Florida is a state that is located in the Southeastern region of the United States. It also happens to be the only state that borders both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.
The state is ranked #22 in the area among the 50 States in the United States. It has a population of over 21 million, which makes it the third-most populous in the country.
The state capital of Florida is Tallahassee, while the most populous city is Jacksonville. At this point, we would not bore you with more details about Florida and delve right into what this article is about; the best online law schools in Florida.
The question that begs to be answered is, do you have an interest in becoming a lawyer in Florida? If the answer to this is yes, then attending a law school is an important part of your journey.
Now, to the fun part, if you are on the lookout for a more flexible online law degree, that would allow you to sit for the bar exam, then you might want to consider one of the best online law schools in Florida.
These online degree programs are also called Online Juris Doctor (J.D.). They are a mixture of online courses and on-campus instruction that are meant for working professionals.
Juris Doctor or J.D. as it is known for short is Latin for Doctor of Law. It is a professional law degree and academic credential that is conferred to graduating students by the law schools they attend.
The degree allows you to not only sit for the bar exam but also, to earn a license to practice law. The American Bar Association (ABA) considers it “the first degree in law”.
Most law schools now offer online programs and some of them happen to be ranked among the best online law schools in Florida. These online programs are flexible and affordable, they give students access to technologies that are innovative.
They also accept students from diverse career backgrounds and offer them global opportunities. For several law students, attending an online law degree program might just be the best choice.
At the end of the day, you are the one to make the decision, but before you do, there are some things you would have to consider, the first is that you have to be sure this career path is one you want to embark on.
Once this decision is made, then every other thing can follow smoothly. There are some steps to be followed in order to achieve your dream of becoming a lawyer in Florida:
- You have to first apply, get in and complete a bachelor’s degree.
- After which, you would then enroll in a law school in Florida, either a traditional or an online one would do. The steps to complete a J.D. degree will be listed below also.
- Once you complete your J.D. degree, you will sit for the bar examination.
Now, let us take a look at the steps one would have to take to complete a J.D. degree:
Meet The Required GPA:
This would include maintaining a minimum grade point average and completing the entire curriculum.
Some schools may require that you have a minimum number of credit hours for externships, clinics, and simulated courses. You would also be required to solve a legal problem in the same way you do if you were practicing in the real world.
Finish a Capstone Project:
You would have to finish up with a capstone project on a legal topic that demonstrates your analytical, research, and writing skills.
There are some common admissions requirements that are necessary if you want to get into a J.D. program, some of them are:
- A bachelor’s degree is necessary. Some schools might not specify the disciplines they want the students to have from college, so long as you have strong reading, comprehension, and writing skills, you should be good.
- LSAT/GRE scores. Several traditional law schools take only LSAT scores, while most hybrid and online law programs accept both LSAT or GRE scores. Also, you should know that the test must have been taken not more than five years before your application.
- Letters of recommendation. A minimum of two would be enough except stated otherwise by the school.
- A personal essay.
- A resume.
You might be worried that an online law program would not teach you all you need to know to become a competent and effective lawyer.
You should know that no matter the law school you attend, the courses taught will be similar. Some online or hybrid law courses are taught by the same professors who teach traditional on-campus classes.
A J.D. curriculum would most likely include:
- Family law.
- Criminal law.
- Trial practice.
- Torts doctrine.
- Legal analysis and professional skills.
- Civil procedure.
- Intellectual property law.
- Constitutional law.
The List of Best Online Law Schools in Florida
Florida State University – College of Law:
Florida State University is among the most sought-after schools in the U.S. The institution has accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Council on Social Work Education.
Florida State University College of Law is the law school of Florida State University. It is located in Tallahassee, Florida.
The law school also offers an online J.D. program that can be completed on a part-time basis. The students gain an in-depth understanding of the law and law-related issues.
The curriculum is career-focused and was designed to prepare its students to better understand the issues in their work and also effectively identify and look out for potential hazards in the legal world.
This online program has several things to offer, such as:
- You can learn anywhere you want, whenever you want. You do not need to be present at the campus to learn. The courses include pre-recorded lectures and students get to interact with their peers and professors via discussion boards.
- The curriculum of the program is both innovative and relevant. It combines academic knowledge and learning that is practice-based.
- The tuition rates for this online J.D. degree are affordable.
- A degree from a nationally recognized school. This law school is among the top 50 law schools and top 20 public universities, according to U.S. News & World Report, 2021.
- This program is both flexible and customizable. What this means is that you have the flexibility to take on the number of courses that work best for you each semester. Also, you can tailor the curriculum to meet your professional and personal goals.
- The program also offers an outstanding faculty; world-class professors and prominent industry experts.
You can take a look at the tuition details of the school here.
St. Thomas University – College of Law:
St. Thomas University College of Law has a 100% online program that is designed to be completed in one year. The program offers convenience and flexibility to all its students.
The program is designed to meet the needs of both professional workers and students who are looking for a flexible opportunity to push their career goals forward.
This law school was founded in 1984 and it offers an innovative program with a comprehensive approach to cybersecurity law. The program integrated law, policy, and the aerospace field.
You can get information about the tuition fees here.
Florida Coastal School of Law:
Florida Coastal School of Law was established in 1996 and was a private for-profit law school in Jacksonville, Florida.
