Session I: For the Soon-to-be-One-L
June 8 - July 3, 2009
Few law students become sufficiently familiar with the law in time for exams…and their grades show it. Yet that is what will be tested. Numerous books point to the “how” (some accurate, some not), and some take a peek behind the scenes. The reality, however, is that very real professors will serve as the gatekeepers of your career, and they can tell who knows about and can think through the law . . . from who does not and cannot.
The challenge, then, is to (1) learn the substantive legal concepts (2) within a framework in which they will be meaningful and to (3) learn how to apply them to the uniquely stressful multi-hour essay and MBE-style law exam.
The opportunity—an overused buzzword—is how to do all of the above in less time than most law students currently spend.
It is possible to begin the process of mastering the law (and earning excellent grades) in far less time than others. How can this be? Ask any law review editor—after a few beers, perhaps—and they’ll tell you: they actually studied less than many others. Sounds odd, but it’s true. But their efforts were far better focused, and better directed, and they understood how to put their knowledge in a framework that was useful. (More than that, really: without that framework mere knowledge is worse that useless, it’s distracting.) As a result, they accomplished more . . . far more . . . with far less. That should be your goal. Not for laziness, but for common sense: to get good, really good, without going to the Dark Side (either killing yourself or killing your soul). This is possible only with the right approach—which few students take.
In the three weeks of this session, you will model the behavior that will be effective. The work will be serious, focused, but not overwhelming. That is the path to success: Biting off just enough, putting it into a usable framework, and then testing yourself again and again in the right way. Serious, focused effort, but fun.
The environment will be about as non-law as it gets . . . Hawaii. If you can learn the law here, you can—trust us—learn it anywhere.
You will be joined by genuine national experts in the law. And you will learn how to learn. Effectively. And efficiently.
This will not be cheap, either for the cost of delivery or for the housing costs. But we think you’ll agree that it will be well worth it.
Program cost: $4,550, not including room and board or transportation costs. (Additional information will be prepared to minimize these additional costs, which in any event will be dictated by factors beyond the program’s control. The anticipated total cost is likely to be $6,000 plus airfare.)
This is quite expensive, we know, and it might not seem necessary given the expectations and advice that many provide, and given the impending costs of law school itself. Consider this: If a job at a top law firm is your goal—and these salaries are quite impressive, and grow moreso as your debt becomes apparent—consider that only the top ten or even five percent of each law school class is even in the running for such jobs. In some schools, it’s just the top ten or five students. Everyone else scrambles to make one-half as much, under far more tenuous hopes. So, the difference between achieving a job like this . . . or not . . . means tens of thousands of dollars in just the two summers of your law school years, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in just your first few years once you graduate.
The program of study will be six hours per day, four days per week, plus an integrated team-session day on Fridays. The pedagogy will be blended, both instructional and facilitative (i.e., brief lecturing, whole-class activities, and more focused activities centered on specific legal topics); individual and team, with a series of exercises and exams to maximize the approach while maintaining an enjoyable, collegial, energized atmosphere conducive to legal analysis. Total instructional time: 88 hours.
We don’t like being alarmist, and we don’t like this reality, but this is the reality. For additional information on law firm salaries and the hiring process, see, e.g.:
For information on the law school environment and on the importance of law school grades, we recommend the following sources:
- http://volokh.com/posts/1138056460.shtml (Be sure to read the student comments a few screens down.)
- Falcon, Atticus, Planet Law School: What You Need to Know (Before You Go), But Didn't Know to Ask... and No One Else Will Tell You (2d ed. 2003).
- Messinger, Thane, Young Lawyer’s Jungle Book: A Survival Guide 11-13 (2d ed. 2000).
- Lund, Morten, Jagged Rocks of Wisdom: Professional Advices for the New Attorney 77-80 (2007).
- Cooper, Charles, Later-in-Life Lawyers: Tips for the Non-Traditional Law Student (2006).
We’re not yet taking applications for the (very) limited first class. Again, we’re doing this reluctantly, but if we get sufficient demand we will pull together those national experts for an amazing program. If you are interested, please send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will respond with a note and also put your name on a list, in order, for contact should we be able to offer this program this year.
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