Spirit of the Law: Summer Introduction to Law & Advocacy Precollege Program

For rising 9th-12th-grade girls

Sunday, July 18 – Saturday, July 24, 2021

Are you a passionate champion for social justice? Want to change the world but don’t know how? Our Hollinsummer Social Justice Seminar allows you to earn college credit while deepening your knowledge of community issues and encouraging you in ways to bring about change within your community. You will walk away from this experience more confident in your abilities as a community leader and advocate.

Registration is currently full for Hollinsummer: Spirit of the Law. Participants who register after March 17 will be added to a waitlist and will be contacted if we are able to accommodate. Please contact hollinsummer@hollins.edu or call 540-362-6213 with any questions.

Apply Now 

Residential: $950
Day (9 am – 5 pm): $400

Courtney ChenetteCourtney Chenette, Assistant professor, political science and gender and women’s studies at Hollins

  • Has a bachelor’s degree from Hollins University and J.D. from Pace University School of Law
  • As a civil rights attorney, litigated, trained, and counseled clients on constitutional questions involving government power and administration, policing, education, employment, and discrimination
  • Researches and teaches political science courses on constitutional law; civil rights; voting rights; American government institutions; and race, class, gender, sexuality, and the law
  • Serves as a pre-law advisor at Hollins

In this exciting summer course, high school students will engage in an immersive experience in the foundations and practice of law and American government at Hollins University.

In addition to learning the fundamentals of the U.S. judiciary in action (state and federal systems, trial and appellate courts, criminal and civil cases, and the impactful people who shape them), students will strengthen the same basic skills that lawyers, advocates, judges, and law clerks use in court:

  • decoding primary sources of law
  • constructing persuasive oral and written communication
  • critical thinking
  • creative problem solving

We will also observe current practitioners at work; unpack representations of criminal and civil law in movies and television; and hold mock oral arguments, negotiations, and trial simulations.

Civil rights lawyer and assistant professor of political science and gender and women’s studies, Courtney Chenette, will be your instructor. As Hollins’ pre-law academic advisor, she counsels students that every major is a pre-law major because the law intersects with every field of work and course of study: from government to healthcare and medicine, art making to environmental science, social justice to domestic and international business. Find your connection this summer!

Students who successfully complete this course will:

  • Understand the structure, function, powers, and limits of state and federal court systems in the United States as well as the foundational history of the American judiciary and its constitutional crafting.
  • Appreciate the distinction between civil and criminal courts and claims and the unique role of appellate courts and practice.
  • Strengthen critical thinking and problem solving, primary source reading, and persuasive written and oral communication skills.
  • Inspire analytical and creative applications to novel legal issues, challenges, facts, and contexts.

This program includes:

  • One week of remote preparation:
    • Two live digital class sessions (one-hour) on Zoom,
    • Exciting reading and listening materials to prepare, and
    • A one-on-one meeting with your instructor to set you up for success.
  • One immersive week on Hollins University’s campus:
    • A daily itinerary of workshops, learning, and active engagement!

To Apply:

No prior knowledge of government or law is necessary; but this course does require students be creative, curious, and committed to learning, and excited to explore the challenges and adventures of a college academic experience.