The first year of your law degree is soon going to be drawing to a close. Time for a summer of lounging around, having delicious meals served up by your parents and extending your first year adventure long into the evening. No? Rather, you want to expand on your knowledge of law and get some brownie points on the CV before those all-important vacation scheme and training contract applications in your second and final year of university.
Law summer schools are a great idea for first-year students who are looking to expand their knowledge in certain specialisms before their second year, or simply want to get a broader understanding of the law, perhaps with a view to eventually qualify in a certain area or undertake a dissertation when final year study finally comes around.
Where can I attend a summer school?
Most major UK universities with a reputable law department are likely to run a law summer school. For example, summer-school modules on the 2019 syllabus at UCL include International Trade and Maritime Law, Corporate and Social Responsibility, and Law, Lawyers and Social Justice.
Additionally, the University of Nottingham's Human Rights Law Centre has introduced a summer school for 2020, and LSE offers summer-school modules on everything from corporate finance law to freedom of speech, media and the law.
Whatever takes your fancy, there’s likely to be a summer school that caters to your taste, so get searching!
What can I learn?
As we just mentioned, there’s a wide variety of law summer schools out there. You can either build on your first-year studies by undertaking a course introducing you to a certain area of law, or you could prepare for your next year of study by getting yourself onto a course that will give you a solid base knowledge of a module you’ll study in the future.
For example, you might want have plans to specialise in media and technology law, so attending a summer school on this could be useful.
There are a number of summer schools that are less academic and more focused upon business skills. The University of Law runs an international leadership summer school, and a lot of business and economics faculties run summer schools that will have strong relevance to a career in corporate law. Don't be afraid to think outside of the law-shaped box, and figure out how to build some skills that you might not have worked on before.
Do I need to pay?
The only downside to law summer schools is that they may carry a sizeable fee. Some courses cost around £1000, including tuition, course materials, food and accommodation.
Whether you attend a law summer school is entirely your choice. It can help you get ahead in your studies and will look impressive on your vacation scheme and training contract CV, but is by no means a requirement and understandably, the fees can be off-putting. A law summer school is worth considering, at the very least.
Next article: First year: coping with stress