Wealth & Risk Management Blog

William Byrnes (Texas A&M) tax & compliance articles

Online Legal Education – Developing a Program or Course

Posted by William Byrnes on August 8, 2014


A Review of the Development of an Internet Delivered LL.M Program in the United States

The article comprises four sections. Part 1 addresses the economics reasons for, and logistics considerations of, the Internet-delivered Program. Part 2 reviews the pedagogical in officeapproach to legal education employed in the United States, criticisms thereof, and finally examines an emerging pedagogical trend in the United Kingdom. Part 3 reviews the teaching tools employed in the Program, and Part 4 reviews the practical aspects of developing the Program and obtaining American Bar Association (ABA) acquiescence, and reviews the Internet-delivered law courses that came before it. Finally, the article concludes with some personal observations.

The Decision Process …

Before making the decision to offer an Internet delivered Masters of Law program, integration of the Internet with legal education must be a matter of strategic thinking by the Faculty and Administration. A law school should consider several issues in its decision to pursue integration between legal education and the Internet. From a pedagogical perspective (addressed in Part 2 below), a law school’s faculty may determine a need to provide a complementary methodology for its legal teaching methods. Collaterally, the law school may want to stay in the academic and technology forefront relative to competitor law schools. The law school may also want to maintain or increase the student body size beyond the law school’s geographical boundary.

teaching photoReasons for this cause may be financial in light of local competition or a decrease in the local student market. Alternatively, it may be pedagogical, i.e; to increase student diversity, including the intake of foreign students. The law school may need to expand, for niche subjects, a class or program’s size beyond the law school’s geographical boundary for reasons of the course or program’s financial viability or student diversity. The law school should also consider whether law school’s mission may require providing legal education to geographical areas without law schools or to persons without access to local legal education, for example, economically disadvantaged persons.

After deciding whether to pursue Internet delivered legal education, the institution must then address its position regarding the pedagogy of legal education via the Internet.  The faculty discussion will likely produce heated debate between the monastic school traditionalists and the technological pioneers. Finally, the institution must address the issue of potential Internet integration while maintaining compliance with the: … read the 47 page at SSRN

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