Summer Start


The summer start advantage

Start law school early and enjoy the benefits. Summer starters begin classes in late May.
A female student smiles at a classmate during an outdoor class meeting

Summer Start Benefits

As a first-year student, you may choose to begin your studies at KU Law in the summer or the fall. Summer starters enjoy several advantages, including:

  • Small Class Sizes: Summer start classes are significantly smaller than typical first-year law classes.
  • Lighter Load: You'll work hard in summer school, but you'll only be taking two classes at a time. 
  • Flexible Start: Summer starters get an 8-credit head start on completing the 90 credits required to graduate, creating the opportunity to take fewer credits per semester and still graduate on time.
  • Electives in the First Year: Because summer starters have already completed two substantive courses, they will take two elective courses in their first year.

Sample Schedule

Following is a sample schedule for the path you might take:

Sample Summer Starter Schedule
 SummerFallWinterSpring
First Year812-14
Second Year214214
Third Year-12-12
Total Credits90

More information about the Summer Start Program

Summer starters also have the option to choose an accelerated path to their degree.

Accelerated Program

Want to finish law school almost a year ahead of schedule? Summer starters who choose the Accelerated Program can complete their J.D. in a little over two years by attending school during summer and winter.

Here's how it's done:

Accelerated Program Schedule
 SummerFallWinterSpring
First Year816-16
Second Year816216
Third Year8---
Total Credits90

Financial Considerations

For students worried about the cost of law school, the Accelerated Program is one fundamental way to keep your debt under control. Because tuition is on a per-credit payment system, you'll still end up paying about the same in tuition. So if the cost is the same, how do summer starters in the Accelerated Program save money?

  1. One less year in living expenses.
  2. Start your career one year early, providing a bonus year of employment.
  3. No student fees for the third year.
  4. Your scholarship may be affected depending on the terms of your scholarship. The terms will be available at the time of admission.

More information for Summer Starters

How to Apply

The requirements and process for enrollment in the Summer Start program are the same as for the J.D. program, with the following exceptions:

  • The deadline to apply for the Summer Start program is April 15.
  • You will apply using the J.D. application on the LSAC website. The first question of the application asks whether you are applying for the "Fall Session" or "Summer Session." Please mark "Summer Session."
  • Your choice of session is not binding until March 15. If you want to change your selection, you must inform the Admissions Office by that date.

Tuition

KU Law charges students on a per-credit basis, so tuition will be higher in your first year but lower in your second and third years. Comparing fall starters to summer starters demonstrates the difference:

Tuition Credit Hour Comparison for Summer Starters
 Fall StartersSummer Starters
First Year29 credits37 credits
Second and Third Years61 credits53 credits

Scholarships

Most scholarships are awarded per year, not per credit, and are disbursed in the fall and spring semesters. For example, if you have been awarded a $5,000 scholarship in the first year, you will receive a $2,500 award in the fall semester followed by a $2,500 award in the spring semester. Scholarships that are awarded on a per credit basis will cover summer classes. For example, Jayhawk, Oread and Rice Scholarships will fully apply to summer classes.

Financial Aid

Financial aid is available for summer starters. For more information, please contact the KU Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships.

Information for 2021 Summer Starters

Orientation & Lawyering Skills Class

Summer Start students must arrive on Thursday, May 20, 2021 for the Entering Student Program, which lasts from May 20-May 24. This three-day lawyering "boot camp" (LAW 820) will provide you with the essential knowledge and skills necessary for success in law school. Find the first and second summer session schedules on the Class Schedule page.

First-Day Assignments

  1. Federal Courts and the Public
  2. Court Role and Structure
  3. Comparing Federal and State Courts
  4. About the U.S. Courts of Appeal
  • Read Chapters 1-3 in your Lawyering Skills textbook, A Lawyer Writes: A Practical Guide to Legal Analysis by Christine Coughlin, Joan Malmud & Sandy Patrick (Carolina Academic Press 2018) (ISBN 9781531008765).*

*The KU bookstore will likely not have this book available by orientation. If you are unable to purchase the book through other means before orientation, we can provide you with hard copies of the assigned chapters during orientation.

Regular Schedule

Beginning May 25, summer start students will attend classes per a schedule posted at a time closer to the summer start date. Classes will meet every weekday. You do not need to enroll yourselves in summer classes because the law school registrar will enroll you in mid-May.