Florida Coastal School of Law offers students the chance to complete their legal studies in two years. The school has accreditation and is licensed by the American Bar Association (A.B.A).
These courses are offered online, they are mobile-friendly and downloadable so students can access them anywhere and anytime.
The students also get access to an online learning management system, an online library, legal research databases, and also additional online reading materials.
All the requirements, including final exams, can be done entirely online. The program requires students to achieve the same 90 credit hours that traditional three-year J.D. students have to get.
Details about the tuition fees can be accessed here.
University of Florida/Levin College of Law:
The University of Florida is a public land-grant research university that has traces of its origins to 1853.
The Levin College of Law is the law school of the University of Florida located in Gainesville, Florida. It was founded in 1909, which makes it the oldest operating public law school in Florida, and the second oldest overall in the entire state.
The school prepares lawyers to serve their clients, the justice system, and the public in general. They offer students a well-rounded legal education.
The curriculum of the program teaches students all they need to know about the law and the skills they need to practice.
The program offers students with some core competencies, such as:
- Legal Analysis. This teaches students all they need to know about laws and rules and how to apply them in different settings.
- Legal research and writing. This includes the ability to conduct independent legal research and write quality and professional pieces.
- Fundamentals of Dispute Processing and Legal Problem Solving, which includes litigation, settlement, and transactions.
- Fundamentals of Professional Responsibility and Identity, include the knowledge of the values in the legal profession, ethical problem solving, the skills to create a professional identity, and also, the skills to work with different people from diverse backgrounds.
The tuition fee details can be seen here.
Stetson University College of Law:
Stetson University is a private university that was founded in 1883 and was later established in 1887.
Stetson University College of Law was founded in 1900 as a part of Stetson University. It also happens to be Florida’s first law school.
The law school has accreditation from the American Bar Association and has been a member of the Association of American Law Schools since 1931.
The J.D. program offered by the school focuses on six concentrations. They are Advocacy, Business Law, Elder Law, Environmental Law, International Law, and Social Justice Advocacy.
The school also offers advanced legal degrees, including a Master of Laws (LL.M.) with three concentrations: Advocacy, Elder Law and International Law.
Details about the tuition fees are here.
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Can I Pursue a Law Degree Online?
This entire article is about online law degrees, so the answer is yes. You can apply and study in an online law school in Florida. Also, there are other institutions that offer online courses that are combined with traditional on-campus education.
Is Online Law School Legit?
The straightforward answer is yes. Online law schools are legit and one can learn and obtain degrees from them.
What Is A Juris Doctor Degree Equivalent To?
This question is a complex and controversial one. A Ph.D. is also known as a doctorate and it is the highest degree one can earn in several disciplines. It usually takes five years or more to finish up.
Some people see a J.D. degree as functional to a Ph.D., but a Juris Doctor degree is not the highest type of degree one can obtain in law. Other degrees one can earn are; a Master of Laws (LL.M.) or Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD).
These types of degrees are earned after a J.D. degree is completed. Law schools only require a bachelor’s degree from students applying.
But to answer the question, on some other terms, a Juris Doctor degree is seen sometimes, as the highest academic distinction. This means that lawyers can obtain this without necessarily having a doctorate.
Is A J.D. Degree Worth It?
In every way you can look at it, a Juris Doctor degree is worth it. The skills you would learn from going through a law program will make you an asset.
Having a career in law comes with several bonuses, one of which is good pay. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top 10% of lawyers earn over $208,000
Now that there is an increasing number of online law programs, you can earn a degree in law without being in school physically.
Are There Fully Online J.D. Programs Accredited By The ABA?
No, there are no fully online J.D. degree programs that are accredited by ABA. Although, there are hybrid online J.D. programs that are accredited by the ABA. These hybrid programs combine the flexibility of online learning and the engagement of on-campus programs.
Must I Apply To A J.D. Degree Program Accredited By The ABA?
It is not a mandatory option for you to attend a J.D. degree program that has accreditation by the ABA.
On another hand, if you want to be qualified to take the bar exam and practice in some states, you would have to attend a law degree that has accreditation by the ABA.
How Long Does It Take To Complete A J.D. Degree Online?
The duration for a traditional Juris Doctor degree is about three years. Students would have to go through the program for three years to obtain this degree.
When we talk about an online J.D. degree though, this would take students about three to four years to complete if they were in full-time enrolment.
What Do I Need For Online Law Courses?
For an online law course, you would need some basic things to go through it. For one, a computer and an internet connection would go a long way.
After you have decided on the course of study, there might be a requirement to pay tuition fees. Some courses might be free though.
How Will An Online Law Degree Benefit Me?
An online law course is one of the best ways you can enhance your knowledge in a field. The courses taught are not just beneficial to law students, but also law practitioners and experts.
A benefit of an online law degree is that they save time for the students and allow them to attend these programs at their convenience.
Some other benefits of an online law degree include;
- They are budget-friendly; fees are cheaper when compared to traditional law courses.
- For working students, attending an online law school is an amazing option for them. It enables them to work and school without stress. This is because they can attend school anywhere they are located, they just have to have an internet connection so they can attend classes.
- For other students who already have a career working for them and want to make a switch, an online law degree might be the best fit for them. They can switch without too much stress.
- Finally, for lawyers who would prefer to practice a solo career without being under a firm or an organization, an online law school might also be a great choice for them.