Sophomore Summer Institute
CLEO Northern Illinois University College of Law - Class of 2011
** Jump-Start A Legal Career **
CLEO Sophomore Summer Institute
The road to law school is paved with motivation, perspiration and preparation: preparation provided by the Council on Legal Education Opportunity's Sophomore Summer Institute. The institute is a four-week residential program available at no cost to the participants. The aim of the institute is to bring together students from diverse racial, ethnic, socioeconomic and geographic backgrounds and provide them with the training necessary to successfully prepare and navigate the road to law school.
** Preparation **
For the past seven years, highly motivated students have competed for admission into the Sophomore Summer Institute (SSI), the premiere pre-law program for undergraduate students seeking one day to attend law school. Hosting up to 30 students annually, the program is structured to alert participants to the challenges of law school admission and provide instructions on how to build the competitive credentials necessary to gain admission. The training acquired in the curriculum also enables participants to enhance academic performance throughout the remainder of their undergraduate experience. Participation in SSI is a critical initial investment in their future as a law student and the gains are exponential.
** Skill Development **
During the course of the program, students are exposed to two substantive legal courses. The 2009 students were introduced to the Socratic method through coursework in Tort law, legal writing and critical thinking. The content of the courses exposes students to actual law school material in a way that is appropriate for undergraduate students and enables them to sharpen critical reading and analytical thinking skills, both of which will be critical for success in law school. Participants can bolster their academic performance back at their home colleges by applying the skills acquired in the legal writing course. Last summer's class worked on: a personal statement that could be used for their law school application and a legal brief that they used in oral arguments. Reasoning skills and the confidence generated by strong oral skills are also developed and honed as students prepare oral arguments for the moot court segment.
** Information **
Because performance on the LSAT is a heavily weighted factor in law school admissions, participants receive intensive LSAT preparation. A number of assignments are devoted to answering the LSAT essay exams. In addition to these practical skills, students are taught how to ameliorate any fear associated with standardized tests. Students can monitor their progress over the course of two practice exams. The individual counseling that follows helps participants to develop an action plan for tackling the LSAT that they can implement when they return to college in the fall.
Students who participate in SSI overwhelmingly agree that it is a huge success! In addition to the coursework and LSAT preparation, students glean pertinent information about financing law school, selecting a school, the admissions process and various practice areas through a series of afternoon-long workshops. The workshops are designed to be interactive so that students may ask questions and emerge from the workshops prepared to make career choices based on timely, accurate information.
** Criteria for Participation **
If you are an aspiring attorney, make the CLEO Sophomore Summer Institute your first stop on the road to law school. To apply you must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate institution, have earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better and must have completed 45 credit hours by the time you submit your application, while currently enrolled in 15 credit hours to be completed by the time the program starts in June 2011.
Supported by the U.S. Department of Education's Thurgood Marshall Legal Opportunity Program, SSI is open to students who are minority, low-income or otherwise disadvantaged. Meals and lodging are provided during this program.
Finally, because CLEO offers two six-week summer institutes for college graduates, the SSI cannot extend an offer to students who have completed more than 72 credit hours.
** CLEO Junior Ambassadors Program **
Welcome to the CLEO family! Now that you have completed the Sophomore Summer Institute you are eligible to become a CLEO Ambassador.
The CLEO College Scholars' College Ambassador Program (formally referred to as the "Junior Ambassador" Program) is primarily targeted to students who have successfully completed the Sophomore Summer Institute (SSI). The students, now juniors at their respective colleges and universities, act as CLEO representatives or, "ambassadors", on their respective campuses who perform different duties/tasks to promote CLEO and its College Scholars Programs to other students who may be interested in attending law school.