25 Best Value Pre-Law Summer Programs [2024 Guide]

Find your perfect value college

ValueColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Aspiring lawyers, take note: summer pre-law programs could give you a significant head start. These intensive courses offer a sneak peek into the rigors of law school while allowing you to explore areas of legal specialization. 

From sharpening your reasoning abilities to learning about diverse practice areas, the right pre-law summer program can help confirm your passion for the profession. This guide on the best pre-law summer programs provides insight into the legal profession, increasing your chances of success in the rigors of law school.

Featured Programs

The Ultimate Guide to the Top Pre-Law Summer Programs

The best pre-law summer programs are at Penn State Law, NYU/Harvard TRIALS, St. John’s University School of Law, Drake Law School, and the University of Akron School of Law. These programs provide students with a comprehensive introduction to legal careers, preparing them for the challenges of law school and beyond.

Pre law summer programs badge

These programs allow students to immerse themselves in various hands-on learning experiences and gain critical thinking skills. Students engage in coursework taught by legal professionals, visit courtrooms and law firms, participate in moot court competitions, and gain opportunities for networking and mentorship.

Penn StateFree5 days
NYU/Harvard Law School: TRIALSFree5 weeks
St. John’s UniversityFree – $30004 to 6 weeks
Drake LawFreeAt least 2 weeks
University of AkronFree4 weeks
Pace University$3,250-$4,6003 weeks
Illinois Institute of TechnologyFree3 weeks
Alliance Defending FreedomMinimum of $7002.5 days
Duke Law$600 per class2 weeks
Saint Louis UniversityIncorporated into the tuition fee12 credit hours
University of Houston$6002 months
Florida State UniversityFree1 month
Cornell University$6,3806 weeks
Minnesota Pre-LawFree11 weeks
Summer Pre-Law IntensiveStarts at $12510 weeks
Marist College$3,500 per sessionAt least 2 weeks
Indiana UniversityFree1 week
University of WisconsinFree1 month
UC DavisFree2 months
Council on Legal Education Opportunity$2,5002 to 3 days
LatinoJustice LAWboundSubsidized4 days
Columbia University$2,132 per point1 month
Sidley Prelaw Scholars ProgramCovered by scholarship1 month
SEO LawFree10 weeks
Boston UniversityStarts at $9,7008 weeks

The programs below are geared toward students who are not yet committed to a law program. You can use this as an opportunity to gather information and determine whether legal studies is the path for you.

1. Penn State Law

Penn State Law

Penn State Law School offers a residential pre-law program designed for information gatherers. This is one of the top pre-law summer programs where participants will gain information about different fields of law and professions that can be obtained with a law degree, including judges, professors, and practicing attorneys.

  • Cost: Free
  • Duration: Five days

2. NYU/Harvard: TRIALS


This summer pre-law program is a collaborative partnership between the law schools at New York University, Harvard, and the Advantage Testing Foundation. Geared toward students from low-income families, Harvard pre-law programs give underrepresented students a vehicle for access to legal careers.

Kelsey Ludeman, an education expert with 15 years of experience in the education sector, highly recommends this program if you’re serious about going into law and want a solid foundation before the fall semester starts: 

“The TRIALS program is a top-tier summer pre-law program. The program is free of cost and alternates locations between the two campuses each year. This is a great way to gain incredible insight and experience into the world of law. 

Throughout the program, you’ll find support in career path decision-making and LSAT preparation – this alone makes the program worth it. You’ll walk away with the professional connections and personal confidence to carry with you through your career journey.”

3. St. John’s University School of Law

St. John's University School of Law

St. John’s University School of Law has a variety of programs for prospective law students, with the Ronald H. Brown’s Prep Program for College Students the most popular. There’s also the all-male Prep Program Foundations, Summer LSAT Bootcamp, and the LSAT Bootcamp co-ed program for college seniors and graduates.

4. Drake Law School’s Law Opportunity Leadership Program

Drake Law School’s Law Opportunity Leadership Program

Drake Law School’s Law Opportunity Leadership Program is an excellent offering for up to five overachieving first-year law students from an underrepresented community. Following the intensive training, each student will have access to two fully paid internships with a law firm and a different company of relevance.

