Chapter 4: Earning a Foreign Law Degree by Distance Learning

Chapter 4

Earning a Foreign Law Degree by Distance Learning


foreign law degree by distance learning

Study Law Abroad Without Ever Leaving Your Home
    There are a number of accredited foreign law degree by distance learning schools that offer law degrees by distance learning. While studying law at a distance may seem unusual and, perhaps, a bit unorthodox, it is fairly normal in many countries. Remember, it is the knowledge of law that is important to the practitioner, not how he or she acquired that knowledge. As I pointed out earlier, this was once the way most lawyers studied law in the United States. There has even been a recent recognition of external law study by the ABA which has acquiesced to several external LL.M law-degree programs. In fact, ABA rules currently permit up to 12 credits by distance learning, video, audio, and Interment based chat rooms.But don’t expect that the ABA-approved law schools will open their arms and doors to this “new concept” overnight. There are just too many economic and political forces against distance learning. Even with the advent of the Internet, the wheels of progress in this regard turn very slowly—very slowly. But there is no need to wait for the system to change when you can be in the mainstream of legal education and earn your foreign law degree without ever leaving your armchair. 

Moreover, you’ll find that foreign distance-learning law programs are offered by schools that are not only fully accredited, but are also among the most prestigious law schools in the world. In addition to being able to obtain an outstanding and respected legal education, the study of law by distance learning offers many advantages, as follows:


 You can study law without ever leaving your home

 You can study law from your office, library or most anywhere

 You can study completely online

 You can study by correspondence (without a computer)

 You can take your examinations almost anywhere in the world

 Law books and study materials are delivered to your front door

 You can network with other students online or  by correspondence

 You can save thousands of dollars over the cost of traditional legal education


Remember, it is the knowledge of law
that is important to the practitioner,
not how he or she acquired that knowledge.”

    And these are only a few of the many advantages of earning a law degree by distance learning, I’m sure you can think of many more. For now let’s get started by looking at some of the more popular programs offered.


The British – Foreign Law Degree by Distance Learning Law Schools

Four highly respected universities in the United Kingdom have programs that work quite well for American students and for students throughout the world. The University of London, Northumbria University, Nottingham-Trent University, and the University of Huddersfield all have high-quality programs with no residency requirements and provide for examinations in all 50 states and coun­tries throughout the world. Contact details are listed below:


Holborn College / University of Huddersfield
Woolwich Road
Charlton, London SE7
8LN  – UK
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8317 6000, Fax: +44 (0) 20 8317 6001

Law Degrees Awarded: LLB – (by distance learning)


    The University of Huddersfield, in partnership with Holborn College, will begin a new distance-learning LLB degree program in August 2004. The University of Huddersfield is a well respected and dynamic institution with an excellent graduate employment record. The program offers three convenient start dates; September, January and May and, students without a bachelor degree may be eligible to enroll under the Mature Entry provisions if over 21 and have formal work experience.

University of London External Programme
Room 3, Senate House Malet Street
London, WC1E 7HU, England, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7862 8386, Fax: +44 (0) 20 7862 8383

Law Degrees Awarded:

LLB – (by distance learning)


    The University of London was founded in 1836 and is one of the oldest universities in the world, with an international reputation for excellence in the field of law. The university has been offering law degrees by distance learning to candidates around the world through the External Program since its inception.

The admission requirements for the law degree generally require one of the following:

Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited university or college or;

Completion of A and O levels (required of UK and commonwealth  applicants only)

Some allowance may be made for “mature” students for career/academic experience.

After meeting the general admission requirements, completing the application and paying the applicable fees you will be offered a place as a registered law student. You will not need to take the LSAT and a low GPA should not preclude your admission.

The University of London statutes state that there is one standard for the LL.B. degree regardless of the mode of study the student chooses. This means that as an external student you will be held to the same rigorous standard as the law students sitting in the hallowed academic halls in London.

As such, you may expect to experience the most intellectually challenging three or four years of your life. But if you persevere and work hard you will walk away with a legal education and law degree respected the world over.


University of Northumbria School of Law
Sutherland Building, Room 111
Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 8ST., England, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 191 227 4513, Fax: +44 (0) 191 227 4557
Law Degrees Awarded: LLB – (by distance learning)


    Northumbria University is located in Central Newcastle and boasts one on the most innovative distance-learning law programs in the world. In fact, the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) rates Northumbria among the top law schools in the UK. The LL.B. Honours degree may be earned in four years entirely by distance learning. Students who already possess a bachelor’s degree may complete the degree in three years. Furthermore, the four-year program has no formal entry requirements. This means that the university will admit students without a prior degree providing they demonstrate a “high level of motivation, discipline and the neces­sary intellectual ability required to complete a degree level course successfully.” Students may demonstrate this by work experience or formal academic qualifications.


Northumbria also offers an optional two-week residency for distance learning students and students are permitted to transfer from distance learning to attendance at the university should the student desire to do so. As with all the British distance-learning law schools, there is no LSAT requirement.


