How Online Learning Can Transform Legal Education

Publication Date


Document Type

Book Chapter

Organizational Units

Sturm College of Law


Experiential education, First year law school curriculum, Online education


While many schools are reducing student enrollment and tightening resources, we have still seen a healthy broadening in the pedagogy of legal education, particularly in the growth of experiential learning opportunities. Despite what the media has suggested in its criticism of legal education, there is still considerable value in having a law degree. But the cost–benefit of a student investing in law school to obtain that degree is under significant pressure, and this is in part why we have seen a dramatic reduction in applications for admission to law schools over the last several years (Sloan, 2012, 2013, 2014). The best way out of this situation is likely to be found in a radical reengineering of the first year of law school, by rebuilding much of it online. This would leave law faculties to do what most of them prefer to do and what they do best: teach students in smaller classes the more complex legal doctrine placed in the context of how it is used in practice, with a focus on what it will take to be an effective lawyer in the twenty-first century.

Publication Statement

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