Although there's been an explosion of online degree program offerings since 2000, the study of law has lagged behind other fields in this arena. Traditional universities have resisted offering online law degrees, especially Juris Doctor (JD) degrees, but online universities have emerged to fill the void. There are a number of universities offering online legal degrees that are available to Texas residents who are interested in non-attorney jobs. If your goal is to become a lawyer in Texas, however, there currently is no online JD degree program that will help you qualify to take the Texas Bar Exam.
Conduct an Internet search for schools that offer the online associate's, bachelor's or master's degree program you want to pursue. The University of Phoenix offers online bachelor of science degrees in criminal justice administration and organizational security and management, and a master of science degree in the administration of justice and security. Kaplan University offers an online associate's degree in criminal justice; bachelor of science degrees in criminal justice and criminal justice administration and management; and master of science degrees in criminal justice and homeland security and emergency management. Walden University offers an online bachelor of science degree in criminal justice, and a master of public administration degree in law and public policy.
Prepare a list of the universities and online degree programs to which you want to apply. Check to verify that each university on your list has the necessary accreditations that will enable you to use its online degree to obtain a job in the state of Texas. Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), one of the six regional accrediting associations recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The University of Phoenix is accredited by the HLC and is a member of the NCA, as is Kaplan University.
Download the relevant admissions application forms, complete them and submit your application packages. Keep in mind that universities give special consideration to well-rounded students with good grades who are involved in extracurricular school activities and volunteer community service.
Work on developing and improving you ability to be analytical and critical prior to and while pursuing your online law degree. A good student will be able to identify legal and policy issues, analyze those issues from different perspectives in the context of the applicable rules and theories, and reach a well-reasoned conclusion at the end of the process.
- During your online search, you may come across Concord Law School, which offers an online JD degree that takes approximately four years to complete. Be aware that Concord graduates aren't eligible to take the Texas Bar Exam, because Concord isn't accredited by the American Bar Association.
Originally from the Caribbean, raised in New York City, and now based in Orlando, Florida, Terry Walcott has spent over 20 years performing analysis and writing on issues relating to antitrust and other complex legal matters. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Columbia University and a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School.