Should You Try JDNext?

Law School Expert Blog

Q: What is JD-Next?

A: JD-Next is an innovative eight-week program and entrance exam that provides a cost-effective and realistic preview of what law school will be like, prepares applicants for the rigors of law school, and offers a fair and accurate assessment of an applicant’s academic readiness for law school. Research shows that participation in JD-Next is expected to improve law school academic performance across racial and ethnic groups. The JD-Next final exam reduces, if not eliminates, the large gaps between racial and ethnic minority and majority groups that one sees on standardized test scores, undergraduate GPA, and attendance at elite colleges and universities.

The program includes interactive modules, assessments, and personalized feedback to help students develop critical thinking, legal reasoning, and writing skills.

(This blog post is written by JD Next; My opinion is in the video below.)

Q: Who is JD-Next for?

A: JD-Next is for individuals who are considering or preparing to apply to law school. It is especially beneficial for those who may not know much about the realities of law school but are interested in previewing a typical 1L course and exam to gauge if law school is for them.

JD-Next also offers students a head start in understanding basic legal concepts and academic skills required in law school. Students who enrolled in the JD-Next program have, on average, seen a 0.2 higher first-year grade point average.

By testing students on learned vs. prior knowledge and on knowledge and skills more relevant for law school, JD-Next is designed to mitigate score disparities in standardized tests to provide a more equitable data point for admissions consideration. In doing so, JD-Next poses a unique advantage for students from underrepresented groups to level the playing field.

Q: How does JD-Next work?

A: The program is entirely online and self-paced, featuring various modules that cover topics such as legal analysis, case briefing, and legal writing. Modeled after a typical 1L Contracts course, it focuses on famous Contracts cases. Each module includes interactive lessons, quizzes, and assignments, with students receiving feedback from Course Assistants to help them improve their skills throughout the course. With a flexible schedule for busy lives, it typically takes one hour per day on average for eight weeks to complete, culminating with a final exam.

The final examination assesses your mastery of the 15 learning objectives covered in the JD-Next course. The exam content strictly aligns with the course curriculum, consisting of 80 multiple-choice questions (of which 60 are scored) and an ungraded essay. Scores range from 400 to 1000, and students will receive their scores as a percentile rank compared to other test takers.

Q: How long does it take to complete JD-Next?

A: The duration varies depending on individual pace, but most students complete the program in 6 to 8 weeks prior to taking the final exam. Each module is designed to be manageable, requiring about one hour per day, allowing students to progress steadily without overwhelming their schedules.

Q: What are the benefits of enrolling in JD-Next?

A:

  1. Foundational Knowledge: Gain a solid mastery of key legal concepts before starting law school.
  2. Skill Development: Improve critical thinking, legal analysis, and writing skills, which are essential for success in law school.
  3. Authentic, Cost-Effective Preview: Previews the rigors and content of first year law programs before a student commits to spending $70,000 per year on tuition, books, and cost of living.
  4. Bolsters Your Application: Offers admissions teams a more comprehensive understanding of student aptitude, a highly valid & reliable predictor of future performance.
  5. Reduces Racial Disparities: Participation in JD-Next is shown to improve law school academic performance across racial and ethnic groups while the final exam reduces, if not eliminates, the score gaps between minority and majority racial and ethnic groups.
  6. Flexibility: The online format allows students to complete the course at their own pace, fitting it around their schedule.
  7. Confidence: Enter law school with greater confidence in their abilities and better preparedness.

Q: Can JD-Next help with law school applications?

A: Currently, 57 ABA-accredited law schools have variances from the American Bar Association, with more applying throughout the year. These variances allow these institutions to accept JD-Next instead of the LSAT or GRE in their admissions processes, recognizing it as a valid and reliable data point in applicants’ profiles.

Law school applicants derive several benefits from taking JD-Next beyond applying to schools with a variance. JD-Next serves multiple purposes in the admissions process: it acts as a strong predictive measure of an applicant’s potential for success in law school, providing admissions committees with an additional data point alongside traditional exam scores. Moreover, JD-Next can be particularly advantageous for applicants placed on waitlists, where it serves as a differentiating factor to highlight readiness for legal education. Additionally, JD-Next offers a realistic and cost-effective preview of law school, and participants can expect a boost in law school grades.

Q: How much does JD-Next cost?

A: The cost of JD-Next is only $299, which includes both the 8-week course materials and the final exam. Aspen Publishing recently announced its JD-Next Scholarship Program, which allows students to apply for a reduced tuition of only $50, expanding access for aspiring law school attendees.

Q: How do I enroll in JD-Next?

A: Enrollment is straightforward. Visit the JD-Next website, create an account, and follow the instructions to register for the program. Students will need to provide some basic information and pay the enrollment fee to get started. JD-Next is offered multiple times throughout the academic year, allowing students to align the program with law school admissions deadlines.

Q: What have previous students said about JD-Next?

A: Many students have praised JD-Next for its comprehensive content and effective teaching methods. They report feeling more prepared and confident entering law school, with a better understanding of what to expect and how to succeed.

As put by one student, “The JD-Next final was much more similar to my actual final in law school than the LSAT could ever be. You’re getting a glimpse into what your first year will feel like. The problems you’ll face, how do you solve these problems, what are the most important skills that a first-year law student is trying to learn?” According to this student, many of her classmates attended other preparatory programs and yet none of them described feeling as prepared as she did.

Q: Is JD-Next suitable for international students?

A: Yes, JD-Next is suitable for international students who plan to attend law school in the United States or other common law jurisdictions. The program’s focus on foundational legal concepts and skills is relevant and valuable regardless of the student’s location.

 

JD-Next is a valuable investment in a student’s legal education, providing a solid foundation to start your law school journey on the right foot. For more information or to enroll in a future cohort, see here: https://aspenpublishing.com/pages/jdnext

 

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