Syracuse University today announced plans to create a hybrid degree, which the institution hopes the American Bar Association and New York State will accredit. The program will be launched in partnership with 2U Inc., which helps colleges take their academic programs online and already works with five other colleges at Syracuse. Students in the J.D. program would receive much of their instruction online but would also take some in-person courses and participate in externships, according to a news release from the university.
Legal education has been slow to move online, as the ABA has taken a conservative stance in its approvals. In 2013 it gave William Mitchell College of Law (now Mitchell Hamline School of Law) authority to create a part-time hybrid program.
In 2012, 2U helped the law school at Washington University in St. Louis create a fully online master's degree in U.S. law. The law dean at WashU at the time, Kent Syverud, is now the chancellor at Syracuse.