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J.D. Part-time / Online

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J.D. Part-time Online

A rigorous curriculum intentionally developed for the online experience delivers an exceptional legal education through engaging and interactive methods.

The goal of our part-time schedules is to allow you to obtain a rigorous, ABA-accredited J.D. degree while maintaining your personal and professional commitments.

South Texas College of Law Houston was founded in 1923 to provide a legal education for working professionals. Since its founding, South Texas has earned a reputation for educating exceptional practice-ready attorneys. Today, South Texas remains committed to providing those unable to step away from full-time employment or family commitments an opportunity to earn a J.D. through two flexible part-time schedule options.

Part-time program schedules start exclusively in the fall.

J.D. Part-time Schedule Details

  • ABA-accredited J.D. curriculum delivered over four years
    • J.D. Part-time / Online schedule requires one in-person, on-campus residency at the beginning of each academic year, with remaining coursework delivered online.
  • Access to faculty, both in person and online
  • Full student experience available to part-time students, including access to academic and student support services, bar exam preparation support, involvement in student organizations, events, employment interviews, and live-client and real-life practice experiences (including externships, simulation courses, and participation in the Randall O. Sorrels Legal Clinics).

Part-Time Curriculum

Curriculum plans for first-year law students in the part-time programs are shown below. The J.D. Part-time / Online schedules start exclusively in the fall.

part-time schedule

1 Contracts II, Federal Income Taxation, and Torts II are only offered in the evening in the summer sessions.

J.D. Part-time Application Details

Both the J.D. Part-time / Campus and the J.D. Part-time / Online schedules start exclusively in the fall. The fall application opens in mid-November, and applications should be received by the following dates:

  • February 9, 2024 (priority)
  • May 10, 2024 (final)

All applicants who apply by the priority deadline will automatically receive an application fee waiver.

On-campus requirement: The on-campus (Houston) residency for J.D. Part-time / Online students starting in fall 2024 will be from Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2024 to Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2024.

J.D. Part-Time / Online Questions

The J.D. Part-time / Online schedule is designed for motivated self-starters who wish to pursue a law degree through a more flexible delivery format that allows them to maintain their professional and personal responsibilities while obtaining their legal education. We expect students in the online schedule to be comfortable in an online learning environment and have access to reliable internet access for the virtual classroom and digital resources.

Yes. South Texas requires all students to meet exacting admissions criteria. Just like students in the traditional, on-campus programs, online students will be expected to meet rigorous academic and professional standards.

We anticipate our J.D. Part-time / Online students to continue working at their full- or part-time jobs during the day. Additionally, we expect they will commit the necessary time and effort during the evenings and weekends to complete classwork, including attending some regularly scheduled synchronous classes in the evening as well as participating in some daytime commitments, such as faculty office hours or school events.

As with any law school degree program, the J.D. Part-time / Online schedule will require significant dedication during and after class times, which will include readings, preparation, office hours, discussion board submissions and responses, and synchronous and asynchronous classes. Students should plan to commit approximately two to three hours per week outside of class for every credit hour.

Some students may periodically choose to take time off from work or daytime commitments to complete assignments or prepare for classes or exams.

Types of classes: Beginning in fall 2023, J.D. Part-time / Online students will take classes mostly online in​ a combination of synchronous classes (face-to-face virtual at set times) and asynchronous classes (no set class time, but with regularly assigned deadlines) each semester.

On-campus requirement: At the beginning of the fall semester each year, students will have a required in-person experience on campus in Houston (7-8 days). For the first year, this includes orientation with all students, opportunities to meet the professors teaching online courses that semester, connections with student organizations, and in-person class time. This “residency” experience will ensure that online students are familiar with and become a part of the South Texas community.

Time to completion: The part-time J.D. degree can be completed in four years.

Synchronous activities will typically be scheduled on weekday evenings and occasionally during the day on Saturdays.

STCL Houston Student Services will be available for virtual meetings and phone calls with online students, in addition to various online workshops and connection opportunities. Some of those include academic advising, financial aid and debt counseling, library services, and career services.

For all students, STCL Houston faculty are available during regular office hours, and phone or virtual conversations are quite common. Students and professors also engage through email and through the learning system messaging features. If online students sign up for co-curricular or extracurricular activities involving professors, they will have additional opportunities to make connections with faculty members.

Student organizations will offer virtual opportunities for online students to participate in various meetings and in academic, co-curricular, and extracurricular activities including law reviews, clinics, and advocacy. Students who are able are always welcome to come to campus for in-person participation, as well.

J.D. Part-time / Flex and J.D. Part-time / Online students may seek to transfer to the full-time, on-campus schedule after successfully completing the initial fall and spring semesters. Transfers are granted on a case-by-case basis.

Yes, J.D. Part-time / Online students are eligible to apply for the same financial aid and scholarship opportunities as all other South Texas students.

South Texas College of Law Houston offers one ABA-accredited J.D. degree, and each student’s diploma only notes that degree — regardless of whether the degree was achieved full-time or part-time, on campus or online.

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