Beginning in the fall 2020 semester, The University of Akron School of Law will offer a new Blended Online Juris Doctor (J.D.) program to make law school more accessible to part-time students.
The new program allows part-time students to attend classes in person only two nights a week, while completing remaining coursework online during the first two years of the four-year program, a UA press release said.
Having online classes during the first two years would give students the opportunity to “take the remaining courses on their computer each week at a time that fits their schedule,” Christopher J. Peters, dean of Akron Law, said.
Emily Janoski-Haehlen, an associate professor, director of the Law Library and associate dean for academic affairs and institution excellence at Akron Law, said the online courses would be weekly units of different materials from professors.
Although the law school has been offering courses online since 2002, the American Bar Association restricted the number of credit hours a person could earn online.
Since the restriction was changed in 2018, Akron Law tested how the program would work for current part-time students, Janoski-Haehlen said. This semester, some students could schedule classes with the two-nights-per-week structure.
“We’ve gotten positive feedback from the students who’ve been participating in the program, as well as from their professors,” Peters said.
From this positive feedback, the law school hopes to create online versions of a few upper-level courses for students in their third or fourth years of the part-time degree program.