How to Think Like an Attorney

How do attorneys make decisions? What skills do attorneys draw on to gather information? How do they use evidence to make decisions, while avoiding the pull of emotions? In this course, you will learn how to think like an attorney. You will discover a disciplined way of asking questions. You will be encouraged to look beyond the obvious and make decisions based on evidence and analysis of the information you must consider. You’ll separate fact from opinion and exercise the skills you need to be an attorney and a critical thinker. Want to explore a future in law? This course is for you.

Apply to Law

Program Dates

Various 2- and 4-week sessions throughout the year

Eligibility

For students ages 13 and up

Fees

$1495

How does the law work?

Go inside the legal profession

Discover the day-to-day life of an attorney. Gain an in-depth look at what an attorney does. Practice making a fact-based argument. Delve into the evidence and compare and contrast fact versus opinion, and gain the skills needed to make informed decisions.

Know the difference between intellectual and emotional decisions

Write arguments that support a decision, and consider the ethics of your point of view. Examine the role “fairness” plays in justice and debate your position while aiming for consensus.

Evaluate a situation and determine if the acts are actually a crime

Learn how “crime” is defined. Analyze the factors that lead to the criminal incidents. Explore the connection between individual values and society’s values, and review real cases.

Dig into the evidence—circumstantial, forensic and physical

Review evidence to compose and defend your argument. Distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information. Gain insight into the path of a criminal case through the justice system, using a famous murder case.

Study the Lululemon case—what does it reveal about the system of law?

Compare the ways defense and prosecuting attorneys use facts and create arguments in a real case. Analyze evidence and learn how to construct a legal timeline. Delve into issues such as ethics in law, plea bargains, and rights to appeal.

Explore college majors and future careers in law

Topics covered in this course offer a good background for potential college majors and career paths related to law, such as lawyer, judge, paralegal, and law clerk.

How You Will Benefit

  • Be able to ask the right questions
  • Know how to separate evidence from emotion
  • Understand the difference between the defense and prosecution
  • Gain the experience of studying real world law cases
  • Understand the role ethics plays in the judicial system
  • Acquire the ability to debate your side of an argument successfully
  • Explore future college majors and careers in law
  • Determine if law is a field that interests you
  • Complete a final capstone project to demonstrate what you’ve learned
  • Earn a Certificate of Completion from Georgetown University

Decorative: Student meeting with a mentor on a tablet

Three Learning Advantages Designed For You

Final Capstone Project — You Be the Judge

Assume the position of a judge and issue a court opinion of guilty or innocent

  • Based on what you’ve learned, you will issue an official court opinion in a case involving two people accused of looting during a state emergency
  • After reviewing the witness testimony, evidence, and law, you will rule in favor of either the prosecution or the defense 
  • Finally, write the Court's decision explicitly stating the reasons for your ruling

Mentoring

You’ll receive guidance from a Georgetown University mentor who will support you and answer questions throughout your learning experience. You can expect:

  • Encouragement and direction on all assignments
  • Inspiration and motivation to help you succeed
  • Brainstorming to help you prepare for your capstone project
  • Feedback on your final project

Flexible Learning

All online courses culminate in a final project that allows you to:

  • 100% online learning that works with your schedule
  • 20 to 30 hours of total instruction and coursework, including engaging multimedia, simulations, and assignments featuring Georgetown University professor Charisma Howell. This flexible format allows you to tune in anytime that works for you
  • Regular online live group sessions with a Georgetown university mentor
  • The opportunity to meet fellow students from around the world

Apply now for the next available course

August 8 - August 22

Law: How to Think Like an Attorney

Length: 2 weeks

Cost: $1495

Application Deadline: Sunday, August 1, 2021

August 22 - September 5

Law: How to Think Like an Attorney

Length: 2 weeks

Cost: $1495

Application Deadline: Sunday, August 15, 2021

September 12 - September 26

Law: How to Think Like an Attorney

Length: 2 weeks

Cost: $1495

Application Deadline: Sunday, September 5, 2021

All course options, whether two or four weeks, have the same educational content, learning materials, and number of assignments. We are offering a condensed version of the course in order to accommodate students’ individual schedules.

Course designed by Georgetown University Faculty

Decorative: Photo of Professor Charisma Howell

Charisma Howell, JD

Profesor Howell has taught student-centered methods domestically and internationally for over a decade at the graduate and undergraduate levels for legal professionals, laypeople and policymakers. She graduated from Arizona State University with a B.S. in Business Management and obtained her law degree from California Western School of Law. She also earned a Master of Laws in Advocacy from Georgetown University Law Center.

Meet Your Mentors

Decorative: Mentor for Law course, Esmeralda

Esmeralda

Pre-law student at Georgetown University studying government. Member of the Community Scholars Program.

Decorative: Mentor for law course, Preet

Preet

Pre-law student at Georgetown University studying the science of foreign service, government, and diplomatic studies.

Decorative: Mentor for Law course, Victoria

Victoria

Law student at Georgetown University Law Center. Co-President of the American Constitution Society, Outreach Coordinator of Prosecution Programming for the Georgetown Criminal Law Association, a member of the Trial Advocacy Team, and a legal volunteer with the Neighborhood Legal Services Program Criminal Record Sealing Unit.

Decorative: Mentor for Law Course, Bryanna

Bryanna

Law student at Georgetown University Law Center. B.A. in Business Administration and B.A in Political Science.

How to Apply

It’s easy. No transcripts or letters of recommendation are required. Our application asks you to provide the following:

  • Basic contact information for you and your parent or guardian
  • Why you wish to take this course, and a bit of your story, through writing, video, photos—any media you prefer

Begin the guided process. It should take only a few minutes to answer the questions.

Begin the process.

Decorative: Student applying to a pre-college program

Want to know more?

Sign up for more information and we’ll be in touch.

Admissions

Our application process is easy. You can expect a prompt decision.

Start Application

Frequently Asked Questions

How will you be graded? What are assignments like? How much time do you have to turn around a project? When do you find out if you're admitted? Find answers to your questions here.

Answers to Your Questions Here

Scholarships

We offer need-based scholarships in each cohort to students exhibiting high potential and an inability to pay full tuition. If you would like to be considered for a scholarship but you: