Program status

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the Prelaw program will not be offered again until summer 2022.

The good news is you may choose from hundreds of online courses taught by Cornell faculty in summer 2021. Read about online study and view the online course roster for all your options.

For more information, see summer study and COVID-19.

As a student in the Prelaw Program, you’ll be enrolled in the four-credit course

This course meets

  • Mondays through Fridays, 9:00 a.m.–noon, at the Cornell University ILR School NYC Conference Center located at 570 Lexington Ave., 12th floor, New York, New York.
  • A final exam will take place during the week of June 29, date is TBD

This course offers you a comprehensive introduction to the American legal system, its roots in natural and common law, the purposes/values it serves (e.g., resolution of private grievances; punishment of offenses against the polity and individuals; preservation, development, and limitation of individual and group rights; and facilitation of commerce and private agreements), and the roles of the judiciary, legislature, and private parties.

Professor Stewart teaches the course using the Socratic method, which is employed at most U.S. law schools, and introduces students to fundamental concepts and techniques used by attorneys and courts in analyzing cases, interpreting statutes, and determining disputes.

Course expectations

You'll be expected to

  • Attend class daily.
  • Read all assigned materials before each class meeting.
  • Complete all assignments in a timely manner.
  • Actively participate in class discussions.
  • Take a final exam