Nottingham Trent University Law School
Chaucer Building, Chaucer Street
Notingham, NG1 4BU, England, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 115 8484270, Fax: +44 (0) 115 8486489
Law Degrees Awarded:

LLB – (by distance learning)


   Nottingham Trent is a well known and respected university with a highly regarded LL.B program. The distance-learning program is relatively new, but I have heard good reports about it and it will likely become one of the more popular distance-learning programs around. The program offers distance learning with a personal touch. You will have access to personal advisors to help you through your three to four years of study, and the price is remarkably reasonable. The school is eager to enroll international students and will consider mature appli­cants over 21 years of age with suitable academic or career experience.

The Australian Distance Learning Law Schools

Macquarie University School of Law
Balaclava Road, North
Ryde Sydney, New South Wales 2113, Australia
Tel: +61 2 9850 7314, Fax: Not Available

Law Degrees Awarded:

LLB – Law (by distance learning)


University of New England, Faculty of Law
Armidale, New South Wales 2351, Australia
Tel: +61 2 6773 3333, Fax: +61 2 6773 3122
Law Degrees Awarded:

LLB – Law (by distance learning)


South Africas – Foreign Law Degree byDistance Learning Law School

University of South Africa, Faculty of Law
P.O. Box 392 – Pretoria 0001, South Africa.
Tel: 27 12 429-3111, Fax: Not Available
Law Degrees Awarded:
LLB – Law (by distance learning)


Will the Study of Law by Distance Learning at these Universities be Difficult?

    The study of law in any setting is extremely difficult. The foreign universities offering distance learning will provide you with some guidance and lists of suggested books and reading material, however, it is not likely that this material alone will insure your success. The truth of the matter is that more than 70% of the students who study alone will fail. For this reason a number of academic tutorial colleges offer assistance to bridge the gap for distance students to help overcome these abysmal statistics.


The truth of the matter is that more than 70% of the
students who study alone will fail.”


Students who avail themselves of these academic services have a much higher pass rate—about a 70% pass rate. Why aren’t the pass rates higher? Hey, this is law school, its not designed to be easy—but a 70% pass rate means you can make it to your goal—with the help of a good tutorial service. I believe this is essential for your success.


Should you decide to pursue earning an accredited foreign-law degree by distance learning, I highly recommend you consider one of the tutorial programs listed below. Think about it, you have a 70% chance of passing if you use one of these services and a 70% chance of failing if you do not. True, you might be one of the exceptional people who can go it alone, but it’s not likely. Don’t fight the numbers. My advice is to get all the help that’s available. The costs are generally very reasonable. In fact the total tuition fees for the British distance-learning law school and the cost of a good tutorial college combined will only run approximately $5,000.00 to $10,000.00 per year. That’s quite a savings over the cost of most traditional American and Canadian law schools.



Case Study – Foreign Law Degree by Distance Learning

    Take the example of another lawyer, Charlie S. Charlie earned his law degree externally from one of the most prestigious law schools in the world, the University of London External Programme. (See Chapter IV). This was no easy task and took a lot of dedication and hard work. Charlie had to go through an intense—and I mean really intense—four-year study program. Let me explain this, the University of London’s program is one of the most difficult law-degree programs in the world, but it is also among the most respected. You see, the final examinations he took were the same as those taken by the university’s internal students and they were graded by the same professors.

I know for a fact that Charlie ‘sweated’ out many intense moments waiting for his examination results, but one thing he didn’t have to worry about was quitting his job or rushing to get to class—he studied externally, that is, by distance learning. But he did not have to study alone, he was able to network with other law students throughout the world. And his total cost for the degree probably averaged less than $5,000 per year. That’s quite a bargain!


After completing his first law degree, Charlie elected to go on and earn an LL.M (Master of Laws degree) to increase his career options and marketability. Think about this, in the same time it took other law students to earn a J.D. the traditional way, Charlie earned two prestigious law degrees and, at a fraction of the cost of tradi­tional legal education. Eventually, he took and passed the bar exam where he lived in California and is currently practicing law there.

Dreams can become reality.



Tutorial Services Offering Programs For British Law School
Distance-Learning Students

United States & Canada

International Center for Legal Studies [Great Program]
340 Cooley Street, Suite 340
Springfield, MA 01128
Tel: 413-301-5396

    The International Center for Legal Studies (ICLS) offers online law lectures to give students the classroom experience without leaving their home or office. Check their website for a sample demonstration of their unique e-learning system. The director, George Pappas, is a personal friend, attorney and gifted educator. ICLS offers an outstanding program that is perfect for distance learning students.

United Kingdom

ILEX Tutorial College
College House,
Kempston Bedford MK42 7AB UK
Tel: +44 01234 841010


London Law Tutors
P.O. Box 10241
London SW19 8ZH, UK
+44 (0) 20 7916 8540


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