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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions

Cornell University Prelaw Program in New York City

June 3-July 12, 2019


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, 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 will be held at Cornell University, ILR School NYC Conference Center located at 570 Lexington Ave., 12th floor, New York, NY.

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 3-21.)

The program is designed for undergraduates who will complete their sophomore year or higher by June 2019, 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, resume, 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?

Prelaw in the media

Students learn about the law in NYC summer program published July 25, 2018 in the Cornell Chronicle.