Honors college students get sneak peek of law school

Posted on Sep 21 2012 - 11:28am by Lacey Russell

Since its establishment in 1997, the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College has had a reputation for producing some of best students The University of Mississippi has to offer. Dr. Debra Brown Young, associate dean of the honors college, said they wanted to create a program to challenge honors students at the same level of law students. “For many people, it’s a time to say, ‘Yes, I think law school is for me,’ or to say, ‘You know, not so much,’” she said. Through a partnership with the Robert C. Khayat Law School, honors college students are given the platform to do just that in Honors 350, 550 and 551 classes. Honors 350 was designed as an introduction into American law and legal reasoning, and the 500-level courses are actually taken with law students. “The method of law school is so particular,” Young said. “Honors 350 gives people a chance to taste it before they make the huge commitment of the law school admission test (LSAT), followed by a lengthy application and a lot of money to apply.” Each year, the Honors 550 and 551 classes vary with the professor. Law professor Matthew Hall is impressed with the level of intellect the honors students bring to the classes. “The great thing about teaching it is how amazing the honors college students are,” Hall said. “The discussions we have in class regularly rival the kind of discussions we have in a good law school class.” The law school chose to participate in the collaboration to give the university’s best undergraduates the opportunity to determine if they are interested in law school. As of the beginning of the semester, 50 honors students had taken or were enrolled in Honors 350. Currently, eight students are enrolled in five different sections of Honors 550, including the Constitutional Law 2, Family Law, Criminal Procedures 1, Jurisprudence and International Law classes. Students currently enrolled in the classes have given positive reviews, saying that even though it does come with a lot of work, it is definitely a unique opportunity. “I have adjusted to the caliber of work demanded, amount of studying required and perspective one must have in courses at our law school,” said Zackary Huffman, honors college senior and public policy leadership major. “In a way I have been allowed to test-drive law school, and so far I like what I see. I hope that this experiment between the honors college and the Robert C. Khayat Law School continues and expands.” Molly Harris, honors college senior and public policy leadership major, recommended that any honors college student with an interest in law school take Honors 350. “It gives you an idea of what law school classes are going to be like and gives students the opportunity to test drive law school before committing to it,” Harris said. “I hope to be in law school this time next year.”

Powered by WPeMatico