Summer Law Institute
The Summer Law Institute (SLI) is a five week, summer law program for students who have just completed their eighth grade school year. The Summer Law Institute pushes rising ninth graders to see themselves as young professionals-in-training. The program exposes them to positive and successful role-models, involves them in professional activities, and places them on a path that can lead to the fulfillment of their dreams. Students who complete the SLI are eligible to apply to our 4-year College Bound program.
The Summer Law Institute is hosted by six law schools in New York City:
- Cardozo School of Law, Manhattan
- Columbia Law School, Manhattan
- CUNY School of Law, Queens
- Fordham University School of Law, Manhattan
- NYU School of Law, Manhattan
- John’s University Law School, Queens
Students accepted study criminal justice topics taught by law students, interact daily with lawyers, go on field trips to legal institutions, and are taught the skills necessary to perform as attorneys in a mock-trial. In addition, they acquire knowledge and develop disciplines that will enhance their performance as they enter high school. The summer program culminates in a mock-trial competition in front of real judges!
The program operates from the first week of July through the first week of August, Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 4:00pm
Interested in applying to the SLI? Follow these simple steps and remember to check your email frequently!
Accepting applications until April 2, 2023
- Fill out a Summer Law Institute Application
- Ask a parent to fill out a Parent/Guardian Information Form
- Ask two teachers for recommendations! All of the information that they need to provide a recommendation can be found at this link.
- Check your email over the next two weeks to see if you have made it to the Final Round!
- Call (718) 752-0227 ext. 208 or email [email protected] if you or your guardian(s) have questions.
Frequently Asked Questions About SLI
For Students (click here)
Why should I attend the SLI?
SLI will give you a wonderful opportunity to learn about criminal law and the trial process. You will learn about topics such as stop and frisk, search and seizure, evidence, arraignment, and bail. You will also have the opportunity to participate in a mock trial in front of an actual judge. In addition, you will meet different attorneys each day and attend field trips each week. The SLI will also teach you the skills you need to excel in high school, including: critical thinking, writing, public speaking, and persuasion.
Who is eligible for the SLI?
Eighth-grade students from Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens, are eligible to apply for the SLI. Due to the distance from our headquarters, we don’t actively recruit from Staten Island but students from Staten Island are welcome to apply to the SLI.
This sound great, but what if I don’t want to be a lawyer?
You should still apply! The skills you will learn in the SLI are not just skills that attorneys use. All successful students and professionals should be able to think critically, write well, speak well in public, and advocate for themselves and others.
Will the SLI be fun?
YES! The SLI is a lot of fun. One of our students described it best: “Work hard, play hard! If you’re willing to work you will have the best time of your life.” You will meet new friends, form great relationships, learn how to argue like a lawyer, and have the opportunity to earn trophies.
When is the the SLI and where will it take place?
The SLI takes place for five weeks over the summer, generally starting the week following the end of the NYC Department of Education school year. You will be assigned to one of eight law schools: Cardozo School of Law, Columbia Law School, CUNY School of Law, Fordham School of Law, NYU School of Law, St. John’s School of Law.
Who is eligible for the the SLI?
Eighth grade students from Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens, are eligible to apply for the the SLI.
How many students are accepted into the SLI?
We accept up to 28 students for each of the six law school sites. Since we accept students on a rolling basis, the sooner you apply, the better your chances are of getting in! See below for how to apply.
But I want to get a job this summer – why should I attend the the SLI instead?
No summer job will prepare you for high school, college, or a professional career like the SLI! Consider the SLI as an investment in your future. The hard work you put in now will pay off greatly in the future when you’re able to succeed in high school, gain admission to a top college, and enter the career of your choice. You will also receive a stipend for successful completion of the SLI (translation: you will be paid to learn).
What if I have to attend a summer bridge program at my new high school?
If you have a summer bridge program to attend please contact Legal Outreach at [email protected] or 718-752-0222, ext. 208. In most instances, you will still be able to attend the SLI because we are an academic program. Legal Outreach will help you speak with your high school about the value of participating in the SLI.
Does Legal Outreach offer any other programs besides the SLI?
Yes. College Bound is our four-year program designed to help you get into the top colleges and universities in the country. The only way to apply for College Bound, however, is if you successfully complete the SLI. In College Bound you will receive support, guidance, and training within a community of other students who also aim to excel academically. It includes a debate program, an attorney mentoring program, paid internships, SAT prep, and so much more.
For Parents (click here)
What are the benefits of the SLI for my child?
In a word: transformation. Few other program are as inspiring, engaging and supportive as the SLI. Throughout the five weeks of the SLI you will see your child begin to think, speak, and act like a lawyer. He or she will become a better writer and thinker. Your child will become more responsible and will develop the skills necessary to succeed in high school and beyond including, critical thinking, writing, public speaking, reading comprehension, and advocacy. We also stress time management, preparedness and good test-taking and study skills. Your child will also begin to imagine her/himself as an attorney, judge, or other professional. Finally, your child will gain confidence as an advocate for themselves and their community.
When is the SLI and where will it take place?
The SLI will take place from June 29-July 31, Monday through Friday, 9:00am-4:00pm. Your child will be assigned to one of eight law schools: Cardozo School of Law, Columbia Law School, CUNY School of Law, Fordham School of Law, NYU School of Law, and St. John’s School of Law.
How much does the SLI cost?
The SLI is FREE for most families, and all students will receive a monetary stipend upon successful completion of the program. Students are responsible for paying for transportation and lunch.
What if my child has to attend a summer bridge program for high school?
Please contact Legal Outreach at [email protected] or 718-752-0222, ext. 209 if you child has to attend a summer bridge program. In most instances, your child will still be able to attend the SLI because we are an academic program. Legal Outreach will help you speak with your child’s high school about the value of participating in the SLI.
Are there other opportunities beyond the SLI?
Yes. Students who successfully complete the SLI are eligible to apply to College Bound, a four-year, comprehensive academic enrichment and support program designed to get students into our nation’s most highly selective colleges. See the College Bound page for more information.
How can my child apply?
See application information. As a parent, you will need to complete a short supplement to your child’s application, and attend an information session and interview with your child.
For Middle School Guidance Counselors and Principals (click here)
What are the benefits of the SLI?
The SLI offers a tremendous opportunity to develop the necessary skills for success in high school and beyond in a fun learning environment. Our curricula are designed to hone a number of skills, including: critical thinking, writing, public speaking, reading comprehension, and advocacy. In addition, students gain valuable knowledge of substantive law. They are inspired to imagine themselves as attorneys, judges, and other professionals. They are equipped to become advocates for themselves and their communities.
What type of students are you looking for?
We are looking for smart, energetic, inquisitive students who are willing to work hard to achieve their dreams. Students do not need to be top performers, but they must demonstrate a willingness to be diligent and persistent despite facing academically challenging material.
How can I get my students involved?
Email [email protected] or call 718-752-0222, ext. 227 to schedule a presentation at your school.
How can I help my students who are interested in the SLI?
Encourage your students to apply early and follow-up with them about the application process. Students will also need two teacher recommendations. You can serve as a recommender for students. Also encourage your colleagues to stress the importance of the SLI to their students.