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How do I Choose the Best Law Summer School?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 28 November 2016
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The courses available to students during law summer school vary widely by institution. There are three primary reasons for students to register for law summer school: repeating a course, desire to finish early, or unable to secure an articling position. In general, law students are expected to find and secure positions articling in a law office during the summer. In addition to providing much needed income, this is the only way to gain needed work experience as a law student. When selecting the best law summer school, consider the following: transfer credit status, course offering, and program options.

Many students register for law summer school at a different school or university than their degree program. Some students move to find cheaper accommodations or to stay with family. Others move to expand their horizons and meet new people, or are interested in courses not offered by their primary school.

The most important item to confirm before registering for law summer school is the transfer credit status of your proposed course load. Talk to the registrar at your school, and get written confirmation that transfer credits will be accepted for the courses you are planning to take. Without this assurance, you run the risk that the courses cannot be applied to your degree, and both your money and time were wasted. If you decide to take an online program, verify the accreditation status of the school independently to make sure that it is valid.

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The law courses available during summer school vary quite widely, depending on the institute and its primary program. Read the course description carefully, and make sure that the courses meet your academic needs. Talk to the program coordinator at the summer school to ensure that your prerequisites are acceptable and that you will be allowed to registered in your selected courses.

If you are taking a law summer school course from your primary school, talk to your academic adviser about the impact these courses will have on your schedule for the next year. It may provide opportunities to complete additional courses in the winter term, speeding up graduation. However, sometimes the course schedule is such that students cannot take courses from other years. If this is the case, explore additional courses in areas of specialization or general courses that are required for graduation.

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