The Law and Leadership Institute’s statewide collaboration with the legal and educational communities inspire and prepares students from underserved communities for post-secondary and professional success. The comprehensive four-year curriculum includes the study of law, analytical thinking, problem solving and writing as well as opportunities to develop leadership skills and professionalism both inside and outside of the classroom.
- Length – LLI is year round for four years.
- Depth – Students receive individualized feedback from various sources to constantly improve academic and leadership skills. Practice exams, pre-and post-tests and other diagnostic tools provide students with feedback regarding their respective strengths and weaknesses.
- Unique Teaching Approaches – LLI uses methods developed over time to engage students who may have grown weary of traditional classroom teaching techniques. Students become more active and attentive as they participate in deliberative forums, debates, moot court, and mock trials.
- Meaningful Internships – LLI students are exposed to professional work environments through internships where they work alongside lawyers on mock tasks and receive feedback designed to build skills.
- Support – Teachers and lawyers who interact with LLI students stoke their respective career aspirations and reinforce their confidence. LLI meets with parents at specific events so they can begin to see their students as future professionals and reinforce their student’s development.
- Community – LLI students interact regularly with a peer group that mutually reinforces high academic aspirations, self-confidence and discipline.
- Professionalism – LLI students focus on skills to resolve conflicts in an atmosphere of mutual respect, speak before groups, interact with lawyers and community leaders and routinely assume leadership roles.
- Reinforcement – LLI students learn self-discipline through clearly stated behavioral expectations and a system of consequences for failure to meet those standards.
- College Admission Support – LLI students visit campuses, meet with admissions officers and receive individualized mentoring to promote success in college and scholarship application processes.
- Continuous Improvement – LLI has a strong commitment to ongoing independent assessment to continually refine and improve program content and outcomes.
- Scalability – As a national leader in pipeline programming, LLI’s goal is to create an approach that can be replicated in other states and applied to other professions. After observing Ohio’s success, Illinois launched its own LLI program in the summer of 2011.
9th Grade Summer
- The 9th grade summer is new LLI student’s first exposure to the LLI program.
- Rising ninth grade students enter the hallmark five-week summer program and learn about the court system, criminal procedure, constitutional rights, and the appeals process.
- Daily speakers, from local attorneys and judges to entrepreneurs and professors provide insight into the scope of the legal field, and the importance of higher education.
- Students then learn about jury selection, opening and closing arguments, the presentation of evidence,questioning witnesses, and courtroom objections.
- The capstone project is a mock trial competition that gives student participants a chance to test their skills in front of practicing judges, lawyers and proud family members.
10th Grade Summer
- The 10th grade summer builds upon the work students did in the 9th grade, the focus shifts to civil law.
- Students learn civil rights, freedom of speech in schools, negotiation, and consumer law.
- Speakers include constitutional scholars, appellate justices and local attorneys, expanding on the civil side of the law.
- Students then learn the basics of legal research, briefing cases, and business professionalism in the classroom.
- The fourth week is an internship at a local law firm, corporate legal department or public sector law office where students actively engage in the work of the law office by attending meetings with attorneys and working on a series of legal case studies (provided by LLI) that involve the volunteer attorneys’ practice area.
11-12th Grade Summer
- The 11th and 12th grade summer focuses students on college preparation.
- Students learn about the legislative process, conflict resolution, the 14th amendment, and discrimination claims.
- Students receive 30 hours of intensive standardized test preparation through the generosity of Kaplan’s pre-law programs. They also undertake writing exercises intended to prepare for college admissions and scholarship applications.
- During their 11th and 12th grade summers students take weekly trips to Ohio colleges and universities.They meet with admissions counselors and professors. They take campus tours and learn what they are looking for in a college.
- The LLI Academic Year Program is intended to build upon the momentum of the Summer Institute with specific instruction regarding the pathways to college and law school.
- The students have a fall and spring semester with each semester consisting of twenty hours of instruction, a community potluck, and an inter-LLI moot court competition.
- The course is designed to strengthen analytical abilities, writing and expression skills, self-confidence, and positive peer group relations.
- The curriculum is comprised of six components: Personal Leadership; External Leadership; College Planning; Law and Literature; Core Academic Skills and Legal. The lesson plans develop in complexity with the progression of grade levels, so while students may cover the same topic multiple times, the sophistication of the themes presented will increase.