Online Law School – A Great Option for a More Affordable Law Degree

online-law

More importantly, are these Juris Doctor degrees worth anything and can you really practice law with them?

The Straight Scoop About Online Law School

Several online universities such as the University of Phoenix, Concord/Kaplan Law School and DeVry offer distance learning Law Degrees. These programs are comparable in cost to other online doctorate level degrees with fees ranging from $30-90,000 depending on the program. Typically students may take them either part or full-time with the full Juris Doctor degree being completed in 3-5 years.

Classes for most of these programs are offered online with reading and other materials bought by the students. Some offer in-person classes as optional additions. Professors interact with students online and assignments are usually submitted via email. The courses required for online Juris Doctor programs are typical of full-time programs and include such subjects as Civil Procedure, Contract Law, Criminal Law, Property and Torts among others. Upper level classes include such subjects as Constitutional Law, Evidence, Family Law, Trusts and Estates, as well as other mandatory as well as recommended coursework.

The programs typically require the student to take the LSAT and to submit transcripts from undergraduate programs as well as write essays to gain acceptance. Overall the admissions criteria and standards are lower than major name Law Schools with students obtaining admission that might not qualify if applying to a nationally recognized bricks and mortar school.

Someone that is interested in studying law and going through all the major JD required courses can obtain a solid law school education by doing a degree online. The ability to make your own schedule, the flexibility of spreading the degree over time and the reduced cost when compared to bricks and mortar programs makes it an attractive alternative if you are simply seeking the Juris Doctor for your own benefit and for the educational experience it offers.

Using Mediation in a Divorce Agreement

When couples get divorced it’s usually not a happy situation. Even the friendliest exes may disagree over the way things are being handled. And that’s where mediation may be appropriate.

Mediation is when both parties in the divorce come together in the same room to talk and make their own decisions about how to handle the divorce and what to do next, with the help of a neutral third party called a mediator.011

Mediating as soon as possible is important, before communication breaks down and negativity and distrust is the norm.

Divorces that occur will sometimes require a mediator if it is deemed necessary by a judge. Either party involved in the divorce may also request mediation at any point during the proceedings. The court will divide most property, with a few exceptions, equally between the two parties with some considerations.

Mediation is a private and confidential way to sit down calmly with the person you are getting divorced from. You should be able to communicate openly and honestly about your feelings, ask any questions you may have, and be able to talk directly to each other without outside influence.

Mediation is successful when couples reach a result that both parties agree with. Mutual agreement is a must.
Many people have doubts going into mediation; however statistics show that over 70% of couples who use mediation come out of it with an agreement. This allows people to save time, money and to feel good about the outcome of the mediation session.

The parties getting divorced get to choose the mediator they want to work with. Search through the roster of mediators available, then both parties should speak with a few different mediators to see if you think you would get along well. The chosen mediator should be acceptable to both parties in order to make an agreement more likely.

The amount of time that mediation will take is different for each situation. If the divorcing couple has only a few issues they need help resolving, mediation may take only a few hours. If mediation is necessary to resolve multiple issues, additional sessions may be needed. A typical mediation session lasts about two hours, however it is up to the couple to decide what topics need discussing, when the session is finished, and whether further sessions are needed.

The role of the mediator is to assist in communication between the two people who are divorcing. Many divorces can cause communication to be stressed and sometimes nearly impossible. A mediator facilitates the communication between the two parties in a calm, reasonable, rational and honest manner. Once all the outside noise is removed many times a couple can have an honest discussion. Mediators do not offer advice, opinions or recommendations to the court.

Any and all topics are up for discussion in mediation except one: neither party can discuss whether domestic abuse occurred.

Even with a mediator, it is recommended that each party also retain their own legal counsel. Their personal attorneys are welcome to attend mediation sessions, however they typically do not. Most attorneys meet with their clients before and after mediation sessions to advise and prepare their clients.

Even if an agreement is not the final outcome from mediation, many people feel much calmer and have a better understanding of not only the other person’s viewpoint, but also of where the proceedings are headed to next.

Law Schools Fighting For Human Rights

As human rights violations continue to occur around the globe, law schools are establishing human rights clinics to meet the ever increasing demand for human rights lawyers. These United States based institutions are not only working to strengthen their own communities, but also to train students and professors, organizations and professionals, who are working to strengthen these rights outside of the United States.plaatje-christopher-human-rights

Even though the Universal Declaration of Human Rights forms the basis of International Human Rights Law, the Declaration itself is not legally binding. However, civil rights clinics are training lawyers to strengthen the enforcement of such rights and increase adherence to the agreements that several nation-states have signed.

While international law is a relatively young field, many distinguished law schools have created outstanding programs for aspiring civil rights lawyers and professors. At Columbia Law School’s Justice Clinic, students and professors focus on the cross cultural implications of international law, and encourage students to immerse themselves in today’s human and civil rights battles.

The clinic focuses on providing students with a number of different skills that are necessary in the field. For example, the clinic instructs students on how to conduct investigative research and interviews that are necessary for human rights cases. Unlike many other fields of law, these on the ground skills are necessary for learning how to identify human and civil rights abuses in a number of different settings and how to empower local organizations and lawyers to bring violators to trial.

Similarly in Harvard Law School’s International Justice Clinic, students learn about these rights through current events. While the clinic is based in Cambridge, students regularly travel internationally to document human and civil rights abuses and promote respect for international law.

Harvard’s program also provides students with connections to dozens of organizations throughout the world that are seeking to bring human and civil rights cases to trial. The clinic provides funding for research during summer and winter breaks and free support to dozens of countries where human rights violations occur on a mass scale.

At Yale Law School, the Lowenstein Human Rights Project enables students to pursue human and civil rights on an extracurricular basis. In this clinic, small groups of students work together with public interest and human rights NGOs, conducting research, designing advocacy activities, and organizing events that bring further attention to human and civil rights violations in the United States and abroad.

Stanford Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic also works to integrate classroom learning with experience in the field. In recent years, Stanford has mandated that students’ first course is about the clash between International Human and Civil Rights Law and the United States actions in Guantanamo. This course is coupled with subsequent international travel where students help universities abroad establish human and civil rights clinics of their own. Last fall, Stanford’s Human and Civil Rights Clinic also started providing free coordination of international doctors and psychologists in order to train local medical professionals to deal with rights violations in their own countries.