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Online LLM Programs: the flexible modern option

More and more students now view online LLM programs as a convenient and cost-effective means of achieving a postgraduate qualification. However, even those who are open to the idea entertain secret worries that on graduation their certificate might have the word ‘ONLINE’ emblazoned on it, making it somehow less valid. This concern is probably a throwback to about ten or fifteen years ago when distance learning courses were considered dodgy. These days many well-known and highly ranked universities, including Ivy League institutions like Harvard, offer a range of fully accredited and recognised distance learning degree courses, which has helped to bring distance learning into the mainstream.

If you’re seriously considering doing a Master of Laws online, don’t be put off and don’t worry, your certificate will most likely not indicate whether you earned it via face-to-face or e-learning. And even if it does – it’s still a valid postgraduate qualification.   

Why study online? Well, why not?  

Online LLM Programs

Studying online is a natural part of today’s high-tech switched on society. The world has become one big online community and we easily spend hours online every day. Many young people and students have online friends they chat with regularly but have never met, online dating is no longer considered taboo, we share photos and personal stories on social media and most of us cannot go a full day without checking our emails, using a search engine or buying something online.

Because the internet successfully forged strong connections between people across the world, it was only logical that it would become an effective educational tool, replacing the slow conventional mail that distance courses historically relied on.

E-learning = sophisticated learning

E-learning has come a long way and these days universities have sophisticated software that enables students to login and participate in class discussions. Studying for an LLM program online could mean that you study in various formats, downloading your study materials from the university’s website, submitting coursework via email, chatting live with classmates on discussion boards and following lectures via streaming videos.

Many universities are devoting a lot of time to developing a supportive, inclusive e-learning experience so that distance learners don’t feel isolated or disconnected. Students are encouraged to participate in the online learning activities and be part of the community, which helps to keep them focused and on track. In some instances tutors may be assigned to students to provide one-on-one guidance, with contact via email and message boards.  

Some online LLM programs are a blend of distance learning and the occasional face-to-face class or workshop, offering the opportunity to interact with online classmates in person and providing the best of both worlds. If the distance learning LLM course you eventually choose does not include the option of occasional on-campus learning and you crave the stimulation of face-to-face, perhaps you could find out whether there are any classmates living locally and set up a study group of your own.   

Benefits of distance learning

There are many beneifits of studying your LLM via distance learning.

Cost efficient: Distance learning is much cheaper than attending face-to-face classes. Apart from the lower cost of the course there are also savings to be had in the cost of transportation to and from classes. The lower course fees could help you gain an LLM without racking up any debt.

Flexible: Online LLM programs are also flexible; studying fits around your life instead of the other way round, although you do have to be extremely disciplined to make sure you put in the number of recommended study hours. This flexibility is a real benefit if you have child care and/or work commitments. Additional flexibility comes in the form of a wider range of course options to choose from. Because you are free to choose from universities across the world, you aren’t limited to courses offered at institutions near you. This opens up a world of opportunities and could give you a competitive edge.

Leisurely pace: Another benefit of doing a Master of Laws online is that the courses tend to offer the option of a more leisurely pace; they can usually be completed in two, three, or even four years, so you can study at a pace that suits you and graduate within a longer period than if you took the conventional face-to-face course. This measured approach saves you the stress of frantically having to complete your course within a year or eighteen months.

What online LLM programs are available?

The list of available online LLM programs is long and varied, and you can find courses on virtually any subject, from American law to Taxation law. Institutions that offer master of laws online can be found in the UK, USA, Asia, Australia, and across Europe. Browse our list of universities around the world and the distance learning LLM courses they offer. 

We’ve also got a comprehensive guide to the range of LLM subjects available here where you can find out what the courses are about, the sorts of modules you might have to cover on that course, and more. If after all this you’re still undecided about which LLM is right for you, check out our tips on choosing the LLM program that suits you,

Try it, you might like it

In the end, studying via distance learning is not for everyone as it requires discipline, dedication and determination.  You have to be fully committed to completing your course and be able to draw on self-motivation when your commitment flags. However, the benefits outweigh the challenges and doing a Master of Laws online might just be the best way for you to get your LLM.  


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