A. Model Standards for Distance Learning for Legal Education

AuthorRebecca Purdom - Greg Brandes - Karen Westwood
Appendix A
Model Standards for Distance Learning for
Legal Education
As an increasing number of law schools implement distance learning coursesas well as entire distance
learning programsan increasing number of schools and administrators request guidance and standards.
These model standards set forth recommended practices for providing student services and ensuring
student engagement and interaction for directors, deans, administrators, and faculty that are involved in
developing, administering, and supporting these distance learning programs. In addition to online
teaching standards, these policies set forth key aspects of programs including student services, access to
information, distance learning student registration, financial aid, billing, and accounting, career services
and scheduling, alumni relations, accessibility, academic advising, and technology.
Standard 1.1
A school must maintain an adequate infrastructure for distance education, including, but not limited to,
staffing, technology, and infrastructure sufficient to meet the needs of distance learning students and the
faculty and staff that serve them, and system security sufficient to adequately protect/prevent release of
sensitive, confidential information.
Standard 1.2
The infrastructure for the provision of student services for distance education should be sufficient to
provide a level of service that is of equivalent quality, though not necessarily identical, to those provided
for residential post-JD students in comparable degree programs.
Standard 1.2 Interpretation
Resources accessible to online students should include, at minimum, the following:
(A) An online admissions process that has effective (as tested) fraud protection but provides applicants
the ability to electronically sign their admissions application and enrollment agreement.
- Real-time communications with applicants utilizing Skype, Facetime, or other live video
enabled communication platform may be used to verify English-language ability of foreign
(B) Financial aid application assistance by a trained Financial Aid officer for students who may be
(C) Secure systems for course registration, billing and accounting, and posting of grades.
- Secure student access to registration, billing and accounting, grade information, and
applicable forms, preferably via an online portal

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