have gained the experience necessary for law school.

Upon receiving their undergraduate degree, aspiring lawyers may either head straight to law school or take a few years off to gain further experience by working for a law firm, legal organization, or government agency. To apply to law school, students must submit scores from the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). The American Bar Association (ABA) has accredited approximately 200 law schools throughout the nation, and the best online law colleges should be accredited by this organization. The admissions process is a rigorous one. Once accepted, students will begin a three-year course of study that will lead to a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree, though some program lengths may vary, depending on the student’s work load.

Grim job prospects for recent law school graduates have forced a slew of law schools to revamp their course offerings to include more practical skills courses, including legal clinics, simulations, and externship programs. A recent survey conducted by the American Bar Association notes that more than three-fourths of the institutions surveyed have modified their curricula to include these courses, a way of better preparing students to practice law upon graduation.

To practice law, law school graduates must pass the bar exam, a licensing exam that individuals must take in the state they wish to practice in. Most states will require that applicants graduate from an ABA-accredited law school and pass one or more written bar exams. Lawyers who want to practice in more than one state must often take separate bar exams in each state. But after these arduous steps are completed, individuals are on their way to embodying our favorite lawyer-esque television personalities. But be forewarned: the profession isn’t always as glamorous as shows like Ally McBeal or The Good Wife might have you believe.

Rankings

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Rank School Name Average Rating
1 Golden Gate University 5.66
2 Southern New Hampshire University 11.94
3 Peirce College 12.88
4 Liberty University 13.66
5 Florida National College 14.29
6 Post University 14.93
7 American Public University 15.95
8 Brandman University 17.49
9 National University 17.64
10 Keiser University 17.65
11 Kaplan University 18.78
12 Grand Canyon University 22.25
13 Hodges University 23.15
14 ITT Technical Institute 23.48
15 Western International University 25.97
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