Today@Sam Article

LEAP Center Offers Mock Law School Class

Jan. 29, 2018
SHSU Media Contact: Emily Binetti

Mock_Law_2017_Ricks_Speaking_5_WebStudents interested in going to law school or for those that have questions about how law school classes differ from undergraduate classes, can attend a simulated law school class on Wednesday, Feb. 21,  from 6 - 7:15 p.m. without leaving Huntsville or campus.

Sponsored by the Center for Law, Engagement, And Politics (LEAP), the mock law school class provides an opportunity for Sam Houston State University students to hone their critical thinking and legal reasoning skills through the lens of the Socratic Method. Guest professor Val Ricks, a professor at South College Texas of Law—Houston, will teach the class. Professor Ricks’ qualifications include a Juris Doctorate from Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark’s Law School, time as an associate attorney with Kirton & McConkie, and 19 years teaching at South Texas College of Law, including five years as the Vinson & Elkins Research Professor of Law.

Students who participate will be provided with short readings a week before the class, and Professor Ricks will use the Socratic Method to lead the course, just as he does at South Texas College of Law—Houston.

Junior, Victoria McClendon-Leggett attended last year’s class, which she described as “fun, in an intimidating sort of way.  Professor Ricks definitely keeps students engaged, and it was good to see what a law class is like.”

The idea behind the class is to help prepare SHSU students for law school or for making the decision about law school, according to LEAP Center director Mike Yawn.

“I believe it’s important to give students a realistic view of what the law school experience is and allow them to use that information to make good decisions,” Yawn said.

The program is one of many offered by the LEAP Center this semester.  Other scheduled events include: a presentation by presidential scholar Jeremy Suri (Feb. 7), “Democracy Coach” Nancy Bocskor (Feb. 20), a Mock LSAT (Feb. 24), a small-group meeting with author and historian Stephen Harrigan (March 22), a visit to the Bush Presidential Library (April), the eighth annual appearance of the Tenth Court of Appeals (April 4), and the Center’s ninth annual charity football game.  In addition, LEAP will once again partner with the Huntsville Public Library to offer a citizenship preparatory class to local immigrants who wish to earn their citizenship.

To register for the Mock Law School class, or for more information about LEAP Center’s Programs, contact professor Mike Yawn at or visit the LEAP Center website at:   

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