Ready, Set, Law Start

Admitted students were given an early taste of their future law school lives during Loyola’s Law Start program on Jan. 10, 2014.

During the second-annual program, admitted students were invited to campus to experience a mock law class and mingle with current students and faculty. Faculty offered tips on analyzing case briefs and techniques to prepare for class discussion. “Law Start helps students “hit the ground running” when they get to law school by giving them an opportunity to experience what it’s really like being a student in a law school class instead of merely observing,” said Clinical Professor Gary Craig.

The day began with a welcome address from Associate Dean for Student Affairs Helen Albertson, followed by a mock Contracts lecture by Senior Associate Dean Sean Scott. Prior to the event, students were sent the case, Dodson v. Shrader, so they could study the material and participate in class. The case involves a minor’s attempt to cancel a contract for the purchase of a truck. “The case is an excellent teaching vehicle as it is easy for students to relate to: We all may have purchased something when younger that was not a prudent purchase,” said Scott.

Professor Scott asked the class analytical questions on the material, representative of the Socratic method indigenous to the legal academy, and advised students on ways they should interpret legal language. “The discussion was lively and insightful. Attendees were able to do the important work of uncovering the policy implications of allowing the minor to cancel the truck without having to compensate the sellers,” said Scott.

Clinical Professors Cindy Archer, Director of Lawyering Skills, and Gary Craig, Director of Concentrations, provided case-briefing analysis. Their session exposed students to some of the skills and techniques that will enable them to better understand and analyze cases before and during class. “At the conclusion of the session, numerous students said that they felt more prepared to review and analyze cases going forward as a result of their participation in Law Start,” said Craig. Associate Dean of Clinical Programs and Experiential Learning Jean Boylan ended the day with concluding remarks.