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Pre-Law Summer Academy for High School Students

Pre-Law Summer Academy: Environmental Law and Native American & Indigenous Peoples’ Rights

Compete in a mock trial experience this summer and connect with NJ Law Schools!

This year’s Pre-Law Summer Academy is a rigorous and immersive program for rising juniors, seniors, and graduating high school seniors to learn about the legal process, trial preparation, and issues related to environmental law contamination and Native American and Indigenous Peoples’ Religious and Land Rights. With a mock trial experience as the primary focus, participants will work in teams of four to draft arguments, witness statements, and develop their case strategy with the assistance of professors, law students, and attorneys for the first seven days. Participants will connect the case material with local and global issues by visiting the Lenni Lenape Munsee Three Sisters Farm in northern NJ and reporting on recent events. The last three days of the program are reserved for teams to deliver their arguments in front of mock trial judges followed by visits to the U.S. District Courthouse as well as Rutgers University Law School and Seton Hall University Law School.

Program Dates: Monday, July 10 – Friday, July 14 and Monday, July 17 – Friday, July 21

The Summer 2023 Class is Closed. Stay tuned for information about next year’s program in 2024

2023 Schedule

Monday, July 10, 2023

8:30AM Class Intro.’s and Program Overview, Announce Teams and Roles for Mock Trial Competition (MTC) Teams and Roles
9:45AM Class read and review of case materials in McNamara v. Energy Dynamics (2d. edition) by Theresa D. Moore.
11:00AM Lecture: Environmental Law Overview by law professor from Pace University Law School or Rutgers University Law School
12:30PM Lunch on-campus
1:30PM Trial Section: Court System and Civil Procedure Overview by Program Director
2:30PM Class Discussion on Environmental Law Issues in NJ and the World
3:00PM MTC Team Breakout Strategy Meeting
4:15PM Reading assignment by Prof. Mark Clatterbuck

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

8:30AM MTC Team Assignments and Roles Class Check-In
9:00AM Rules of Evidence Overview by Program Director
10:15AM Lecture: Indigenous People Land and Religious Rights by Prof. Mark Clatterbuck
11:30PM Class discussion of lecture and 7/10 reading assignment
12:00PM Lunch on-campus
1:30PM Trial Section: Opening Statements, Direct and Cross Examinations of Witnesses, Introducing Evidence, and the Closing Argument by Program Director or local NJ Judge
3:00PM MTC Team Breakout Case Preparation Meeting
4:15PM Assignment of Draft I, Writing Assignment

Wednesday, July 12, 2023 – Field Trip 1

8:30AM Intro. writing assignment for MTC; Student Advocates/Attorneys draft opening statement, questions for direct and cross examination, and list of evidence to introduce. Student Witnesses draft statements on their recollection of the facts that are essential to the plaintiff and defendant’s case strategy
10:15AM Trial Section: Rules of Evidence: Objections and Arguments by Program Director
11:45AM Lunch on-campus
12:30PM Depart to Lenni-Lenape Munsee Three Sister Farm, Ringwood, NJ for tour and lecture
1:15PM Lecture and Tour of Three Sisters Farm by Chief Vincent Mann and Prof. Mark Clatterbuck
3:45PM Return to Montclair State University
4:15PM Discuss Draft I of Writing Assignment due on July 13, 2023

Thursday, July 13, 2023

8:30AM Class discussion of trip and draft 1 writing assignment peer review exercise
10:00AM Lecture: How to Create Your Defense and Prosecution Strategy by Program Director
11:00AM MTC Team activity/breakout session; discuss attorney and witness strategy
12:15PM Lunch on-campus
1:15PM Trial Section: Rules of Evidence and Exhibit Overview part 2 by Program Director
2:00PM MTC Team breakout session
3:00PM NJ Attorney or Law Student Panel Discussion
4:15PM Draft II of Writing Assignment

Friday, July 14, 2023 – Field Trip 2

8:30AM Class discussion of panel event on July 13th and draft 2 (final) writing assignment peer review exercise
9:45AM Depart MSU for Rutgers Law School Visit
10:15AM Arrive for Rutgers Law School Tour and Dean’s Welcome
11:45AM Lunch To-Go /Off-Campus
1:00PM Mock trial coaching and discussion with Rutgers Law School students
3:00PM Return to Montclair State University
4:00PM MTC Team Check-ins with Program Director and Teaching Assistant

Monday, July 17, 2023

8:30AM Class discussion of visit to Rutgers Law School and coaching experience
10:00AM Trial Section: Defense and Prosecution, Closing Statements Strategy Session by NJ Attorney
11:30AM MTC Team activity/breakout session
12:00PM Lunch on-campus
1:30PM Trial Section: Draft Closing Statements for Plaintiff and Defense
2:00PM MTC Team Breakout Sessions
3:00PM Native American Law and Religious Land Use Issues in NJ and the World – Class Discussion
4:00PM MTC Team Check-in with Program Director and Teaching Assistant

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

8:30AM Review schedule for the MTC on July 19 and judging process
9:00AM Intro. to Law School Admission Process, Resources, and Tools Available to aspiring law students; presentation by Program Director or law school admissions dean from Pace University Law School or another nearby law school
10:00AM Intro. to the LSAT and how it relates to law school; presentation by Program Director
11:00AM MTC Team coaching session breakout
12:00PM Lunch on-campus
1:30PM Trial Section: Rules of Evidence, Review on Objections by Program Director
3:00PM Law Career Paths with NJ Attorneys Panel Discussion
4:30PM Class ends

Wednesday, July 19, 2023 – Rounds 1 and 2 of Mock Trial Competition

8:30AM MTC Check-in and Team Breakout sessions
10:00AM Round 1 of MTC with Judges
12:00PM Lunch on-campus
1:00PM MTC Team Breakout Session
2:00PM Round 2 of MTC with Judges
4:00PM Collect ballots from Judges
4:30PM Announce Finalists for Final Round of the MTC

Thursday, July 20, 2023 – Final Round of Mock Trial Competition

8:30AM MTC Check-in and Breakout Sessions
10:00AM Final Round of MTC with Judges (all MTC participants observe last round)
12:00PM Lunch on-campus
1:15PM Group discussion and reflection on the MTC and how it relates to current events and issues impacting Native American and Indigenous Peoples’ in NJ and around the globe
2:30PM All participants complete course evaluation on the MTC and lectures
3:30PM MTC Award Reception with participants and their guests

Friday, July 21, 2023 – Field Trip 3

9:15AM Depart MSU to U.S. District Courthouse, Newark, NJ
10:15AM Tour of U.S. District Courthouse, Newark, NJ
12:00PM Lunch and Tour of Seton Hall Law School
2:15PM Visit Rutgers Law School to meet with mock trial coaches and Admission Dean
3:30PM Return to Depart Rutgers Law School, complete final program evaluation
4:15PM Arrive at Montclair State University, Panzer Athletic Center