Wang, S., Griffiths, R., Christensen, C., et al. (2022). An evaluation of a first-of-its-kind hybrid law degree program. Journal of Computing in Higher Education. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12528-022-09308-3
There are few published studies investigating the effectiveness of hybrid formats at the program level in graduate legal education. A hybrid Juris Doctorate (J.D.) program launched by a Midwestern institution was the first ABA-accredited law degree program with a substantial online learning component. This study takes a mixed methods approach (both quantitative and qualitative) to evaluate student outcomes and the extent to which the hybrid program expands access to legal education. The study compares student outcomes in the hybrid program with full-time and part-time traditional, in-person programs at the same institution. After three terms of data collection, findings suggest that student outcomes and engagement are comparable across formats when controlling for student background characteristics and prior achievement. Evidence suggests that the hybrid option may increase access to legal education but is insufficient to determine whether the hybrid program will increase availability of legal services in underserved areas.