At the end of July, recent law school graduates all over America took the bar exam. The bar takers this year persevered through legal education during a pandemic, a pandemic that (among other things) forced law school online for a time. Now as the world of legal education is poised to go back to normal, the future of distance learning is uncertain. Should distance education remain an option for law schools? Yes. Distance education can reduce the costs of law school, increasing the supply of lawyers who can afford to provide less expensive legal services. In a country that faces a significant access-to-justice problem, distance education can help.
There is an enormous and unmet need for legal services in America. America has a lot of law. Virtually everyone has a need for a lawyer at some point—family law, estate planning, running a business, buying or renting a home. But lawyers are expensive. The bottom line is that more people need lawyers than can find, retain, or afford lawyers.