5 Reasons to Apply to FSU Law's Summer for Undergraduates Program

In Summer 2019, I participated in the Donald J. Weidner Summer for Undergraduates at the Florida State University College of Law. It’s a phenomenal program created for undergraduates who are interested in going to law school. Students participated in classes led by law school professors, group projects and even mock oral arguments. So why am I mentioning this? Because I would recommend applying to this program to anyone even remotely interested in law school without hesitation. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. 1. You get a (free) taste of law school.

    This is the most obvious reason to apply for this program. It's no secret that law school is (insanely) expensive. How great would it be to find out what law school is really like without paying thousands of dollars? This program is basically a free trial of law school. Through group projects and assigned homework, you’ll get an idea of what it’s like to attend. Trust me, it’s a lot better to find out now that you don’t really want to pursue it rather than three semesters deep and thousands of dollars and time wasted. If you have any desire, no matter how small, to attend law school, consider applying to this program. 

  2. 2. You meet students who are in the same situation as yourself.

    Personally, I only had a handful of friends prior to this program who were interested in law school. However, if you are a part of this program, every single person there is in a similar boat to you — contemplating law school, trying to see if it’s the best choice for them. You make incredible friends who you can talk to even after the program is over about LSAT prep, law school admissions or anything else your heart may desire. The students who come to this program are from all over the country, so you’re sure to meet some people who really make your experience incredible — I know I did!

  3. 3. You gain skills that will help you succeed in law school.

    Law school isn’t easy. Starting with the application process, it’s a lot of writing, reading and analyzing. Throughout this program, students are taught different skills to help them succeed in their law school endeavors. For example, networking events were set up so we could meet FSU Law alum. Networking events are terrifying, especially the first one. Being given the opportunity to experience it with people who are also new to the idea calmed everyone’s nerves. Other examples include a resume building workshop, mock oral arguments, legal writing classes, mock interviews and a practice law school exam.

  4. 4. You meet awesome mentors, faculty and professors who can give you advice and guidance.

    Throughout the duration of the program, every student is assigned a mentor. These are current FSU Law students who are helping the summer undergraduate program run efficiently. One of our mentors had even attended the program when she was in undergrad. These are some of the best people to talk to. They’re kind and understand your perspective as a student. They'll talk to you and give you advice if you need it. The faculty and professors who run the program are also very helpful and easy to talk to. Everyone you meet through this program is kind, supportive and genuinely cares about you and how you’re doing. Not only that, but they plan out this whole program with the students in mind (including field trips to the Florida Supreme Court and Florida Capitol), so they get all of my appreciation. 

  5. 5. The guest speakers are sure to change your outlook.

    We had so many incredible guest speakers. A member of the Florida Supreme Court, Justice Charles Alan Lawson, spoke to us about his journey to becoming a justice. Lawyers and judges explained to us what they did and why we should do it, too. We also learned about and heard from individuals who are employed in non-traditional law-related fields, such as lobbying, which I wasn't even aware you could use a JD for. One of my personal favorite guest speakers was Benjamin Crump, a civil rights attorney who is widely recognized for his representation of Trayvon Martin. I learned so much from the guest speakers alone. It would be enough for me to recommend this program to anyone. 

Regardless if you’ve been set on law school since middle school or you just became interested after hearing about the money lawyers make, I would recommend this program to anyone who thinks they are interested in pursuing law school. Applications are open until April 1, 2020, but the sooner you apply, the better. Click here to learn more and apply to this once in a lifetime experience. Good luck to all you future JD holders!