Scales of justice

The History of Purdue Global Law School


Purdue Global Law School was founded on the belief that a high-quality legal education can be accessible and affordable. Established in 1998 as Concord Law School, we became the first U.S. law school to offer fully online law school programs. And ever since, Purdue Global Law School has provided expert-led degrees built for working adults who want to come back and move their careers forward.

Today, we’re part of Purdue Global, a nonprofit institution within the world-renowned Purdue University system, and accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California. We’re a public, nonprofit school offering both Juris Doctor (JD) and Executive Juris Doctor (EJD) degree programs. We bring together nationally respected faculty members and a highly diverse group of students from a broad range of professional and personal experiences who all share the common goal of earning a law degree they can be proud of, and one employers respect.

Thousands of graduates have enjoyed our law school’s one-on-one support, hands-on learning experiences, and comprehensive career resources and counseling — before and after graduation.

Purdue Global Law School Throughout the Years

1998 – Purdue Global Law School (then known as Concord Law School) opens our virtual doors as the nation’s first fully online law school with 33 students.

1999 – Executive Juris Doctor (EJD) program launches for those not planning to become licensed attorneys.

2000 – We gain initial accreditation from the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC).

2001 – We receive full approval from the DETC.

2002 – We celebrate our first graduating class of 14 students.

2003 – Our first graduates sit for the California Bar Exam and achieve a 60% pass rate on the February exam, besting the state’s overall first-time pass rate of 50%.

2004 – Incoming dean Barry Currier joins us from the ABA’s Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia speaks remotely to over 400 students.

2005 – Our students participate for the first time in the Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE) and report being more challenged, more engaged in their studies, and having lower debt than law students nationwide.

2006 – We celebrate our 100th graduate passing the California Bar Exam.

2007 – Linda Schaefer becomes the first graduate to take and pass a bar exam besides California’s in Wisconsin.

2008 – Four graduates become the first to be sworn into the U.S. Supreme Court Bar.

2009 – Our team advances to the final round in the national Constance Baker Motley Moot Court Competition in Constitutional Law, where it is narrowly defeated by Stanford Law School. 

2014 – The National Crime Victim Law Institute awards alumna Amy Terrible their Legal Advocacy Award.

2016 – Martin Pritikin, a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School, becomes dean.

2017 – We launch our Distinguished Speaker Series, featuring UCLA School of Law Professor Adam Winkler and “Making a Murderer” defense attorney Steven Drizin of Northwestern School of Law. Our team wins the William A. Rutter Award for Brief Writing at the Traynor California Appellate Moot Court Competition.

2019 – We win the American Bar Association’s Louis M. Brown Select Award for being the first online law school to participate in a legal incubator program, which facilitates alumni developing their own practices while offering discounted services to modest-means clients.

2020 – We receive full accreditation from the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California — making us one of the first fully online law schools to do so.

2021 – We’re named to The Princeton Review's inaugural list of Best Online JD Programs.

2022 – We celebrate our 2,500th graduate. Our alumni have become licensed in at least 15 jurisdictions besides California.

2023 – In our 25th year, our first-time pass rate of 62% on the February California Bar Exam sets a new school record and beats the first-time average of all ABA law schools of 48%.

2024 Indiana creates a path for our JD graduates to be eligible for the state’s bar exam by petition.