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This information pertains to Summer Session 2014. If you would like to be notified when information about Summer Session 2015 is available, please sign up for e-mail updates.

June 2-July 11, 2014

The following information pertains to the last time this program was offered. If you would like to be notified via e-mail when new information is available, please subscribe to the Summer Session announcement list.


Program description

If you're thinking about becoming a lawyer—or simply want to know more about the law and how it affects our everyday lives—you're invited to be a part of the Cornell University Prelaw Program.

This intensive, six-week program taught in New York City is directed by C. Evan Stewart, one of America's most distinguished lawyers.

Program features

  • a four-credit course, "Introduction to the American Legal System," taught using the Socratic method used at most U.S. law schools;
  • a limited number of selective internship placements at law firms or in the legal department of a corporation, government agency, or nonprofit organization; and
  • the opportunity to explore the law and culture of New York City.

Program structure

During the first three weeks of this rigorous program, you meet with Professor Stewart for class each morning. Classes are held at Pace University, located in the heart of the financial district.

During the second three weeks of the program, if you've received a placement, you devote full days to your internship. (Note: The program dates for students who either do not receive a placement or opt not to participate in an internship are June 2-20.)

The program is designed for undergraduates who will complete their sophomore year or higher by June 2014, and for college graduates who wish to gain an accurate, comprehensive understanding of America's legal system. Because of the intensive and individualized nature of the program, enrollment is strictly limited. If you're considering applying, we urge you to do so as early as possible.

Program benefits

Through the Cornell University Prelaw Program, you have an unparalleled chance to develop an accurate picture of the realities, rewards, and challenges of being a lawyer today. Throughout the program, you'll have the opportunity to:

  • gain a comprehensive grounding in fundamental legal concepts and techniques, while earning four academic credits;
  • learn firsthand the ins and outs of the legal system from a top attorney;
  • explore the varieties of professional roles open to lawyers before you invest time, effort, and money in law school;
  • prepare for law school, or a lifetime of informed citizenship;
  • develop professional contacts; and
  • enhance your academic record, resumé, and skills.

You can also address such questions as:

  • How do the careers of lawyers portrayed on TV compare to those of real-life lawyers?
  • How much of my legal career will involve arguing over lofty Constitutional issues?
  • Will my success as a lawyer hinge on being the smartest person in the room?
  • Will I make a lot of money if I go to law school and become a lawyer?
  • What's so great about being a lawyer?


C. Evan Stewart

Program director C. Evan Stewart is a senior partner of Cohen & Gresser LLP in New York City. Concentrating primarily in securities litigation and regulatory enforcement matters, he practices antitrust, trademark, employment, and general corporate and commercial law. He handles matters before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, and federal and state appellate and trial courts. He also represents clients in arbitration proceedings.

Mr. Stewart was featured by the New York Law Journal in the "Top Trials of 2005" for his successful representation of Theodore Sihpol, the first person in U.S. history to be criminally charged for "late trading" mutual funds. More recently, Mr. Stewart successfully represented Gary Prince against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In May of 2013, after a three-week bench trial in federal court, the judge dismissed all six charges of securities fraud against Mr. Prince.

With substantial experience in the financial services industry, Mr. Stewart served twelve years as executive vice president, general counsel, and secretary for Nikko Securities Inc. As the senior legal officer for this international investment firm, Mr. Stewart counseled the chairman and his senior management on all aspects of the company's business. Mr. Stewart also served as first vice president, associate general counsel, and head of litigation at E. F. Hutton & Co. Since 2003, Mr. Stewart has been tasked by Goldman, Sachs & Co. to be responsible for, among other things, overseeing and litigating all of the disputes arising out of the company's Private Wealth Management Division.

Mr. Stewart has published more than 200 articles in law reviews and bar journals, speaks frequently on securities industry issues, professional ethics, and other topics, and is an adjunct professor at Fordham University School of Law as well as a visiting professor at Cornell University. Mr. Stewart is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a trustee of the American Historical Association. He chairs two programs annually for the Practising Law Institute and is currently writing a biography (coauthored by the late professor emeritus W. David Curtiss of Cornell Law School) of Myron C. Taylor. Mr. Stewart is a former chair of Cornell's University Council as well as a member of the board of trustees and the advisory councils at the Cornell Law School, the Johnson Museum of Art, the University Library, and the College of Arts and Sciences.

