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Are Part-Time Law Courses Beneficial For Students?

Students may find it difficult to balance the demands of their family, other interests, and their career when they try to attend law school on a full-time basis. Students are fortunate because a number of law schools are offering part-time law programs which they can attend if they are interested in pursuing a career in law. Approximately 10% of all students from the American Bar Association have attended approved schools which offered a part-time law program.

Full-time law students can achieve their law degree after three years in a law school while students attending a part-time law program will be able to achieve a law degree in approximately eight semesters or four years. Students attending a part-time law program also have the option of getting themselves transferred to a full-time law program if they prefer.

Attending a part-time law program will offer students a number of advantages but it also comes with several limitations. We have listed for you a few benefits and limitations of these programs for you to understand which one you should be attending.

The benefits of part-time law programs

Flexible timings

Part-time law programs are often offered in the evenings giving students an opportunity to continue their careers during the day. Students have a number of obligations with employment and family and evening part-time law programs are perfect for the individuals who could otherwise be prevented from attending law school.

Reduced workload

Compared to full-time students part-time law programs give students an opportunity to carry fewer credits along with taking fewer classes. Despite the workload being introduced part-time students can expect to spend approximately 30 to 40 hours every week pursuing their law degree besides their responsibilities to their family and their career.

Flexible admission criteria

LSAT scores and GPAs of students undertaking part-time law programs do not find a place in the US news and world reports law school ranking calculus thereby making it possible for schools to accept lower admission criteria for part-time law program students.

Part-time admission programs are flexible towards LSAT scores along with GPAs and place a higher weight age on the professional experience and accomplishments of the students. However, changes may be seen in a report published by the Wall Street Journal is to be believed because the admissions criteria may be raised.

Reduced financial burden

Students are given an opportunity to spread the financial burden over a period of four years instead of three because part-time law programs are generally completed in four years. They can also take advantage of their ability to work during the course of their education making it possible for them to offset the costs of the law program.

[su_quote cite=”James Comey”]”For me, law school was a time of joy and hope. Joy in learning my way around the law – learning how to orbit a problem and to ask myself hard questions and to be asked hard questions. Hope that I could be of some use, to be part of the greater good – to make the world a little bit better.”[/su_quote]

The limitations of part-time law programs

Enormous time commitment required

Going to law school requires an enormous time commitment on the part of the student. Besides time in the class students are also assigned plenty of homework and are also required to attend extra collectivities and on-campus interviews which place an immense demand on the time available to the student. The demands of a part-time law program can leave students with little time for other activities.

Less prestigious

Part-time law programs are placing a higher value on work experience and accomplishments and are not emphasizing on GPA and LSAT scores and therefore employers may not consider these programs as prestigious. Students can find their employment opportunities limited when they decide to attend a part-time law program.

Higher cost

Part-time law program students are not eligible for academic scholarships and since most of these programs require an extra year in school the student will be required to spend extra money as compared to a three-year program.

Part-time law program students may also miss out on opportunities which are generally available to full-time students. They are also deprived of working as interns because of their full-time employment status and could, therefore, miss out on the most common path to an opportunity with big firms.

Students who are considering getting a law degree whether full-time or part-time should consider the advantages and limitations which will be placed by the two. It will help them to make an informed decision about the type of school they should be attending.

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