Summer courses and their benefits
Summer schooling stems from the need to give prospective entrants a sneak-peak into what they are signing up for in postgraduate degrees. It combines social activities to complement the exploratory stages of a postgraduate topic to generate interest. In recent times summer courses have extended to serving various other purposes.
In the legal discipline, law schools introduce summer courses to attract vast student population and ensure that they make the most of the final degree programme, they choose to enroll in. Summer schooling in law school terms cover:
- Academic-support training,
- Introductory courses on specialized postgraduate topics
- Professional development courses or
- Management training
Summer courses can also be offered by law schools as pre-sessional LLM courses for incoming students. These may include complementary sessions on introduction to library resources, language enhancement or research assistance seminars.
Summer programs in the US, UK & EU
An increasing number of law schools in the United States and the EU now offer specialized summer law courses for lawyers interested in broadening their expertise in a specific professional stream or improving their language skills before they leap into a full-fledged postgraduate programme. Some programs are designed to prepare lawyers for their LLM, others are targeted towards students who are still undecided of pursuing a degree.
In the United States for instance, law schools are likely to offer introductory courses in US law designed for international lawyers who wish to learn about the US legal system. An example of a specialized summer course in the United States is one offered by Cardozo Law School which is aimed at non-U.S. licensed lawyers to give them the much-needed exposure on enhancing basic legal skills to perform effectively in a globalized market. Detailed information on this course can be found here.
Some of universities have started similar such courses such as ‘Introduction to the UK legal system’ which is likely to attract lawyers from Commonwealth countries interested in developing a legal career in the UK. On the other hand, several universities in the UK and across Europe also offer language enhancement courses for international students to better their English.
On campus or off campus
Summer courses typically last from a week to a fortnight. While some may be residential – where students are given the option of living on campus- in other cases, students have to find their own accommodation. Universities would ideally provide recommended list of places to stay so that students are within the proximity of campuses and have access to all the resources that the university recommend they use.
Aims and benefits of summer courses
As mentioned above, summer courses aim to provide an introductory approach to specialized sessions on topics that generate a high level of interest among students.
Universities use this time to get a hang of what student numbers they can expect based on the interest generated through summer courses! The idea is clearly to provide introductory sessions on topics of interest to give participants a full understanding of the specialised topic they plan to opt for.
Let’s do a quick summary on what these benefits can lead to:
It is a great way to build new relationships and network with classmates. It could also provide a good exposure to students moving straight out of their undergraduate law degrees to interact with legal professionals and get exposed to the dynamics of specialized legal streams.
Summer courses are a great way of choosing on potential career paths. This may apply to legal professionals too who are looking for a change either to diversify or move to a more specialised role within their current firms.
Students can take advantage of summer courses to explore social networking within the city where they might attend the course. Depending on how long the course runs, students can make use of their free time to explore the city and its features along with course mates.
Summer courses can be action-packed and run by leading academics. This can make for lively discussions on legal trends and could also lead to students deciding on their potential postgraduate thesis topics!
Summer courses have the ability to attract students from around the world - they are evidently designed to attract lawyers from different jurisdictions. For a student this is an ideal time to know how the gearings of the legal practice work around the world.
So, what are you waiting for! Start looking for your ideal summer program. You can get in touch with us if you have any questions, and we can guide you towards the right decision.
More Summer programs here.