Online Degree

Online Degree Programs : Frequently Asked Questions

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General FAQ

FAQ for the Juris Doctor Program

General FAQ Answers

When was ALU founded?
ALU was founded in 1996.

Does ALU encourage minority and other non-traditional applicants?
ALU seeks to enroll a highly qualified and diverse student body with the participation of students with different ages, perspectives and backgrounds.

What are the technology requirements for attending ALU?
The computer equipment utilized to access our online program must meet the minimum requirements below. Note that the minimum computer and software requirements may evolve during a student's course of studies, in particular as third-party vendors discontinue support for older versions of a product.

Minimum Hardware and Operating System

  • 2.0 GHz or faster Intel or AMD Processor
  • 2 GB RAM or more
  • Windows Vista or greater or Mac OS (10.6 or greater)
  • Web camera, microphone and speakers

Software
  • Google Chrome or Firefox with Adobe Flash Player 11.0 or higher
  • MS Word 2003 or higher or a word processor that can create files with the following extensions: .doc (MS Word 2003), ,docx (MS Word 2007), or a standard .rtf (rich text format)
  • Adobe Reader 9.0 or higher (downloaded from the Internet

Internet Connection
  • A reliable broadband Internet connection, either cable or DSL of at least 2Mbps speed for adequate audio video quality
  • An email address that will accept all emails, including attachments, from the domain name alu.edu
  • Note: Students are presumed to receive the messages sent to desig¬nated email addresses. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that messages from ALU Law School are not blocked and that the mailbox is not too full to receive messages.

Technological Competency
  • Ability to use email to correspond
  • Ability to access, create, and save documents in MS Word or standard.rtf (rich text format)
  • Ability to browse the Web

How does ALU protect student privacy and records?
The California Administrative Code Section 18804(a) requires colleges and universities to maintain student records for a period of five years after final enrollment, with exception of the student's permanent record.
Abraham Lincoln University’s policy regarding confidentiality and student privacy is in keeping with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and DETC Standard II. L. Student Privacy, Integrity and Identity, which afford students certain rights with respect to their education records, a summary of which follows:

  • The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day Abraham Lincoln University receives a request for access
  • The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student believes are inaccurate
  • The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent
  • One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. School officials are individuals or entities working for or on the behalf of the educational institution. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
  • As allowed within FERPA guidelines, Abraham Lincoln University may disclose education records without consent to officials of another school, upon request, in which a student seeks or intends to enroll
  • The right to file a complaint with the U.S Department of Education concerning alleged failure by Abraham Lincoln University to comply with the requirements of FERPA

At its discretion, Abraham Lincoln University may provide directory information in accordance with the provisions of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act. Directory information is defined as that information which would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed.

To protect student privacy, student’s directory information is released only upon approval of the Registrar. Students may withhold directory information by notifying the Registrar in writing; please note that such withholding requests are binding for all information to all parties other than for those exceptions allowed under the Act. Students may access their rights to the Maintenance and Confidentiality of their Student Records as outlined under FERPA in ALU catalogs.


How can I view an enrollment agreement?
Prospective students may view sample enrollment agreement for the JD program and a sample enrollment agreement for master’s, bachelor’s, associate, and diploma programs.


How do I file a complaint about the master’s, bachelor, associate and diploma programs?
The ALU grievance policy addresses issues requiring resolution and to promote honesty and respect inherent to the educational work of students and faculty. This policy is applicable to students, administrators, faculty or any party who has good reason to believe that the institution is not in compliance with Distance Education and Training Council standards, policies or procedures.

A grievance on the part of a student, staff or faculty is defined as any decision or action taken by a faculty or staff member in the course of official duty that violates or constitutes arbitrary, capricious or unequal application of written campus policies or procedures. Student complaints are typically about items such as:

  • administrative issues
  • financial issues
  • technical issues
  • faculty performance
  • grading
  • program content and program effectiveness/expectations
  • library services

The university believes that problems can be resolved through cooperation among students, faculty and staff administrators. Fundamental to the process is the principle that all parties have made a good-faith effort to resolve the grievance prior to initiating this process.
The following are steps recommended to resolve grievances at Abraham Lincoln University:

Step 1: The student is encouraged to resolve the problem informally with the faculty or staff member involved.

