Benefits of attending a law summer school
Studying law is an exciting prospect with plenty of good career options. The skills that you learn whilst studying law can also help you in other avenues and job roles that go beyond the legal industry.
In the academic year 2019 to 2020, more than 29,500 students submitted an application to study law at an undergraduate level. However, only 20,905 were accepted to study on one of these courses in England and Wales. As with any application to further education, it’s important to have a CV that stands out amongst the crowd and showcases the skills and experiences that you have already gained.
One of the best ways to expand your skillset and learn new things is to attend a law school over the summer. These summer courses can help to give you a better insight into the legal system and give you valuable experiences and knowledge that will help you on your academic journey.
In this article, we’ll look at the many reasons that you should consider attending a law summer school and how it can enhance your CV and help you grow as a law student.
What are the benefits of attending a law summer school?
There are many skills you can gain from attending a law summer course. You can get a headstart on your peers before you start the new academic year or learn more about subject areas that you have previously struggled with. Attending summer school is also a great way of showing initiative and might help future admissions boards and employers look more favourably on your applications.
Many summer school programmes employ industry experts who can talk you through your options in terms of further education and give an insight into their own experiences. It will give you the chance to ask questions and get a better understanding of the industry and what you can expect from a career in the legal sector.
Continue reading to find out the types of topics that are covered in law summer schools, as well as the transferable skills that you can learn and how they can benefit you throughout your legal career.
Why are summer schools worth attending?
Many students choose to attend a summer school in order to gain a better understanding of various areas of law before they begin future study or a career in the industry. It may be that you want to specialise in a certain subject area and want to build on your knowledge or gain extra support in areas that you are struggling with.
You can even attend an international summer school and learn about a different culture and country. This can also help you to gain better language skills if you study in a country where they speak something other than your first language. Your general communication skills will also improve too, as you interact with a variety of different people from different backgrounds.
Summer schools can boost your university applications and help you to stand out amongst the thousands of other applicants. This is particularly valuable if you are applying to a competitive institute such as the University of Oxford or Cambridge. Depending on your age, you will also be taught subjects that you can’t currently study at GCSE or A-Levels. This can help you to learn valuable knowledge that will help give you an edge over other applicants because you will be able to show you have done extra work to understand the subject areas.
Aside from the academic aspect, summer schools also offer many cultural experiences, such as visits to local points of interest. You will have the opportunity to visit museums, theatres and cities in the area whilst you make friendships that could last a lifetime. This could also help you to develop new hobbies if you take part in team sports such as football and cricket.
Another benefit of summer schools is their ability to prepare you for university life if you are hoping to attend in the future. They will help you learn the structure of lectures and seminars, such as the teaching style of lecturers and the level of independent study that is expected from students in higher education.
Over the summer months, many students often find themselves forgetting material that they had been taught in the previous academic year. However, you can retain this information and learn even more by attending a summer school. It will help you to go over areas that you had previously struggled with, as well as learn lots of new information that can help you with studying law in the future.
You will be able to stay in the academic mindset of study and research, which will help you to pick up good habits for maintaining a healthy study timetable. However, it’s still important to create a good working balance between your studies and free time!
Summer schools tend to have smaller class sizes, which means that you will get more one-to-one time with tutors. This means that you will get given more guidance and help to reach your study goals than you would in a larger class. As summer programmes only last a few weeks, you will also learn in an intensive environment, which may potentially help you to retain more information in the long run. You can also build strong relationships with your classmates as you interact with them on a daily basis and work together on practical tasks.
What skills can be learnt at a law summer school?
Many law summer schools offer a combination of practical and theory lessons, such as debates, mock exams and case analysis. Summer schools also touch on a variety of topics that law students are taught, such as:
- Commercial law
- Criminal law
- Human rights law
- International law
- Economic affairs
- Armed conflict
Public speaking is an important part of legal practice, as is conducting interviews and thorough research. You will therefore take part in debates and mock interviews during your time on the summer course, which will give you the confidence and communication skills that can help you in other areas of your life.
