Most students benefit from taking one or all of the courses listed below (maybe from a community college) during the summer before entering law school.
(1) Critical Thinking – students learn and practice analyzing, applying standards, discriminating (recognizing similarities and differences), information seeking, logical reasoning, predicting, and transforming knowledge.
(2) Philosophy – students confront the deeper questions of life and the world. Philosophy is a dynamic process involving the pursuit of wisdom.
(3) Comparative Religion – students compare and analyze the concepts, patterns, doctrines, and practices of the world’s religions through the interpretation of a variety of sources including art, literature, and architecture.
Science and engineering majors may need to shift gears, maybe even change the way they learn, to be successful in law school. Students who did little writing in undergraduate classes benefit from practicing analytical writing before entering law school. The courses suggested above help new law students realize that there may not be a “right answer” to questions. The study of law involves identifying and analyzing the possibilities.
A summer spent studying one or all of these classes will prepare students for the study of law. In many ways the study of law seems foreign. These classes provide a good framework for success in law school. I look forward to seeing you in August.
Yvonne Ekern is an Associate Clinical Professor and has taught Legal Research and Writing for over 20 years.