How will classes be taught?
The online J.D. program will consist of 50% synchronous and 50% asynchronous teaching methods for the first-year curriculum. Upper-level courses may be offered as a combination of synchronous and asynchronous methods, or fully asynchronous with heightened requirements for student interaction and stricter enrollment caps.
How will the online J.D. prepare me for the bar exam?
St. Mary’s Law has a robust, data-driven bar preparation program that is individually tailored to each student. In addition to providing extensive coaching and custom bar study schedules, our instructors work with each student to understand what approach works best for them. Online students will also have 100% access to all of our bar coaching resources. Students can expect to receive a personal bar study coach who will check in with them, set up one-on-one meetings over Zoom and help them assess their progress.
Can I decide to move from the online program to the full-time program?
After completing the first-year curriculum online, online J.D. students may opt to continue in the in-person full-time program.
Can international students apply for the online J.D.?
International students are not automatically excluded from admission to the online J.D. program; however, the program is unlikely to meet the unique needs of international students given differences in time zones and synchronous class meeting times. Rather, the program’s intent is to expand access to legal education in South Texas, and to offer opportunities nationally to those who would find it difficult to pursue a traditional in-person J.D.
Can I participate in campus events and extracurricular activities?
Online students are invited to visit campus and participate in any on-campus activities or meet with faculty and staff for assistance, at any time during their degree program. Online students will also be able to complete externships, pro bono activities and non-clinic experiential learning in the online environment. Faculty and staff will be fully available to online students through virtual office hours, email, and individual Zoom meetings. Our faculty prides itself on an open-door policy that we are eager to extend to our online cohort.
Can I participate in Registered Student Organizations?
One hallmark of the St. Mary’s J.D. experience is getting involved on campus. As an online student, you will have the opportunity to choose from more than 30 active registered student organizations, which promote a variety of interests and practice areas. Online students can even start their own student organizations and are encouraged to do so.
Is there anything I cannot do as an online student?
Not every elective course in the course directory will be offered in an online format every semester. However, students will have significant advance notice of elective availability for each upcoming semester, and will receive course advising that maximizes their educational opportunities based on interest and career goals.
Will I have to attend orientation as an online student?
To welcome all incoming J.D. students to St. Mary’s, the law school hosts a three-day, in-person Orientation program. This program introduces students to our Marianist tradition, the practice of law, the skills needed to be successful in law school and allows for opportunities to meet classmates and professors. Highlights include a mock law school class, a practice law school exam, chances to mingle with alumni and a class service project. Online students are strongly encouraged to attend this Orientation in person, and will receive information about lodging, timing and the experience as the date approaches. Online students are also encouraged to participate in our innovative First Generation Student Boot Camp, which provides several days of skills training for students entering law school as the first lawyer in their family.
Will I need to attend in-person sessions as part of my online education?
No, although there will be activities such as Orientation, that you will be strongly encouraged to attend in person.
Where can I view tuition information about the online J.D. program?
Online J.D. students will pay the current part-time tuition rate, which can be viewed on the Tuition webpage. St. Mary’s is proud to offer an online J.D. that provides the same quality teaching, student services and community that are hallmarks of our in-person degree. As such, online J.D. students should expect an engaging and informative classroom experience and an open “virtual” door to our online-certified faculty. Additionally, online students will have the opportunity to take advantage of our career and academic counseling, pro bono opportunities, networking events and more. And, the online degree comes with a significant cost savings in living expenses, board and transportation, a cost estimated to be approximately $19,148/year.