Law and St. John’s College

Each year, the admissions office here at St. John’s runs five week-long summer sessions for high school students, called Summer Academy. Each session includes small discussion classes with St. John’s tutors (our form of professors), as well as fun activities and field trips to area museums and cultural attractions. Students get to live in the dorms, eat in the dining hall, and experience a slice of college life at St. John’s.

Session Four of this year’s Summer Academy is entitled “Equality & Inequality: Justice & Law.”  Aristotle, Rousseau seeks the pernicious source of inequality. Students at this session will get to dig into Hamilton, Lincoln, Douglass, and Susan B. Anthony, and Archimedes, and this session—and its partial focus on law—are a natural fit for St. John’s.

Law is among the most popular career fields for St. John’s graduates. This is not surprising, for a few reasons. Law is a field that requires great powers of analysis, an ability to synthesize large amounts of information quickly, and a skill for clear, textually-grounded argumentation—all noted strengths of the Johnnie. In addition, there is perhaps no better preparation for the rigors of law school, which uses the Socratic method and asks students to do an incredible amount of dense reading, than our undergraduate Program.

During the tail end of my time as a student at St. John’s College, I attended a student-alumni mixer at a top-15 law program, hosted by our Career Services Office. While there, I asked an alumnus and current student at the law school for advice regarding the transition from St. John’s to Law school. He said that during his first year of law school, he’d found that everyone around him seemed to be panicking. “Most of them had never been asked to do this much difficult reading this quickly,” he explained. “The most important thing is to remember that you don’t need to panic just because they’re panicking. We’re very well prepared, and you’ll be fine.”

It’s also not surprising that we’ve drawn some legal luminaries to St. John’s. For instance, in the last five years, we’ve welcomed two sitting Supreme Court justices and one former attorney general of the United States to our campuses, in addition to returning alumni in all kinds of positions in the worlds of law and public policy.

We’ve been proud to welcome these folks to campus, and next week at Summer Academy, we’ll have the pleasure of welcoming some the finest legal minds of the future! It’s not too late to join them, and enjoy close discussions with amazing faculty on these incredible foundational texts—a few places remain, and you can apply here!

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