From Capitol Hill to the county courthouse, the workings of law in American society have shaped, and continue to shape, our way of life. The Law course exposes Summer Scholars students to the many facets of the American legal system and what lawyers really do. Students participate in an active investigation of the court system from both a civil and criminal law perspective. The class also investigates various areas of substantive law, including tort law, sports law, and contract law.

During the first week, students are introduced to the concept of “thinking like a lawyer.” We will talk about what we mean by “legal authority” and then move on to explore various areas of law like human rights, the right to privacy, and search and seizure. During the second week, students delve into Constitutional cases before the Supreme Court. We will look at some of the cases that the Court has recently decided and try out our own skills at being appellate lawyers.


Student Testimonial 

Academic Director

Christine Venter

Christine Venter is the Director of the Legal Writing Program. She earned her B.A. degree from the University of Cape Town and her law degree from the University of Cape Town School of Law, where she was editor-in-chief of the Law Review. She also holds an LL.M in international law and human rights (summa cum laude) from the Notre Dame Law School and a J.S.D., also from the Notre Dame Law School.

After graduation, Professor Venter worked as an associate for a South African firm specializing in civil rights litigation. After relocating to the United States, she worked for a firm specializing in international business law and later did legal aid work in the U.S.

She is a member of the Legal Writing Institute, the Association of Legal Writing Directors, and is an editor of The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute.

Professor Venter teaches Legal Writing I, Legal Research and Writing II, and Gender Issues and International Law. She also teaches International Moot Court and serves as the coach to the International Moot Court team.