About the High School Law Institute
The Columbia Law School High School Law Institute (“HSLI”) is a student-run organization that serves talented and motivated high school students throughout New York City. Alongside our sister program at New York University, we offer free, yearlong academic programming in constitutional law, criminal law, mock trial, and moot court on Saturdays from 10 AM to 1 PM.
Ideal HSLI students are those who recognize the impact of the legal system, wish to learn more about how it concretely impacts society, and are preparing themselves to serve and advocate for others. While there is no expectation that our students apply to law school or pursue a legal career, we do expect that they apply themselves diligently to their studies in high school and beyond.
Courses are taught by teams of current Columbia Law School students. Teachers receive thorough training prior to class and receive ongoing support throughout the year. They are also provided with detailed curricula created by veteran HSLI instructors and board members that are scaffolded to support high school student understanding. Each lesson contains discussion questions, background information, classroom activities, and homework assignments that can be tailored to fit each student’s interests. Our classes are discussion-driven aimed at fostering independent thought. At HSLI, students are encouraged to think well, advocate well, and work collaboratively; they are also taught to evaluate arguments based on analytical rigor and strength of evidence.
Every year, HSLI holds two important events in addition to regular classes: College Day and Graduation. In November, HSLI students and their parents are invited to Columbia Law School for College Day, a family workshop to demystify the college process. Attendees have the opportunity to speak with representatives from colleges across the country and attend panel discussions on topics such as financial aid, choosing the right school, and the freshman experience.
The program year ends with Graduation at New York University, which is also when our students’ capstone activities take place. HSLI students will be paired with their counterparts from NYU for mock trial and moot court competitions with instructors from both schools presiding. After the competitions, the formal ceremony begins, and students who fulfill all graduation requirements will be presented with a certificate.
The application is due September 15th.
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