Mr. Stewart earned his B.A., cum laude, in 1974 from Cornell University and his J.D. in 1977 from Cornell Law School, where he was published in Cornell Law Review and served as a member of the Moot Court Board.

For more information about Mr. Stewart, visit the Cohen & Gresser website.


N.B.: No student will be considered for placement until all application materials have been submitted and approved and tuition has been paid.

To gain experience and insight into the day-to-day work of lawyers, you may be able to participate in a specially arranged full-time internship in the New York metropolitan area during the second three weeks of the program.

These unpaid internships are optional, limited in number, not guaranteed, and will be assigned by the Prelaw Program on a first-come, first-served basis. If you're interested in being considered for an internship, it's to your advantage to apply to the program and pay your tuition and fees as early as possible. Please note that market conditions may affect the availability of internships.

The Prelaw Program will make every effort to match your interests and talents with an available internship and to ensure that you'll have an opportunity to observe what lawyers do on a day-to-day basis in an office or courtroom. The nature of each internship will be at the discretion of the hosting firm or organization. You should be prepared to work exceedingly hard at these internships as the goal is to replicate post-graduate work experience.

Internships range from law firms to the legal department of a corporation, government agency, or nonprofit organization.

Past internship hosts include:

  • Berke-Weiss & Pechman
  • Dewey & LeBoeuf
  • Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP
  • Krebsbach & Snyder
  • LePatner & Associates
  • Lar Lubovitch Dance Company
  • McGovern & Associates
  • Sarafa Law LLC
  • New York City Law Department
  • NYS Office of Court Administration
  • Sullivan Papain Block McGrath & Cannavo P.C.
  • Dreyfus
  • The Legal Aid Society
  • White & Case LLP
  • Zuckerman Spaeder LLP
  • and many more...


As a Prelaw Program participant, you enroll in a four-credit course, Government 3150, "Introduction to the American Legal System: Its Nature, Functions, and Institutions."

This course offers you a comprehensive introduction to the American legal system, its roots in natural and common law, the purposes/values it serves (e.g., resolution of private grievances; punishment of offenses against the polity and individuals; preservation, development, and limitation of individual and group rights; and facilitation of commerce and private agreements), and the roles of the judiciary, legislature, and private parties.

Professor Stewart teaches the course using the Socratic method, which is employed at most U.S. law schools, and introduces students to fundamental concepts and techniques used by attorneys and courts in analyzing cases, interpreting statutes, and determining disputes.

As in law school, you're expected to read assigned materials before each class meeting and to participate actively in class discussions.


To apply, you must submit:

  • a cover sheet containing:
    • Full name
    • Address
    • Phone number
    • E-mail address
    • College/University
    • Major
    • Expected graduation date
  • a one-page resumé (with full name in header)
  • all official college transcripts to date
  • a letter of reference commenting on your academic ability and achievement, seriousness of purpose, and suitability for a career in the law
  • a one- to two-page essay describing why you want to participate in the program (with full name in header)

Admission to the program is on a rolling basis. Because enrollment is limited, you're encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Applications will be accepted until the program is full. Only complete applications will be reviewed.

If you're interested in being considered for an internship, it's to your advantage to apply and pay in full as early as possible. Please note that market conditions may affect the availability of internships.

Please mail or direct all application materials to:

Cornell University Prelaw Program
School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions
B20 Day Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853-2801
fax: 607.255.9697

Materials may also be submitted by e-mail.

Program charge

The tuition for this program is $4,840, and there is an additional nonrefundable program fee of $750. The full charge becomes due upon acceptance to the program.

Textbook purchases are to be made by the students.

Refund schedule

June 2-4 Course withdrawal period with a 100% tuition refund
June 5-6 Course withdrawal period with a 50% tuition refund
June 7 Course withdrawal period with a 0% refund


Students are responsible for finding their own housing. A variety of housing options are available.

