Syracuse University College of Law is launching the nation’s first fully interactive online juris doctor program.

First class of up to 65 students will begin program in January of 2019.

The American Bar Association granted SU College of Law a variance to offer this fully interactive online juris doctor program.

The online J.D. was subject to intense scrutiny and review by legal education experts before the College was granted the variance.

Nina Kohn, Associate Dean of Research and Online Education, SU Law School, says, “The legal profession is changing and law schools need to be aware of that and think about how do we prepare students for the legal profession of tomorrow and not the legal profession of yesterday.”

Students in the online program will be taught by College of Law faculty and will be held to the same high admission and academic standards as students in the College’s residential program, and will take all courses required by its residential J.D. program. 

Kathleen O’Connor, Executive Director of Online Education for SU Law, says, “It is our program that we have in the building and now it will be available to students online.” 

The online J.D. program will be combine real-time and self-paced online classes, on-campus residential classes, and experiential learning opportunities.

“So when I’m doing my live online Torts class I can see the students, they can see me in real time and I can ask them questions and ping questions off students just as I do in the building.”  Kohn tells NewsChannel 9.

O’Connor says, “I’m talking to students right now, perspective students, who’ve heard that we’re offering this program and that’s exciting, people who really want to do this but haven’t been able to.”

At least 50% of the online class time will be in “real-time,” allowing professors and students to connect in a small class environment.

Self-paced class sessions with interactive exercises will complement these live sessions.

Students also will attend in-person courses on-campus and at satellite locations, have the opportunity to complete a legal externship before graduation, and participate in student organizations.