Step 2: If Step 1 does not resolve the problem, the student is encouraged to communicate informally with the faculty or staff member's supervisor.

Step 3: If Step 2 does not resolve the problem, the student should submit a written letter to Student Affairs, explaining the situation; any supporting documentation must be attached to the letter. This letter must be submitted within one month of the time the grievance occurred. The student has the right to forego the first two steps of this process and submit a letter of grievance directly to Student Affairs.

Step 4: After reviewing the grievance, the Dean shall attempt to resolve the situation directly to the mutual satisfaction of all parties.

Step 5: If such resolution is unsuccessful, the Academic Standards Committee (ASC) shall conduct a hearing. The Committee shall review the grievance and render a decision in writing no later than 30 days after the letter is submitted.

Step 6: The student may appeal, in writing, any decision of the Committee to the president of Abraham Lincoln University. An appeal may also be made to the president in cases of probation, suspension, expulsion, and/or other disciplinary action. The president's decision shall be in writing and shall be final.

Students or members of the public may also file complaints with the following entities:
Distance Education and Training Council
1601 18th Street, N.W.,
Washington, D.C. 20009
202.234.5100

California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education
Physical address: 2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Ste. 400, Sacramento, CA 95833
Mailing address: P.O. Box 980818, W. Sacramento, CA 95798-0818
Toll-free: 888.370.7589
Local: 916.431.6959
Fax: 916.263.1897
Online complaint forms are accessible at www.bppe.ca.gov.

How do I file a complaint about the online JD program?
The School of Law grievance policy addresses issues requiring resolution and promotes honesty and respect inherent to the educational work of students and faculty. This policy is applicable to students, administrators and faculty of ALU.
A grievance may involve a complaint that includes administrative issues, financial issues, technical issues, faculty performance, grading, program content, program effectiveness/expectations, or library services.
ALU will review all grievances in a timely, fair, and equitable manner. If the complaint concerns a faculty member or administrator, ALU will consult with the faculty member regarding the complaint.
ALU notifies students and other interested parties regarding how to make complaints to state agencies and accrediting agencies by providing contact information in the Accreditation and Regulation section of the JD catalog.

Step 1.
If a grievance has not been satisfactorily resolved by in¬formal procedures, the student or interested party may file written grievance with the Dean of School of Law within 60 days of the act or event which is the subject of the grievance, by submitting the Formal Grievance Petition, available on the ALU website. Within five working days of receiving the grievance, the Dean shall conduct any necessary investigation and meet or call with the student or interested party in an effort to resolve the grievance. The Dean shall present all concerned parties with a written answer to the grievance within ten working days after the meeting or calls.

Step 2.
If a grievance has not been satisfactorily resolved at step 1, the student or interested party may file the written grievance with the Academic Standards Committee within ten working days of receiving the answer at step 1. All information presented at step 1 shall be included with the grievance, and the Dean shall submit to the Academic Standards Committee a report describing attempts to resolve the griev¬ance at step 1.

Within ten working days of receiving the grievance, the Academic Standards Committee shall conduct any necessary investigation and meet with the student or interested party in an effort to resolve the griev¬ance. The Academic Standards Committee shall present all concerned parties with a writ¬ten answer to the grievance within ten working days after the meeting.

Step 3.
If a grievance has not been satisfactorily resolved at step 2, the student may file a written appeal to the President of Abraham Lincoln University within five working days of receiving the answer at step 2. All information presented at steps 1 and 2 shall be included with the appeal, and the Academic Standards Committee shall submit to the President a report describing attempts to resolve the grievance at step 2.