5. University of Akron School of Law

University of Akron School of Law

The University of Akron School of Law’s PLUS is geared towards undergraduate students in their freshman and sophomore years who are interested in pursuing law school after graduation. Applicants must have already completed 24 credit hours of undergraduate coursework before participating in the program.

6. Pace University’s Elisabeth Haub School of Law

Pace University’s Elisabeth Haub School of Law

Pace University’s Elisabeth Haub School of Law offers a three-week PACE Pre-Law certificate program (PPCP). The entire intensive includes over 60 hours of programming, class trips to courtrooms and law offices, lectures in class, tips on applying for law school, and even auditing opportunities for legal profession classes.

7. Illinois Institute of Technology

Illinois Institute of Technology

The Chicago-Kent College of Law through the Illinois Institute of Technology offers a program called PLUS, Pre-Law Undergraduate Scholars Program. This program will give students a foundation of the ins and outs of the legal profession and impart participants with the skills to effectively apply to law schools.

8. Alliance Defending Freedom

Alliance Defending Freedom

The Alliance Defending Freedom’s Law School Prep Academy explores topics such as substantive instruction, worldview foundations, and professional development strategies. Students will also learn how to increase and bring forward their core belief systems and apply them to their legal careers.

9. Duke Law D.C. Summer Institute

Duke Law D.C. Summer Institute

Duke D.C. Summer Institute’s coursework includes gaining a foundation in statutory, constitutional, and regulatory frameworks for engaging and implementing public policy. Participants will have the opportunity to work closely with Duke’s expert law faculty.

10. Saint Louis University School of Law

Saint Louis University School of Law

Law scholars who successfully finish Saint Louis University’s Law Scholars Program will be granted automatic admission to the Saint Louis University School of Law. They will have access to various activities focusing on law and general education classes.

11. University of Houston Law Center Pre-Law Pipeline Program

University of Houston Law Center Pre-Law Pipeline Program

The University of Houston Law Center’s Pre-Law Pipeline Program received the American Bar Association Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Award for Excellence in Pipeline Diversity. The program offers extensive LSAT preparation, introductory law school coursework, professional development offerings, and internships.

12. Florida State University College of Law

Florida State University College of Law

Florida State University’s Donald J. Weidner Summer Program gathers undergraduates from all over the country to learn together about the field of law. Aside from learning from the law faculty, students will do coursework on the admissions process for law schools and take field trips to places like the Florida Supreme Court.

13. Cornell University

Cornell University

Cornell University’s summer pre-law and internship program is perfect for sophomores and juniors in four-year degree programs. Students can take the foundational course The American Legal System, which utilizes the Socratic method offered at most law schools.

14. Minnesota Law School – Minnesota Pre-Law Scholar Program (MPLS)

 Minnesota Law School - Minnesota Pre-Law Scholar Program (MPLS)

The Minnesota Pre-Law Scholars Program (MPLS) focuses on rigorous LSAT preparation and the law school admissions process. This program aims to make the field of law more diverse and jumpstart a legal career.

15. The Summer Pre-Law Intensive (SPI)

The Summer Pre-Law Intensive (SPI)

The Summer Pre Law Intensive (SPI) is delivered by Jay Cutts, the director of Cutts Graduate Review and author of the LSAT Prep Book Barrons. The program explores a comprehensive LSAT preparation for a legal career. Each high school student will be paired with a mentor who will stay engaged in their course of study and offer regular support.

16. Marist College

Marist College

Marist College’s Summer Pre-Law Program provides an understanding of the legal timeline in this country and the founding legal documents for which the US was built. There will be a variety of guest speakers and field trips to important legal sites, including the FDR Courthouse and Museum.

17. Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law Summer Law and Leadership Academy

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law Summer Law and Leadership Academy

Indiana University’s Summer Law and Leadership Academy provides classes on how to network (including actual networking opportunities), field trips and lectures, career possibilities, and participate in mock trials. Underrepresented students will learn an introductory approach to the criminal process, legal writing skills, and current topics that are hot in the legal profession. 

