CORAL GABLES, Fla. (April 13, 2021) – What are the limits on the government’s authority to impose rules and regulations on private citizens? When does injury – accidental or intentional – constitute the basis for compensation? Who can sue whom? Who oversees lawsuits? How does public opinion impact the criminalization or decriminalization of certain conduct? These questions, and many more, are at the heart of ordered societies. And law and lawyers continue to play an essential role in shaping how communities are ordered. The study of law remains a central component of a democratic society.
The University of Miami School of Law offers two separate online summer legal academies to rising high school juniors and seniors and to undergraduate college students at no cost. Miami Law hopes the July 5 to July 23 program will provide students in both groups the opportunity to broaden their understanding of both law school and potential careers in law.
Last year, nearly 5,000 students applied for 140 spots; the 68 seniors, 63 juniors, and nine sophomores were from 27 states, districts, and territories. Of the 74 undergraduate schools represented, 61% were women, 45% identified as Black/African American, 54% identified as Hispanic/Latinx, and 44% were first-generation college students.
“We are excited to be able to offer this summer experience to a wide range of students—from the student who has been told she should attend law school, but who haven’t the faintest idea what it might entail, to the student who is busy thinking about wrapping up the semester, but has given some thought to the sorts of issues and challenges that our society faces—from climate change to police brutality. We do not care that you’re not certain about the law; we want hardworking, curious students who think they might want to hang out with us for three weeks,” said Professor Charlton Copeland, who teaches constitutional law, civil procedure, and other first-year and upper-level courses. “The challenges that our society faces make us keenly aware that we must prepare leaders from a full sample of our nation’s talent, and we hope that we can provide a pipeline for that, whether or not it ends in any student’s attendance in law school.”
Candidates will participate in four classes: torts, criminal law, contracts, and constitutional law; and additionally, work closely with current Dean’s Fellows in small groups to acclimate to reading cases and class preparation. Options include participation moot and choice of electives, including immigration, sports and entertainment, technology and innovation.
The seating-limited program will meet five days a week starting on July 5 and be hosted live via Zoom; heavily discussion-based learning will ensure engagement. Miami Law will supply all necessary materials to collaborate during online group activities.
“The program is an unparalleled offering to expose those with interest or curiosity about both the practice and study of law, and the deeper connections to our society and our communities,” said Greg Levy, associate dean of Law Academic & Student Services and Strategic Initiatives. “The courses are taught by leading legal experts and present a short course snapshot of the life of a law student.”
The academy will include a twice-weekly roundtable discussion with industry leaders, weekly sessions with lawyers who are agents of change, an admission and financial aid information session, and matching with mentors for weekly meetings. Students who satisfactorily complete the course will receive a certification.