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Law institute prepares undergrads for legal future 

by Mark Karpf
Daily Nebraskan Staff Writer
June 07, 2004

The smell of yellow legal pads and anxious law students is not something usually associated with the smells of summer. But administration at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Law hopes to make the Summer Pre-Law Institute an event synonymous with fresh cut grass and hamburgers on the grill.

The Summer 2004 Pre-Law Institute will be held June 14 through July 9 in the newly expanded and renovated College of Law building on East Campus. Participants from as far away as the shores of Trinidad and Puerto Rico and the deserts of Arizona will be in attendance.

The program is designed to attract undergraduate students to the law field and to target those who will contribute to the diversity of the legal profession by way of racial, geographic and socio-economic differences.

The Law School Admission Council, the body that administers the Law School Admissions Test, has presented a grant to the UNL College of Law for $100,000 to offer the Summer Pre-Law Institute. The College of Law is one of only eight universities in the country selected by the Law School Admission Council to offer such a program.

After seeing the strong support the UNL law program had in 2003 from the state of Nebraska including state and federal judges, private practitioners and educators, the Law School Admissions Council renewed the grant for another four years at $100,000 per year.

The institute wants to prepare undergraduates for law school and the application process. The college wants to introduce students to a cross-section of the legal community while hoping to establish individual mentoring relationships.

Three core classes will be offered to the institute’s 30 participants. Employment Discrimination Law will show students a typical law school classroom and a traditional evaluation. Legal Writing will focus on writing and analysis and Law in Society will be a two-week course on the role of law in social problems of our society.

Students will also participate in an academic support component.

Institute participants will be establishing two mentoring relationships with those in the law profession from both private and educational sectors. Students are encouraged to maintain these relationships after the institute ends.

The majority of those in attendance will be starting their junior year of undergraduate studies in the fall of 2004. Some sophomore and senior students will participate, as will students who will be starting law school in the fall.

The College of Law will cover most of the attendance costs of participants. This includes round trip airfare or mileage; room and board; and local transportation costs. Students are able to earn a $1,000 stipend to cover incidental expenses and loss of summer income as long as they are not employed or taking outside classes during the four-week course.

For more information or to apply for the institute, check out the College of Law 2004 Summer Pre-Law Institute Web site at http://law.unl.edu/prelaw.html .