Syracuse University online law program will try Socratic method
A part-time program where students complete the majority of courses online was recently announced by New York’s Syracuse University College of Law.
William Banks, the law school’s interim dean, told the National Law Journal (reg. req.) that these courses will help the school’s recent enrollment decline. Banks told the NLJ that his school’s enrollment has decreased by approximately 30 percent.
Online students will be on campus for one or two weeks annually, according to Banks. He hopes to replicate the Socratic method online, using cloud-based software with real-time capacities, where professors can randomly call on students during instruction, with discourse among participants. Tuition will be the same as Syracuse’s traditional part-time program, which according to its website is $2,038 per credit.
The program will need approval from both the ABA and the New York State Education Department, Banks said. ABA accreditation standards mandate that law school students take no more than 15 credits of distance learning, and there must be opportunities for interaction between participants, the article notes.
Two other law schools, Minnesota’s Mitchell Hamline School of Law and California’s Concord Law School, offer online law school programs. Hamline is an ABA-accredited law school, but Concord is not.