Derby, Conn., resident Mel Thompson believes he has what it takes to pass the Connecticut Bar Exam. The fact that he earned his law degree over the Internet, he asserts, shouldn’t prevent him from putting his gumption to the test.

A longtime admirer of former U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, Thompson said he was compelled to attend law school to effect change. But financial constraints, he said, prevented him from earning his law degree through more traditional means. At the cost of $1,500-a-year, the West Coast School of Law presented his best option, Thompson said.