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10 Summer Law Programs for High School Students

If you are passionate about law, then consider doing a summer program about Law. In this post, we have curated some incredible programs that will come in handy for any law enthusiast. You will find a pretty wide range of experiences, from mock trial simulations to internships at law firms. Some of these opportunities even pay a stipend!


Even if you are not targeting law, you should check out some of these programs because an understanding of the law is helpful for a lot of other streams - product/tech, medicine, international relations, political science, history, sociology, and architecture/urban planning (the list is long!).

Great Law Programs for High School Students


The Yale Young Scholars’ PLE session will teach you various legal theories and frameworks, human rights, international policy, public policy, and more.

The PLE program is designed to enable students to critically examine social systems, issues, and current affairs through legal, political, and economic theory lenses. Some of their sample lectures and seminars are on the legal implications of facial recognition software, AI and criminal justice, cybersecurity and privacy issues, and more.

Location: Residential, Yale University

Cost:

$6,500 program fee

$75 application fee

Application deadline: Applications for the 2023 sessions are already closed. Based on this year’s deadlines, the applications are open from November to early January each year.

Program dates:

Session I: June 18 – June 30, 2023

Session II: July 2 – July 14, 2023

Session III: July 16 – July 28, 2023

Eligibility: Students have to be

At least 16 years old by the first day of Session III

A current sophomore or junior (or any international equivalent)

A first-time participant


The Provost Summer Mentorship Program at the University of Pennsylvania provides a four-week opportunity for first-generation and underrepresented students to gain insights from one of the university's five professional schools, including the Carey Law School. The program offers you a chance to learn about law school, the responsibilities of a lawyer, and the role law plays in modern society.

Along with the educational component, participants will receive support in areas such as test preparation, financial education, life skills development, and help with the college application process.

Location: Penn Carey School of Law, University of Pennsylvania

Stipend: Each student receives a monetary stipend upon successful completion of the program

Application deadline: Application Dates will be announced in the spring.

Program dates: Dates will be announced in the spring.

Eligibility:

  • In 9th or 10th grade at the time of applying

  • Students enrolled in Philadelphia public and public charter schools are especially encouraged to apply.

The New York City High School Law Internship Program aims to connect interested high school students in the city with legal employers. The employers include law firms, corporations, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. The internship offers you practical training, panel discussions, and networking events to help you prepare for a career in law.

Internship duties may include assisting paralegals, filing paperwork, maintaining records, and organizing documents. In addition to the on-the-job experience, you will also receive exposure to the legal profession through development programs offered by your legal employers as part of the internship program.

Location: New York City

Stipend: The pay range for interns in the past has been between $15 per hour and $21 per hour

Application deadline: Applications for 2023 have closed. Based on this year, deadlines close in the last week of January.

Program dates (subject to change): May 29 – August 28, 2023

Eligibility: NYC public high school students



American Civil Liberties Union's Summer Advocacy Program is a great look into the life of social justice lawyers and activists. You’ll have classrooms and seminars to learn about the basics of law and legal strategy as well as policy discussions from an issue advocacy angle. Past speakers include actress and activist Kerry Washington, and Olympic Gold Medalist and activist Tommie Smith! The program also includes a Day of Action where you get to participate in collective advocacy on Capitol Hill regarding any current civil liberties issues – in the past, they’ve tackled topics like regulating facial recognition technology, immigration, and equitable distribution of Covid-19 response resources.


Location: Washington, D.C.

Cost: $2500 tuition

Application deadline:

Early Decision: February 20, 2023

Priority Decision: April 10, 2023

Regular Decision: May 15, 2023

Program dates (subject to change): Based on previous years, the program is likely to be held in July

Eligibility: High school students aged 15-18 who have completed one year of high school by July 2022


The California Innocence Project Legal Internship is a great opportunity if you’re interested in criminal law or post-conviction law. The internship takes place in person at the San Diego office, and you will attend in-house training that covers the topics of wrongful convictions and the nature of the work performed at the office. Although flexible, the preferred commitment is 15 to 35 hours a week (which may only be feasible for high school students during the summer session).

Location: San Diego, CA

Stipend: Unpaid internship

Application deadline:

Summer session: March 1st

Fall session: July 1st.

Spring session: November 1st

Program dates: Summer, Fall, and Spring sessions.

Eligibility: High School Students

If you want to find a more localized opportunity, you can look up innocence projects in your state as well!