First Session Class Dates:

  • May 25-June 18 (classes will not be held on Memorial Day, May 31)

First Session Exam Dates:

  • Criminal Law: June 21
  • Torts: June 23

Second Session Class Dates:

  • June 24-July 19

Second Session Exam Dates:

  • Criminal Law: July 21
  • Contracts: July 23
Summer 2021 First-Year Class Schedule
Course TitleCatalog NumberFacultyRoomDay/TimeCreditsClass Number
First Session
Torts831Hines203MTWRF 9:00-10:20277012
Criminal Law814Yung203MTWRF 10:40-12:00277014
Second Session
Torts831Velte203MTWRF 9:00-10:20277013
Criminal Law814Stacy203MTWRF 10:40-12:00277015

*First-year courses will be taught in the traditional 80-minute time periods over 18 class days.

Accelerated Program

Want to finish law school almost a year ahead of schedule? Summer starters who choose the Accelerated Program can complete their J.D. in a little over two years by attending school during summer and winter.

Here's how it's done:

Accelerated Program Schedule
 SummerFallWinterSpring
First Year816-16
Second Year816216
Third Year8---
Total Credits90

Financial Considerations

For students worried about the cost of law school, the Accelerated Program is one fundamental way to keep your debt under control. Because tuition is on a per-credit payment system, you'll still end up paying about the same in tuition. So if the cost is the same, how do summer starters in the Accelerated Program save money?

  1. One less year in living expenses.
  2. Start your career one year early, providing a bonus year of employment.
  3. No student fees for the third year.
  4. Your scholarship may be affected depending on the terms of your scholarship. The terms will be available at the time of admission.

More information for Summer Starters

How to Apply

The requirements and process for enrollment in the Summer Start program are the same as for the J.D. program, with the following exceptions:

  • The deadline to apply for the Summer Start program is April 15.
  • You will apply using the J.D. application on the LSAC website. The first question of the application asks whether you are applying for the "Fall Session" or "Summer Session." Please mark "Summer Session."
  • Your choice of session is not binding until March 15. If you want to change your selection, you must inform the Admissions Office by that date.

Tuition

KU Law charges students on a per-credit basis, so tuition will be higher in your first year but lower in your second and third years. Comparing fall starters to summer starters demonstrates the difference:

Tuition Credit Hour Comparison for Summer Starters
 Fall StartersSummer Starters
First Year29 credits37 credits
Second and Third Years61 credits53 credits

Scholarships

Most scholarships are awarded per year, not per credit, and are disbursed in the fall and spring semesters. For example, if you have been awarded a $5,000 scholarship in the first year, you will receive a $2,500 award in the fall semester followed by a $2,500 award in the spring semester. Scholarships that are awarded on a per credit basis will cover summer classes. For example, Jayhawk, Oread and Rice Scholarships will fully apply to summer classes.

Financial Aid

Financial aid is available for summer starters. For more information, please contact the KU Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships.

Information for 2021 Summer Starters

Orientation & Lawyering Skills Class

Summer Start students must arrive on Thursday, May 20, 2021 for the Entering Student Program, which lasts from May 20-May 24. This three-day lawyering "boot camp" (LAW 820) will provide you with the essential knowledge and skills necessary for success in law school. Find the first and second summer session schedules on the Class Schedule page.

First-Day Assignments

  1. Federal Courts and the Public
  2. Court Role and Structure
  3. Comparing Federal and State Courts
  4. About the U.S. Courts of Appeal
  • Read Chapters 1-3 in your Lawyering Skills textbook, A Lawyer Writes: A Practical Guide to Legal Analysis by Christine Coughlin, Joan Malmud & Sandy Patrick (Carolina Academic Press 2018) (ISBN 9781531008765).*

*The KU bookstore will likely not have this book available by orientation. If you are unable to purchase the book through other means before orientation, we can provide you with hard copies of the assigned chapters during orientation.

Regular Schedule

Beginning May 25, summer start students will attend classes per a schedule posted at a time closer to the summer start date. Classes will meet every weekday. You do not need to enroll yourselves in summer classes because the law school registrar will enroll you in mid-May.

First Session Class Dates:

  • May 25-June 18 (classes will not be held on Memorial Day, May 31)

First Session Exam Dates:

  • Criminal Law: June 21
  • Torts: June 23

Second Session Class Dates:

  • June 24-July 19

Second Session Exam Dates:

  • Criminal Law: July 21
  • Contracts: July 23
Summer 2021 First-Year Class Schedule
Course TitleCatalog NumberFacultyRoomDay/TimeCreditsClass Number
First Session
Torts831Hines203MTWRF 9:00-10:20277012
Criminal Law814Yung203MTWRF 10:40-12:00277014
Second Session
Torts831Velte203MTWRF 9:00-10:20277013
Criminal Law814Stacy203MTWRF 10:40-12:00277015

*First-year courses will be taught in the traditional 80-minute time periods over 18 class days.

Summer Start Stats

  • Average class size: 20-25 students

  • Summer classes you'll take: Two classes in two sessions

Admissions Resources

Contact KU Law Admissions

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