Law Students

Law students older than 30 more likely to promote online law school courses, new report finds

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According to a 2023 report, 61% of all law students interviewed were described as “detractors” of online learning, while 16% were seen as “promoters.” Image from Shutterstock.

According to a report released June 20 by the AccessLex Institute and Gallup, law students with different backgrounds had distinct perceptions of remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Titled Law School in a Pandemic, Ungrouped: How Online J.D. Experiences Varied Across Students, it is the third and final report from a project centered on remote law school during the pandemic, according to a June 20 news release.

A group of 820 students from 147 ABA-accredited law schools were interviewed for the reports, the first of which was published in 2021, while the second was released in 2022.

According to the 2023 report, 61% of all law students interviewed were described as “detractors” of online learning, while 16% were seen as “promoters.”

Responses were also parsed out by how students’ law schools were ranked by U.S. News & World Report. Among students from tier-four schools, 27% were labeled as promoters of online JD courses, compared to 17% of tier-three students, 14% of tier-two students and 13% of tier-one students.

Also, the report looked at course preferences by students’ ages. Among those who were age 30 or older, 36% preferred online classes, compared to 22% for the younger-than-age-30 set.

Additionally, the report found that among students who were 30 years old or older, 67% were more comfortable “sharing their true feelings” in online classes over in-person courses. For younger students, 54% shared that view.

Caregiver views were pulled out, as well, and 40% of that group preferred online courses. Of students who did not have caretaker responsibilities, 24% shared that view.

Respondents were also asked about saving time and money with online courses, and the report highlighted responses based on students’ race. Among underrepresented students of color, 66% reported that online courses saved them time and money. That was also reported by 58% of the white and Asian students.

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