We are still very in the middle of a pandemic and one sector that has experienced the most decline is universities. Students have been denied important contact time. There has been an increase in the number of deferrals and a general unhappiness amongst students about the course and not getting value for money. As a reaction to the drop in numbers of students taking up places, universities have taken the step of offering the online distance learning degrees.

The Law Degree

The law degree is very sought after. The University of Law has commented “A law degree is a great qualification to obtain employment – law graduates have the 6th highest employment rate – and bear in mind up to 60% of all law graduates chose to use their law degree to gain jobs other than in the legal profession.” This sounds more like a sales pitch rather than the truth. There is no denying that starting a legal career is challenging. The industry is competitive, and your academic credentials will only get you so far. To stand out to employers, you must have extensive legal professional experience. To get there in the first place, you must have a law degree from a reputable university or institution, and you must also demonstrate that you have been awarded the highest possible grades to gain your place at the table.

The Online Distance Learning Law Degree

Many international students opt for studying for an English Law degree and go on to study in their own respective jurisdictions. An English education is popular and thus one of the UK’s biggest exports. This article aims to give the readers an unbiased view of the advantages and pitfalls of the online law degree. In particular it looks and compares course providers to see what is on offer – to answer the question which one is the best? The obvious advantage of the online law degree is the student does not have to travel. They can stay at home and study English Law from their computer. There are no high rental costs that come with living in London. In addition, England can be cold and quite depressing place when you are living alone and studying.

The Course Providers

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University of London’s Bachelor of Laws LLB programme is regarded as one of the best in the world. Thousands of practising lawyers all across the world have started their careers there. Except for the Dissertation, all modules are totally assessed through written examination. These are held in local examination centres around the world in May/June and October. In the October session, you can only take two modules. Examiners are academics who are assigned to set and grade their exams. They meet the same standards as students at the University of London Law Schools who study on-campus. It is not the easiest route but it is the Rolls Royce of the distance learning law degree, a real head turner on the CV or resume.

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The Open University Online English Law Degree has long been ahead of the curve in terms of remote and distance learning. Starting over 50 years ago, the OU was the first to take advantage of new technology and digital capabilities, being one of the first universities in the world to adopt and utilize a completely digital and online University setting, with all courses, course materials, resources and textbooks, lectures and tutorials being available online 24/7. When the rest of the universities had to play catch up during COVID, the OU was already primed and continuing business as usual. The quality of the OU module materials for both LLB and LLM are of high calibre, and very thorough on jurisprudential and theory exploration, while maintaining a case heavy syllabus. The assessments and exams for all core subjects are very comprehensive and are more rigorous than many would believe, as well over half of students drop out in the first year alone.

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University of Essex Online LLB (Hons) Law is the only part-time and entirely online LLB (Hons) Law programme that does not require students to travel to assessment centres or take timed exams. It is a Solicitors Regulation Authority-approved qualifying law degree (QLD), and it is a great way to get started on the path to become a lawyer. This academically demanding (Solicitors Qualification Examination) SQE-centred LLB (Hons) Law curriculum covers the seven pillars of legal knowledge. The course concentrates on English and Welsh law, although it also addresses important global issues. You will strengthen your critical thinking, teamwork, leadership, and presentation of legal arguments abilities by participating in discussion forums with your peers. You will be prepared to pursue legal studies as well as a range of linked sectors after completing your degree. This course is aimed at the English market and students wanting to practice law in the UK.

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The University of Law Online LLB (Hons) Undergraduate Law with Business degree, offered in three, four, or six years, allows you to study whenever, wherever. This could be the degree for you if you want to work in the legal or wider commercial sector, have an interest in business, but need more flexibility in your study schedule and want to study entirely online. This degree has a strong practical orientation, with a strong emphasis on employability. You will not only study vital legal themes and related skills for modern law students, but you will also gain employment readiness and a larger range of professional opportunities by studying Business. This may not appeal to international students who will be put off by the new English based SQE focus.

The Shortcomings

However, due to the nature of independent study, students need to be very self motivated and self disciplined. A law student is left to read and study themselves. It can be quite a lonely experience at times, with no other students in regular close proximity to provide a support network, bounce ideas off of, and help each other learn. While some can cope with this, most crack under the pressure and can become demotivated having to do masses of reading and motivate themselves. There are maybe 5 or 6 in person tutorials in a year, and a few online sessions throughout. You must read, digest and understand the materials and information yourself, as a tutor is rarely there to explain it. In reality students do not get opportunities to see their tutor regularly and ask for help or get a question answered or test their knowledge through discussion or debate.

A Possible Solution

Private Law Tutor is a tuition centre based in Bell Yard, which is adjacent to the Royal Courts of Justice, which offers an academic platform called the University Replacement Service to help prepare students worldwide to pass the University of London LLB exams at their first attempt. The centre is run by a barrister, an academic and a former course module leader at several London Universities. This private law tutor has a First Class Master of Laws (LLM). He was called to the Bar at Lincolns Inn in 2007 and has 15 years’ experience working in the legal profession. His expertise includes litigation and advocacy, particularly in the fields of Employment Law. He has taught eight subjects at three different London Universities and is also the author of the centre’s own published books. Most of all he has been an examiner who has set and graded exams.

This academic platform levels the playing field and provides individual mentoring, live workshops, frequent online sessions, lecture notes, practice exams, revision lectures and notes, academic assessments, and best of all, a law tutor who has years of experience preparing students for the University of London LLB exams. Private Law Tutor markets their services to law students who come from Commonwealth countries outside of the UK, such as Australia, Canada, West Indies, and Asia where the legal system is founded on Common Law. Many students from the USA decide to pursue an English Law degree in the United Kingdom or through a distance learning programme. If you are thinking of taking a Distant Learning Degree to supplement your official education, they can help. For many years, they have helped students like this, who have studied at institutions such as the University of London, who have used them to bolster their knowledge for their final exams.

Article by Elijah Law for Epistle News