6 facts you need to know about studying law online

We debunk your misconceptions and highlight the unique opportunities available to you when you study law online. 

A man studying on a laptop in a library

Whether you’re an aspiring lawyer with your sights set on tackling the injustices of the world, or a legal enthusiast looking to flex your brain and expand your knowledge, an online law degree ticks a lot of boxes. 

Here, we share some must-know facts about studying law online and discuss what sets a great law school apart from a mediocre one.

6 truths about studying law online 

1. An online law degree is just as reputable as one earned on campus

While outdated ideas may suggest a law degree is best earned on campus, this simply isn’t the case.

Studying law online can be just as advantageous as studying law in person, because you graduate with the same degree, level of education and prospects. In fact, online law degrees offered by recognised Australian universities undergo the same rigorous accreditation processes as their on-campus counterparts.

Associate Professor Joshua Aston from Edith Cowan University says numerous esteemed law schools have embraced online learning, offering programs that uphold the stringent academic standards of on-campus. “Accreditation by recognised bodies, such as the Legal Practice Board or equivalent entities, further solidifies the legitimacy of online programs, assuring employers of their adherence to industry benchmarks,” Dr Aston says. 

“Consequently, employers are increasingly valuing the skills and knowledge acquired through accredited online law degrees, irrespective of the mode of delivery.”

2. Placements and moot courtrooms can be virtual too

The digital age brings with it a plethora of innovative ways to learn, including how law students practice being lawyers. 

Dr Aston says online law students have the opportunity to participate in crucial practical activities like role-playing and simulated trials through their Learning Management System.

They have access to internships too. “Students can pursue virtual internships through Practera , a virtual platform for experiential learning,” explains Dr Aston. “The platform is instrumental in fostering employability skills and facilitating educator-student engagement through real-world experiences,” he says.

Related reading: What can you do with a law degree?

“Every effort is taken to provide online students with similar learning experiences, equivalent to the on-campus students.”  

In fact, many online law courses offer you the chance to undertake a practical placement in an environment where legal work is performed, like a law firm or a government agency. This allows students to apply the skills they’ve learned in real-world situations. 

3. Online learning allows for broader networking

While on-campus may seem like the gold-standard for networking—something Dr Aston says is critical when forging a career in law—online programs are increasingly incorporating virtual networking opportunities to help students develop professional connections. 

“Building a thriving legal career often hinges on networking,” Dr Aston says. While he suggests there may be fewer chances to connect with fellow students, alumni, and industry professionals in person, online learning can broaden your network in ways on-campus may not allow. 

Geographic restrictions are no longer a concern, and virtual networking opportunities mean you can connect with industry professionals in Melbourne from the comfort of your home on the Gold Coast, if needed.

The allure of online education lies in that ability to build connections regardless of geographical location, explains Dr Aston.   

4. It prepares you to flourish in a career that requires intrinsic motivation

It’s no secret studying online requires a level of motivation often not required of on-campus students (flexibility can be a two-edged sword). 

While there’s no universal formula, certain traits can enhance a student’s suitability to studying law online, says Dr Aston.

“Successful online learners excel at setting objectives, managing time efficiently, and sustaining momentum independently,” he says. Qualities, among others, that will serve students well when embarking on their career.  

5. You have access to expert faculty, no matter where you live

One of the many benefits of studying law online is having access to some of the best law schools in the country and their faculty, whether you live in the outback, the far-reaches of Tasmania, or a city on the other side of the country. 

Despite its remote-learning nature, students have direct contact with experienced legal professionals and expert faculty members who are there to provide guidance, support and feedback throughout their degree.

6. Interactive learning tools will be your best friend 

With online learning increasingly the preferred learning method for Australian students, law programs have ensured interactive learning tools—such as virtual classrooms, discussion forums, and multimedia resources—are available to engage students and enhance their learning experience.

“Technology has closed the divide between online and on-campus learning, creating a seamless educational experience throughout the law program,” explains Dr Aston. 

“Students have the option to engage in live lectures and tutorials synchronously, or access recorded sessions at their convenience,” he says. 

Related reading: What area of law should I practice?

“The unit delivery and assessments administered are the same for both online and on-campus students, which ensures learning for the whole cohort regardless of the mode of attendance.”

In fact, Dr Aston explains that at Edith Cowan University’s School of Business and Law, their online student cohort surpasses that of on-campus counterparts. Considered a pioneer in online studies in Western Australia and many Australian states and territories, Edith Cowan University has had years to refine its online offerings.

“Our online learning initiative has been honed over the years, resulting in continuous improvement and expansion,” says Dr Aston. 

Which Australian university is best for studying law online? 

Like anything, there’s no one size fits all. However, it’s important to choose a university that offers an accredited law degree. 

In Australia, law degrees must be accredited by the relevant legal authorities, such as the Legal Practitioners Admissions Board (LPAB) or the Law Society of the relevant state or territory. As long as the online program is accredited by these bodies, the degree holds the same legitimacy and recognition as one earned on campus.

Dr Aston’s advice? “Find a course provider who is able to give a holistic learning environment. They must be able to provide technological platforms which are convenient and accessible.”

Want to study law online? Explore undergraduate and postgraduate degrees available through us, or click the button below to chat with a student advisor about your options. 

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