Evening Law Colleges

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    Admissions

    • Law schools maintain separate admissions for students applying for part-time evening programs and those applying for full-time day study. Typically, each program has a set number of available places in each class. The admissions office at George Washington University in Washington D.C. says that both day and evening programs maintain the same standards for admission, dispelling any idea that it is easier to get into the evening program. The University of Houston does give evening students more time to apply, with day students having a February 15 cutoff date for fall enrollment and evening students a May 15 deadline.

    Transfer Options

    • Once in the evening program, some schools do provide a transfer option. The University of San Diego, for example, allows evening students to transfer to the day program at the end of the first year. The school operates a summer program that allows evening students to make up any shortfall in courses, enabling transfer students to graduate in three years.

    Motivations

    • Students attend evening law colleges for various reasons. At Fordham University in New York City, for example, a student working full-time in a financial services firm did not want to quit his job. He did, however, desire to earn a law degree to either enhance his current job or provide the means to acquire a better one. Those employed by the federal government in Washington, D.C. may not want to give up the pay and benefits of federal employment while seeking to move up in government; the evening program at Georgetown University might meet their needs.

    Costs

    • Georgetown University charges a flat tuition rate for day students while charging evening students by the credit hour taken, providing flexibility as not every evening student can take the same number of courses. Most evening programs are located in large urban areas, with the evening students working in the same area. With a place to live, the cost of the evening program is reduced to tuition, fees and books and not room and board.

    Best Options

    • In 2010, U.S. News & World Report issued its rankings of part-time law programs, almost all of which conduct classes in the evening. Georgetown University tops the list. George Washington University and Fordham University complete the top three. Other highly rated evening programs include the University of Maryland (which has a part-time day and evening program); George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia; American University in Washington D.C.; Brooklyn Law School in New York City; and Temple University Beasley School of Law in Philadelphia.

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