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      Delaware Law News

      Jurist Academy Exposes Undergraduates to Law School

      jurist academy

      Delaware Law Jurist Academy

      Student participants of the 2017 Jurist Academy.

      Fourteen college juniors and seniors spent two weeks at Delaware Law School in June as members of the 2017 Jurist Academy class. The students got a real sense of what law school is like and the opportunities that lie ahead if they pursue a legal career.

      The Jurist Academy began in 2008 with a goal of providing students from traditionally underrepresented groups with a law school experience.

      Undergraduate students accepted into the academy each year experience the dynamics of a law school classroom, meet lawyers and judges during field trips and on-campus events, practice oral arguments, and learn about the admissions process and life at law school.

      Many students enter law school with myths and misunderstandings about how they will learn the law, putting them at a disadvantage as they struggle to manage the workload. This program exposes students to the rigors of studying the law early so they have an advantage if they continue on that path.

      It also exposes the students to legal career options while building critical thinking and analytical skills necessary for success in law school and the legal profession.

      This year's students studied Property Law with Professor Serena Williams. They learned about adverse possession, a concept by which a trespasser who meets certain elements can acquire ownership of land. As they would in law school, students read and briefed cases about the concept, discussed the case law in class, and then applied the law that they learned to hypothetical situations. The students learned how to take law school exams, as well, by completing an essay question and multiple-choice questions.

      Over the two weeks, Jurist Academy participants received law school admission test (LSAT) training and review, classroom instruction in select law school courses, academic success strategies, and a field trip to Richards Layton & Finger, a Wilmington, Delaware law firm.

      Made possible by the generosity of local law firm and bar association sponsors, the Jurist Academy has hosted more than 100 students representing 40 different higher education institutions over the past 10 years. The 2017 Jurist Academy class was comprised of students from Temple University, Howard University, La Salle University, Norfolk State University, Case Western Reserve University, Centenary University, Goldey-Beacom College, Camden County College, and the University of Delaware.

      The Jurist Academy would not be possible without the generosity of Morris James LLP; Richards; Layton & Finger; P.A.; Ballard Spahr LLP; Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP; and the Multicultural Judges and Lawyers Section of the Delaware State Bar Association.


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