Frequently Asked Questions: Summer for Undergraduates Program
What are the primary goals of the program?
Since its inception, the program has remained focused on three main goals: (1) to familiarize prospective law students with the application process and admissions requirements; (2) to provide participants the opportunity to immerse themselves in a demanding law school environment and learn the skills necessary to succeed in that environment; and (3) to expose the students to the variety of career opportunities afforded by the juris doctor degree.
Where can I get an application?
The 2013 application is available in electronic form on our Web site at http://www.law.fsu.edu/summer_undergraduates/application.html. Applicants can submit all necessary documents online using this method. Alternatively, you can download and complete a .pdf version of the application and mail it directly to us.
When can I apply?Applications are accepted between October 1, 2012, and March 29, 2013. Applications must be submitted (or postmarked, if mailing) by Friday, March 29, to be considered timely. (A “postmark” is a cancellation mark stamped on mail by postal officials, which indicates the date and time of mailing.)
What must I include with my application?
In addition to a completed application, applicants are required to submit a resume, one letter of recommendation, a personal statement and a current transcript.
Must I submit all the required documents as one package, or can some pieces be sent separately?
Your recommendation letter and current transcript may be uploaded into the electronic application or mailed separately; however, to ensure delivery, it is best to submit everything together. While we prefer the original, signed version of your letter of recommendation, you are welcome to upload a .pdf version of the letter or advise your recommender to send it directly to our office (via email, fax, or postal mail).
To whom should my letter of recommendation be addressed?
You can address your letter of recommendation to the Summer for Undergraduates Program "Admissions Committee."
Who is eligible to participate in the program?
College students enrolled at two-and four-year institutions, in all majors and from all backgrounds, are invited to apply following their freshman year. Because one purpose of the program is to help students direct their remaining time in college to best prepare for law school, freshmen, sophomores and juniors are given preference in the admissions process.
If I am a senior in college, but will not graduate until fall 2013, am I eligible to participate?
Yes. The program is open to all students who will not have earned a bachelor’s degree prior to the start of the program.
Are you looking for anything specific with regard to the resume and letters of recommendation?
The resume is reviewed for a demonstrable interest in law, extracurricular activities, community service and leadership abilities. Letters of recommendation are reviewed based on the capacity in which the recommender knows the applicant as well as the overall strength of the recommendation. Current or past faculty/teachers, program advisors, and mentors make great recommenders.
What should my personal statement include?
With regard to the personal statement, the Committee considers such factors as exceptional personal talents, interesting or demanding work or service experience, rigorousness of undergraduate course of study, leadership potential, ability to communicate effectively, and other factors. In addition, the Committee considers obstacles or accomplishments, including but not limited to: economic need requiring significant employment during college, social and cultural disadvantages, linguistic barriers and extraordinary family or personal responsibilities. The personal statement is also viewed as a sample of writing ability.
Are there any minimum requirements to participate, such as GPA or SAT/ACT scores?
Although there are no specific criteria for participation in the program, we evaluate each file to ultimately arrive at a diverse and outstanding group of students. Each applicant is evaluated based on his/her personal statement and resume, UGPA and transcript, letter of recommendation, and standardized test scores. For the 2012 summer program, the average applicant had a 3.56 GPA, 1820 SAT score, and 28 ACT score.
Do you require an official transcript, or will an unofficial one suffice?
While we prefer to receive an official transcript, we will accept an unofficial transcript from applicants. If you are providing an official transcript, it is best to request it from your school early so that there is ample time for it to be delivered.
Tuition, Room and Board
Are there any costs associated with the program?
Florida State Law provides free room and board in residence-hall accommodations, course materials and a stipend to all participants. However, participants are responsible for arranging and paying for travel to and from Tallahassee. Even if participants have other living arrangements in Tallahassee, we encourage them to consider lodging with the other participants and share in the special bonding experience. Payment cannot be accepted for participation in the program.
How many students will be selected to participate?
The 2013 summer program class will range from 60-65 students. For the 2012 summer program, we received nearly 500 applications for approximately 60 seats.
Are admissions done on a rolling basis, and when will I be notified that I have been accepted into the program?
We do not admit on a rolling basis. All admissions decisions will be made at the same time. Generally, we begin reviewing applications toward the end of March, and will inform applicants of our decisions by mid-April.
Can I continue to work and/or take classes while participating in the summer program?
During the program, you may not be enrolled in summer classes or involved in outside work. You are expected to attend, and to participate in, all scheduled classes and activities. Students who miss more than three sessions without prior excusal will be dismissed from the program and will forfeit their stipend. The general schedule for the program is as follows:
8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
I would like to take the LSAT in June, 2013. Is this possible if I am admitted to the program?
Each year, a few participants elect to take the June LSAT, and they are given an excused absence to do so. Often, the exam is administered at Florida State Law, which makes it very convenient. If you are chosen for the program, it should not be a problem for you to sit for the June LSAT.