18. University of Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin

The University of Wisconsin Law School’s Pre-Law Undergraduate Scholars Summer Program (PLUS) is specifically designed for students enrolled in a four-year college program who have finished their freshman or sophomore year. The program gives more students from underrepresented communities the tools they need to pursue a legal career.

19. University of California Davis School of Law – King Hall Outreach Program 

University of California Davis School of Law – King Hall Outreach Program 

The University of California Davis School of Law’s King Hall Outreach Program allows students to work with mentors to prepare for the LSAT and law school applications and understand the inner workings of the legal system. Students will participate in full-day Saturday sessions and a myriad of workshops, as well as access individual advising sessions.

20. Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO)

Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO)

The Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO) offers a variety of pre-law programming, mostly geared towards undergraduate students interested in pursuing a law degree. The Pre-Law Summer Institute consists of both online and in-person classes, workshops, and advising.

21. LatinoJustice LAWbound

LatinoJustice LAWbound

LatinoJustice’s LAWbound program believes in reaching more to Latino communities to be prospective law students, mentor and network within the community, and participate in wrap-around programming that offers more Latino law students access to the Bar. Applicants must show a strong desire to go after a legal education and be a member of the Hispanic community.

22. Columbia University

Columbia University

Columbia University’s pre-law summer program offers classes focusing on comparative jurisprudence, Constitutional Crisis on Campus: Constitutional Law Through the Lens of Higher Education, US Foreign Policy, International Human Rights Law, and Race Crime and the Law. Students engage in debates to develop critical thinking and communication skills.

23. Sidley Prelaw Scholars Program

Sidley Prelaw Scholars Program

The Sidley Prelaw Scholars Program is designed to support students who are underrepresented in the field of law, providing access to the resources to excel in the application process. They must attend all of the LSAT prep courses associated with the program.

24. SEO Law Fellowship

SEO Law Fellowship

The SEO Law Fellowship provides students access to dedicated mentors, networking opportunities, and extensive law school preparatory offerings. Students participating in the program are all placed at a top law firm where they will participate in a paid internship.

25. Boston University Study Abroad Summer Program 

Boston University Study Abroad Summer Program 

Considered one of the best internships for prelaw students, Boston University’s London Internship Program enables students to spend an internship that includes classes and workshops on pertinent law-related topics. BU also has a program that enables pre-law students to study human rights, global governance, and economic development in Switzerland Geneva.

What Are the Benefits of a Pre-Law Summer Program?

Benefits of a pre-law summer program include gaining insights into the legal field, developing critical skills, and exploring legal disciplines. You’ll also benefit from networking with legal professionals, receiving LSAT preparation, and making informed decisions about pursuing a legal career.

Man taking notes while looking at his desktop monitor
  • You should enroll in a pre-law summer program to explore potential legal careers while gaining exposure to the work environment of law firms.
  • These programs offer valuable insights into the legal profession, allowing you to develop critical skills required for success, such as analytical thinking and communication abilities. 
  • Participating in a pre-law summer program can help solidify your interest in pursuing a legal career. It will enable you to make well-informed decisions about your academic journey and future goals within the legal field.
  • Consider that many skills might need a brush-up, including technical reading, writing, and debate. A pre-law program can prepare students for important aspects of the legal profession while they obtain communication skills to absorb the underpinnings of the law and the tools to be changemakers. 

What Makes These Online Sustainability Certificate Programs a Good Value?

Looking to develop new skills in sustainability? These online sustainability certificate programs offer excellent value. The courses are specifically designed to provide insights into environmental issues and sustainable practices. 

These programs equip learners with practical knowledge and credentialing. Online sustainability certificate programs enable flexibility and accessibility, making it a wise investment for those passionate about creating a greener future.

What Do You Do in a Pre-Law Summer Program?

Each program has different focal points and emphasizes a niche that can be nuanced. For example, many of the programs we have highlighted are summer pre-law programs for undergraduates that specifically highlight the racial and economic disparity among lawyers. 