The NSLC program offers a unique opportunity to experience what it's like to be a lawyer. During your nine-day stay on campus, you'll work with other students to simulate a real criminal case in a real courtroom. You'll also attend lectures by forensic and legal experts from the Department of Justice and top law firms. You'll have the chance to hear from eminent guest speakers (in the past, Supreme Court justices have been guest speakers). Some lecture topics include homicide laws, evidentiary procedure, direct examination, witness preparation, opening and closing statements, and cross-examination.

You can earn college credit (at an extra cost) by enrolling in an additional course!

Location: Multiple options: Yale University or Georgetown University

Cost:

Georgetown University: $3,795 program tuition

Yale University: $3,895 program tuition

Application deadline: Depends on the program.

Program dates: There are multiple sessions at each location between June 17 and August 1, 2023.

Eligibility: High school students enrolled in grades 9-12



If you are interested in learning about legislation and the law, the Senate Page Program should be on your list because it combines rigorous academic coursework with getting a direct look into how laws are made. This experience could be incredibly valuable in interpreting laws and constructing arguments if you were to pursue a career as a lawyer. Pages are primarily responsible for delivering correspondence and legislative material within the Capitol complex. While doing so, you will witness the inner workings of the government’s legislative branch first-hand! This is apart from the fantastic network you will build.

We’d suggest you look up your local congress representative to check for internships on their pages. The application materials you need vary by senator and state, so you’ll need to contact your senator’s office if you’re interested in this kind of opportunity.

You may find opportunities like:


DA Offices and State Bar Association Internships

Many District Attorney offices and state or regional bar associations offer internships to high school students. These internships provide a unique opportunity to glimpse the daily routines of lawyers and legal professionals. You can check out an extensive list here.

We’ve listed a few prestigious opportunities for you below:


The United States Attorney’s Office Eastern District of New York offers several unpaid internships to students interested in law. If you feel inclined to pursue criminal law, this internship presents an excellent opportunity to dip your toes in real-world legal proceedings. These internships present a great opportunity for students interested in studying pre-law, criminal justice, or community crime prevention.

Depending on the specialized internship placement you wish to apply to, you may help with courtroom setups, legal research, and analysis, trial preparation, and managing legal evidence and data.

There specialized internship placements for students interested in law are:

· Automated Litigation Support

· Paralegal-Legal Studies

· Library Legal Information and Resource Center

Location: Brooklyn and Central Islip offices, NY

Cost or stipend: Volunteer-unpaid

Application deadline: Rolling basis

Program dates: Summer 2023 (Dates not specified)

Eligibility: Entering seniors from an accredited high school


The San Francisco District Attorney's Office High School Internship is an unpaid opportunity for high school students interested in criminal justice to gain insight into the workings of the DA's office. As an intern, you will be involved in various tasks, such as organizing and preparing case files, getting in touch with witnesses, and handling subpoenas and records for both pre-trial hearings and jury trials.

Location: San Francisco, CA

Cost or stipend: Unpaid internship

Application deadline: April 21, 2023

Program dates: June 5 – August 25, 2023

Eligibility: High school students

10. Atlanta Bar Association's Summer Law Internship Program (SLIP)

The Atlanta Bar Association has been offering internships to high school students who want to explore the legal field for over thirty years now. During the internship, you will carry out various tasks such as making copies, delivering documents, bates stamping, answering phones, summarizing depositions, and preparing trial notebooks. You might also get the opportunity to witness a deposition or court hearing.

Before starting the internship, you must attend an orientation program to prepare for six weeks of practical legal work. This is a great program for you to gain valuable work experience, refine your critical thinking and reasoning abilities, build a deeper understanding of the law, and establish an excellent mentor relationship.

Location: Atlanta, GA

Cost or stipend: Stipend of $2,000 for six weeks (around $333/week)

Application deadline: Applications open on February 10, 2023

Program dates: May 31 – July 31, 2023

Eligibility: Only students who are members of the classes of 2023 and 2024 are eligible to apply


One other option – Lumiere Research Scholar Program

If you are passionate about research, you could also consider applying to the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, a selective online high school program for students that I founded with researchers at Harvard and Oxford. Last year, we had over 2100 students apply for 500 spots in the program! You can find the application form here.


Stephen is one of the founders of Lumiere and a Harvard College graduate. He founded Lumiere as a PhD student at Harvard Business School. Lumiere is a selective research program where students work 1-1 with a research mentor to develop an independent research paper.


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