For more information

For more information, please contact:

Cornell University Prelaw Program
B20 Day Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853-2801
Phone: 607.255.7259

Housing in NYC

(This list is for reference purposes. We do not endorse any particular housing options.)

Columbia University: Summer Intern Housing

  • Multiple locations


  • Address: Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street
  • Phone: 800.858.4692

Educational Housing Services

  • Area: Rooms available in Manhattan and Brooklyn Heights
  • Phone: 212.977.9099

Fashion Institute of Technology, Residential Life Office

  • Address: 31st Street Residence Halls
  • Phone: 212.217.3903

International House

  • Address: 500 River Drive
  • Phone: 212.316.8400 ext. 8436

The Kolping House

  • For men only
  • Address: 165 East 88th Street (between Lexington and 3rd Avenue)
  • Phone: 212.369.6647

New York University: Summer Housing

  • Address: 14A Washington Place
  • Phone: 212.998.4600
  • Fax: 212.995.4097

Saint Mary's Residence

  • For women only
  • Address: 225 East 72nd Street
  • Phone: 212.249.6850

Here are a few web sites that may make your stay in New York City a little easier:

Student quotes

"The summer course was the most challenging class I have ever taken and also the most interesting. Because of how stimulating the class was, I have decided to apply to law school this winter. Thanks so much for everything." --Grace de la Gueronniere

"I give it a ten out of ten. I've taken multiple 'Introduction to Law' classes, and this is without a doubt the most comprehensive and challenging of the lot." --Benjamin Hoerner

"I just wanted to write to let you know that your course and your instruction were very successful, both in helping me decide I wanted to go to law school and in introducing me to many of the cases I have encountered as a 1L." --Alex Leonard

"Professor Stewart is hilarious and brilliant." --Maya Horgan

"I highly enjoyed the professor's enthusiasm and constant engagement. He was always very excited about the material and made sure we were all very excited about it as well."

"I would definitely recommend this particular class to my friends who are interested in the study and nature of law."

"This program is a must for anyone considering law school."

"A great experience—living in NYC, getting exposure to great legal minds, and working at high-powered internships we could never get on our own."

"I attended this program because it has great subject matter, is in a good location, and I wanted to learn more about law before my $120,000 investment. It has really paid off."

"This program was outstanding. While learning legal philosophy, history, judicial processes, and more, I feel as though I've gained a step up on the rest of first-year law school enrollees."

"The concepts I learned in class and the contacts I made during my internship will definitely help me in my career."

"Great professor. Great material. Great preparation for law school."

"The combination of academic and applied introduction to law is terrific. It gave me a real glimpse into what law school and the practice of law will be like."

"I feel better prepared for law school, as well as reassured that the law, with all of its nuances, difficulties, and challenges, is the path that I want to delve into."

"I am now much more confident about entering law school and entering the legal profession."

"It was rigorous and intense and extremely informative. I would recommend this course to anyone who has an interest in law."

"This was one of the best classes I have ever taken. The professor knew his stuff and had real world experience; he was not just a scholar. He provided insight others could not and was honest and forthcoming."

"Professor Stewart is the funniest, most interesting lecturer ever! I strongly recommend this course to every pre-law student!"

"The class was taught extremely well by Professor Stewart, who was one of the most interactive, lively, and exciting professors I've ever had. Not only was the class excellent, but the fact that we were placed into an internship was also a huge reason why I applied to this program. A recent Cornell graduate at the law firm I was placed in said he would have definitely done this program if he had known about it."

Please complete this form and attach the required materials:

  1. a one-page resumé
  2. a college transcript to date
  3. a letter of reference commenting on on your academic ability and achievement, seriousness of purpose, and suitability for a career in financial services
  4. a one- to two-page essay describing why you want to participate in the program
  5. a $50 nonrefundable application fee.
Expected Graduation Date:  

Please mail or fax all application materials together to:
The Cornell University Prelaw Program
School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions
B20 Day Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-2801
fax: 607.255.9697