During a law summer school course, you will learn how to work as part of a team and develop leadership skills, as well as work with people with different personalities. This will help your confidence to grow and improve your problem-solving skills as you interact with people from various backgrounds and cultures.
University students are required to do a lot of independent studying, which is why summer school is a good way to prepare you for the workload that you will be expected to do in law school. Summer programmes are a good way of encouraging you to pursue your own research into subject areas outside of class hours.
Due to the smaller class sizes of summer schools, you may find it easier to participate in mock trials and debates. This can create an environment that you feel more comfortable in, which can help you grow in confidence and perform better when you come to do these tasks again in the future.
Can I attend an online law summer school?
Some students are unable to travel to attend a summer school or would prefer to learn in the comfort of their own homes. Thankfully, there are online summer courses that you can attend at a fraction of the price of an in-person programme. Our Law: Oxford Summer School Online, is available to 13-15 and 16-18-year-olds and costs £995 for a one week (Monday to Friday) programme.
These courses are held on Microsoft Teams for Education and aim to give students an introduction to law school and what they can expect from working in a law firm. The topics covered in the course are similar to those that are taught at campus-based summer schools. This includes subjects such as:
- International law
- Criminal law
- Human rights and laws
- Work within courts
Online courses generally attract a larger community of international students as they aren’t restricted by travel and the accompanying complications. This means that online summer programmes can often attract a larger international group of students than in-person classes.
Online schools often offer more flexibility than classes taught on-campus because they have to accommodate different time zones. Classes may be pre-recorded so that they can be watched at various points throughout the day or video calls may be able to be scheduled for a time that suits both you and your tutor.
How much does a law summer programme cost?
Law summer schools vary in price depending on the programme. In-person programmes tend to include accommodation, food and day trips, as well as lectures, seminars and guest speakers. The cost for our Law, Politics & Economics course — which is available for 16 to 18-year-olds — costs £5,495 for two weeks. The International Law & Politics course, for students aged over 19-years-olds, costs the same amount and also lasts for two weeks.
There are also summer school scholarships that are offered as a way of encouraging students to apply to a course, even if they can’t otherwise afford it. These scholarships often require an essay application in response to a set prompt or other evidence as to why you are deserving of the partial or full scholarship.
In the instance of cancellation due to unforeseen circumstances, you may be eligible for a refund. However, you will only be issued a full refund if you make the cancellation at least four months in advance. You won’t be given a refund if you cancel your attendance on the course less than 44 days before it is due to commence.
What are the entry requirements of summer school?
If English isn’t your first language, many summer school programmes will require you to demonstrate your English language skills before you are accepted onto the course. This is so that you are able to keep up with your peers and understand the course material that you are being taught. You may be asked to complete a short test so that we can review your capability and make sure that you are placed on a course level that can accommodate you.
Some summer schools may be targeted at students who are currently studying on an undergraduate course, whilst others are open to anyone who has an interest in learning the foundations of a particular subject. Due to this, the requirements for various summer programmes can change, depending on the experience and knowledge that you must have before you start the course.
The course will also have age requirements as some programmes are designed for children who want an introduction to the industry whilst others are meant for adults who are looking to advance on their legal journey. Some courses, such as our Law: Oxford Summer School Online, are available in different weeks for multiple age groups. Other courses are only offered to students of a certain age.
There are many benefits to attending a law summer school. It can help you to build on the knowledge that you have already gained, as well as learn new transferable skills. Law school is very competitive to get into, but you can give yourself an advantage over your peers by showing initiative and enthusiasm for the industry and subject.
A summer programme gives you the chance to practice your public speaking in mock trials, as well as mock interviews and team-building activities. This will help you to build your confidence and communication skills whilst you learn through practical tasks and during lectures and seminars. Summer schools also feature guest speakers with guests who are leaders in their fields and can give you valuable information and techniques that will help you in your future years of study.
Law summer schools will be a great addition to your CV, work and education applications because it shows that you have a genuine interest in the subject that goes beyond the standard classroom hours. You may find yourself with more understanding of the industry than others in your class when you begin or return to law school during the academic year because of the knowledge and skills you have gained over the summer.