LSPI College Summer Program
UTEP's Law School Preparation Institute (LSPI) College Summer Program was initiated in 1998 to help prospective law students develop critical thinking skills and study habits and to guide students through the law school application process. The commitment of the program is to better prepare students to succeed by presenting them with a rigorous workload focusing on the academic thinking skills necessary for the pursuit of a legal education. The LSPI program:
- Introduces students to legal thought, research and writing
- Develops analytical and critical reading and writing skills
- Develops strategies for becoming a more attractive law school candidate
- Guides students in selecting and applying to law schools
- Gives students the opportunity to speak with law school students and faculty as well as prominent members of the legal community
- Prepares students for the LSAT
The LSPI is open to UTEP undergraduate students of any major. It is a myth that law schools prefer certain majors over others. Any major that requires rigorous training and thought is acceptable to law schools. Perhaps the worst misconception in this matter is that the students majoring in sciences are not favored by law school admissions committees. Law schools are keen to admit students with backgrounds in math, engineering, and sciences.
The LSPI extends across two phases with an academic year sandwiched in between. Phase I is held from mid-May to early July, and Phase II is held from early July to early August. While some students take both phases in the same summer, it is advisable to apply to the LSPI early in your undergraduate career so you can get the full benefit of the Institute across two summers and two academic years. Although the summer phases are the central feature of the LSPI, there are many activities and opportunities for LSPI students during the academic year. These activities and opportunities include speakers, field trips, internships, travel to law forums, and observation of trials.
LSPI Phase I
Institute Phase I classes meet each weekday from May 18 to July 6, 2020. For the first part of Phase I (May 18 to June 5), classes are held from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm. For the second part of Phase I (June 8 to July 6), classes are held from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.
May 18 to June 5
8:30 am - Noon: Torts
The torts course is modeled after a first year torts law class. Students analyze selected cases to develop analytical and argumentative skills, and to develop an appreciation for the kind of work that will be expected of them in law school.
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm: Legal Research and Advocacy
Students learn manual and on-line legal research skills. As the course progresses, students will use this time to engage in research and will work in teams to prepare their oral advocacy presentations, which will be argued before the justices of the Eighth Court of Appeals of Texas.
June 8 to July 6
8:30 am - Noon: Writing
This course introduces students to legal analysis and legal writing while emphasizing strong writing and grammar fundamentals.
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm: Legal Writing
An extension of the morning writing course, students will develop their legal analysis and writing skills and exemplify those skills in a major writing project in this segment of Phase I.
LSPI Phase II
Institute Phase II classes meet each weekday from July 7 to August 4, 2020, from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. Phase II also includes mandatory Saturday morning LSAT practice exams.
8:30 am - Noon / 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm: Law & Justice / LSAT Preparation
Students engage in intensive analysis of philosophical and legal texts focusing on two concepts central to legal theory: law and justice. Textual arguments are probed through in-class discussion and carefully crafted, complex multiple-choice questions. The course emphasizes close textual analysis, analytical skills, logical argumentation, and critical thinking.
Students also participate in comprehensive LSAT preparation emphasizing the key reasoning skills measured by the test. Students work with faculty individually and in groups.