The President shall make a decision within 30 days of the written appeal and shall mail the decision to all concerned parties. The President's decision shall be final.

Students or members of the public may also file complaints with the following entities:

Distance Education and Training Council
1601 18th Street, N.W.,
Washington, D.C. 20009
202.234.5100

California State Bar
180 Howard St.
San Francisco, CA 94105
415.538.2000

Answers for the Juris Doctor Program

How many graduates have passed the California General Bar Examination?
More than 130 ALU School of Law graduates have passed the California Bar Examination.

What are the academic requirements for law school admission to ALU?
Applicants must have an earned bachelor's degree from a college or university accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education.

How do I apply to ALU School of Law?
Contact the School of Law Admissions Office at 213.252.5100 for complete information.

When does the next law school term begin?
We admit first year students three times a year, in the fall, spring and winter trimesters.

Do I need to take the LSAT?
No. We have our own assessment test that applicants can take any time of the year at the school or online.

Once I submit my law school application, transcripts and take my assessment test, when will a decision be made?
The review process generally can be completed within one to two days.

What if I need help in my first year?
The School of Law has an excellent academic support program to assist its first year students.

Is ALU a full-time law school?
ALU’s Juris Doctor (JD) degree is a part-time, four-year legal distance learning education program. Classes may be taken on campus as an evening and weekend program.

What degree do students obtain upon graduation?
A Juris Doctor (J.D.). In order to practice law in California, one must pass the California Bar requirements and Examination.

For whom is the ALU JD Program designed?
Primarily for working adults or anyone who finds it difficult to attend class or who travels frequently. Many of our students are too far away from a law school or feel more comfortable taking classes online. ALU is designed for people who can better fit law study into their busy schedule by taking their legal education online or in combination with classroom sessions.

What opportunities are there for ALU Law School graduates?
Graduates of ALU Law School who are admitted to the California State Bar are permitted to practice law without any restriction, just as any other member of the State Bar of California. They can join or form law firms. They can work as in-house corporate counsel. They can appear in any state court or appear in Federal court in California. They can serve in government or the judiciary.

The opportunities are incredible! When do classes meet?
ALU can attend classes entirely online through live interactive streaming video. Additionally, ALU students can take their classes at any other convenient time, day or night, through archived recordings of the same class sessions. ALU also offers opportunities to students to attend classes on campus in the broadcast studios, at the exact same time as their classmates are attending online.

How large are the classes?
The class size varies. Many working adults are able to attend the Saturday morning classes, so those classes can be very popular for students attending them live. On weekdays, fewer students may choose to attend class live and some may opt to see that class in archived video instead.

Who are the faculty members and what are their qualifications?
ALU's faculty is composed of experienced professors (full -time faculty) and adjunct faculty consisting of practicing attorneys or judges from the area. Many have served in the field of legal education for several years.

How long is the school year?
The school year runs year-round in order to complete the program within approximately four years.

What is the cost of attending ALU?
The present cost is $8,000.00 per year. Some minor additional costs may be added, such as $50 per year for computerized legal research systems ("Westlaw") usage.

What is the cost of books for each year of study?
The best effort estimate cost of textbooks and other materials per year of study in the JD program is $750; therefore, the best effort estimate of books for four years of study in the JD program is $3,000.

Do I have to pay my entire tuition in one single payment?
ALU has a monthly payment plan with no interest charges.

What opportunities are there for ALU Law School graduates to practice law outside of California?
While the majority of our graduates practice law in California, some graduates of ALU Law School may decide to practice law in other states. Each state has its own standards for admitting attorneys. Study at, or graduation from, ALU and meeting the California Bar requirements may not qualify a student to take the bar examination in other states or satisfy the requirements to practice law in other states. Therefore, if a student intends to seek admission to practice law in a state other than California, the student should contact the admitting authority in that state for information regarding its legal education requirements for admission to practice law.

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Abraham Lincoln University is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council (www.detc.org). The Accrediting Commission is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency and is a recognized member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.






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