My Summer at ONU by Amber Thomas
This experience was by far was one of the greatest experiences I ever had in my life. I am referring to the 2011 LSAC Discover Law Program, hosted at Ohio Northern University. The program was a four-week immersion-boot camp into the legal world. The primary goal of the program is to promote diversity in the legal profession and is directed at freshman and sophomores from groups that are underrepresented in the legal profession or face significant financial and familial obstacles in their pursuit of a career in law.
I had an opportunity to meet and interact with law school professors, deans, directors, current students, practicing attorneys, judges and community leaders. I got to actively participate in two law school classes; intellectual property and criminal law. In intellectual property law, we studied trademarks, trade secrets, patents, and copyrights. I competed in a moot court competition and won my case. We had several field trips, which included several courts, an Amish dinner, bowling and Cedar Point. Weekly, we had several workshops, which included professional development and how to rip apart the LSAT. We have several panel discussions where representative from law schools came to the program and we got to meet and greet them as well as ask questions. At the end of the program we had a really nice banquet. We had a well prepared dinner and received certificates of completion.
The program is free. The DiscoverLaw.org PLUS program is a four-week residential program funded by a grant from LSAC. I was provided a comfortable campus apartment, a Polar Card for your meals and a stipend for living expenses. The program will also provide some assistance for my travel to Ada at the start of the program and to return home at its completion. I was able to use my polar card at the grocery store and a couple of restaurants around the town.
My schedule was hectic during that entire month. Monday-Friday we had 12hr days from 8am-8pm. We got to listen to speakers, went to class, had lunch, and did whatever afternoon sessions that was required. We literally did not have free time until the weekends. When the weekends finally arrived we had a blast. I found a family away from home with 25 other students from all over the country and the world. I still contact these students to this day and they are the best friends I could ever ask for. I cannot count how many tears that were shed when the program came to an end from me and the other students.
In the little town of Ada, there is not much to do, but with the Plus Program, that would never be discovered. We had such a close knit-community as to where it was impossible not to have fun. There were plenty of nights spent cooking for everyone, playing kings, and at the local movie theatre and public pool. There were also plenty of nights of laughter, jokes, heart to hearts, and studying. The Plus Program is an awesome opportunity and experience that no one should ever pass up. It is a life-changing experience that you will never forget.
In the summer of 2011, I had the profound pleasure of representing Central State’s Pre-law Society at the Phoenix School of Law Boot Camp. The program granted me an all expense paid opportunity that most pre- law students are not privileged to. It gave me the good fortune of attending law school classes for free. In my quest for extensive knowledge at the Phoenix School of Law, all of the following were covered: plane tickets, food, hotels, transportation to and from the airport, the school and hotel. Everything that I was promised was “stamped, sealed, and delivered; I could not complain about anything via Boot Camp. The Boot Camp is designed to provide students who are approaching their first year of law school, with vital information that is imperative to succeeding in law school. The camp divided its efficient efforts to preparing students for what is to come through a series of workshops, skills classes and seminars. These series are taught by license attorneys who chose to share their expertise by developing young legal minds through teaching. The workshops that were conducted gave me a chance to familiarize myself with the realities of the legal world. In our workshops we studied the focal points of efficiency when practicing law: briefing cases and legal writing. In these workshops we were able to dissect real cases using the briefing method, as well as learning the importance of legal writing and how it is immeasurably more distinctive in how it is to be written. In between the workshops we were given the opportunity to really get a feel on what to expect in our first year of law school through a series of seminars. In our seminars the professors gave various presentations to teach us about the legal system, the components of courtroom opinion, note taking and course outlines for law school exams, rule development and synthesis, and also included was the student panel; which we get to openly communicate with current law students who give several approaches to succeeding in law school. On certain days we were issued to go to the skills class; where we went in extensive depth on understanding a law school and exam, and in addition we began learning how to hone our critical thinking skills. To ensure we were taking everything in stride, the professors assigned homework where we had to prepare briefs for cases that we previously read. The next workshop they would then go over the homework and point out crucial mistakes, for example how one wrong word could lose you a case or prompt a malpractice suit.
My experience was grand. The approach the professors took to forewarn us about the rigors of law school heightened my understanding as to what law school is really about. Being an undergraduate in this program was most beneficial because of the techniques that I acquired while attending the camp; I feel more equipped to handle the workload, stresses, and immense pressure of being, not a good, but a great lawyer; and I have a full year before attending my first class of law school. The most calming advice I received through this rapid transformation to the “legal world” was from the students who attended the previous boot camp and are currently rising law students. The consensus was, “All of your professors have graduated from law school and have passed the bar; if you don’t understand one professor, go to one you understand and is more comfortable with for help.” This was most advantageous because as some of the workshops became more challenging, which we were cautioned they would, I noticed how every class falls into play with one another and the material in one class was also used in another class but explained with a different approach, the material became straightforward and easier to grasp own to. I would recommend anyone who is vaguely interested in going to law school to first attend the Phoenix School of Law Boot Camp or a camp that mirrors its efforts because not only does the program provide a behind the scenes look into law school, it makes you really think about if the meticulousness of the legal world will be too much for one to process.
Upcoming Law School Visits - Please see Calendar of Events
University of Dayton School of Law
Cleveland Marshall Law School
Midwest Regional Law School/Loyola School of Law - Chicago
University of Dayton School of Law
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law
Thomas Cooley School of Law - Michigan
President: Amber Thomas
Vice-President: Ann'tae'sha Jamason
Secretary: Alice Ballard
Treasurer: Nichole Brooks
Public Relations: Amanda McCombs
The website is nice! This is a excellent way to communicate with the members of CSU's Pre-Law Society!