  • Many of these programs for college and graduate students aim to close the gap and bring more students of color to the front lines of legal practice. They see the utility in not allowing economic resources to inhibit students from participating in pre-law summer programs. 
  • Many of the pre-law summer programs for college students are geared towards extensive LSAT preparation and how to apply for law schools effectively. The application process can be a harrowing ordeal, so a program can be exactly what is needed to charge ahead effectively. 
  • Many of the programs are structured to combine lectures, field trips to sites relevant to the field of law, coursework, mentoring, and test prep. Most summer law programs for undergraduate students dedicate a significant amount of time to networking within the field as they train at law firms. 
  • In a pre-law summer program, you can expect to participate in academic coursework and engage in mock trials or moot court competitions. You’ll also hear from guest speakers, visit legal institutions, and gain critical thinking skills. 
  • You might be considering a summer pre-law program or doing a relevant internship. Some programs bring the two together. There are also various programs with specific focal points, some targeting marginalized groups, students with a social justice leaning, and even people of color. 
  • Many of the summer pre-law offerings include lectures on a range of topics, field trips, mentoring opportunities, and a focus on survival skills.
Group of lawyers posing for a photo in a room

Related Questions

Are There Summer Programs for High Schoolers Who Want to Major in Pre-Law?

There are a few pre-law summer programs for high school students interested in law. You will see that many are designed for students in the early stages of their four-year college degree programs.

What Are the Best Pre-Law Summer Programs for Minorities?

SEO Law Fellowship, Legal Outreach Summer Law Institute, Thurgood Marshall Summer Law Internship Program, and the Street Law Legal Diversity Pipeline Program are some of the top pre-law preparatory programs for underrepresented and minority students. Many include stipends, mentoring opportunities at law firms, and internships that offer relevant work experience. 

What Is the Best Major for Pre-Law?

Graduating high school students can consider history, economics, political science, philosophy, English, business, criminal justice, and psychology as the best majors for pre-law. You should choose a major emphasizing strong communication skills, critical thinking, and analytical abilities—qualities highly valued by legal professionals.

What GPA Do You Need for the Pre-Law School Admissions Process?

Most law schools expect applicants to have a strong academic record, typically with a GPA of at least 3.0 for high school students interested in legal careers. However, top law schools often look for GPAs well above 3.5.

How Do I Prepare for Law School the Summer Before?

High school students can use the summer before law school to develop critical thinking skills through internships and summer programs. Students can also prepare by self-studying in areas like logic, persuasive writing, and research methods.


Pre-law summer programs provide a comprehensive introduction to the legal field, equipping students with critical thinking skills, knowledge of the law profession, and work tools necessary for a successful legal career. With the exposure and preparation offered by pre-law summer programs, students can confidently pursue their aspirations in the legal profession.


Top 25 Best Value Online/Hybrid Law Degrees

Top 25 Best Paralegal Certificate Programs in the US

Top 50 Best Pre-College Summer Program

Featured Programs

Aya Andrews


Aya Andrews is a passionate educator and mother of two, with a diverse background that has shaped her approach to teaching and learning. Born in Metro Manila, she now calls San Diego home and is proud to be a Filipino-American. Aya earned her Masters degree in Education from San Diego State University, where she focused on developing innovative teaching methods to engage and inspire students.

Prior to her work in education, Aya spent several years as a continuing education consultant for KPMG, where she honed her skills in project management and client relations. She brings this same level of professionalism and expertise to her work as an educator, where she is committed to helping each of her students achieve their full potential.

In addition to her work as an educator, Aya is a devoted mother who is passionate about creating a nurturing and supportive home environment for her children. She is an active member of her community, volunteering her time and resources to support local schools and organizations. Aya is also an avid traveler, and loves to explore new cultures and cuisines with her family.

With a deep commitment to education and a passion for helping others succeed, Aya is a true inspiration to those around her. Her dedication to her craft, her community, and her family is a testament to her unwavering commitment to excellence in all aspects of her life.

Find your perfect value college

ValueColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Enter a search word or phrase