Law as a subject of study serves to uphold the principles of truth and justice and thus, lays down the foundation of civilised nation. The law schools have continued to impart legal education and have been successful in not only attracting students to the study of law but also in producing the best lawyers and brightest academics in the country. Although, these law schools have lacked innovative design of courses and development of appropriate modules of teaching. The dearth of quality teachers and lack of infrastructure with a mere dispensing of the requirements of structured curriculum have been a phenomenon across the country in countless law schools. The shift in the learning model needs lecturers and students to be able to adopt technology in the process of teaching and learning. The electronic tutorials and online supervision have the potential to change the learning experience of law students.
Need for Online Legal Education
In an industry where learning is a constant part, the legal industry hasn’t yet fully adopted e-learning. E-learning plays an essential part in a profession where every individual is over-worked and long hours are the norm. With the advent of time these online legal education and trainings are expected to replace the law lectures and eventually take over the traditional methods of teaching in a law school. Some of the advantages of online legal education over the traditional approach are as follows:
1. Independent of Location, one of the greatest aspect of these online educational programs is that one can pursue these courses at his/her location at a convenient time. There are no geographical constraints when one opt for these courses.
2. Economic Benefit, one of the potential benefits of online legal education is that it is comparatively cost effective.
3. Time Factor, since one has access to these educational courses at his her preferable location, there is a considerable amount of time which is saved which can be deployed to be used in something more productive.
4. The traditional methods of teaching which involves long lectures from the faculties in the closed classrooms can turn out be tedious at times. However, the online courses are designed in an innovative manner to keep the students engaged more frequently and in shorter sessions that are easier to coordinate and schedule.
Legal Start-ups and Online Legal Education
Start-up is essentially a business idea or plan that takes shape of a newly emerged entrepreneurial venture. In the last decade or so many new start-ups have entered the legal market which have been termed as ‘disruptive.’ A bunch of new start-ups are proposing ways to make it cheaper and more efficient to provide and access legal education. Various start-ups are taking the concept of providing legal education by shifting from traditional methods to providing online legal education, training services and materials. Generally, the students are the target market but the services are also directed to the practitioners. In order to create an online learning start-ups from the ground up, one must necessarily keep in mind the following points:
• The first step involves to discover your niche and validate your idea, which primarily involves answering how to evaluate demand before putting time and effort?
• Selecting the right teaching platform, an analysis of the different alternatives to host your course and building and developing comprehensive courses.
• Setting business apart with low-cost marketing and strategic networking by identifying offerings, and targeting the right audience.
• Stay on top of current trends and ahead of the competition by managing daily operations, setting rates, and hiring a support team.
Legal Education is moving towards a more practical and experiential teaching methodology that incorporates technology, competency based learning, flexibility and a practice-oriented focus. However, the use of technology in the learning process might also result in new problems for both teachers and students, particularly for those who are not familiar with the development of technology. The technology holds great promise for improving legal education but without a strong understanding of the problem, the people associated and the process components, the technology projects can in no time become expensive failures. Online lectures, i-tutorials, and virtual supervision are only part of the future for legal education and therefore, looking forward to start an online education platform can be a profitable venture.