School of Law announces new Summer Start program


The University of Akron School of Law has announced that it is piloting an innovative new program designed to make the first year of law school more flexible and accessible for both traditional and nontraditional students.

The Summer Start program will allow entering J.D. students to begin their studies in late May rather than having to wait until August. Participants will take two first-year courses in small class sections over the summer. Students then can get a head start on their graduation requirements by enrolling in two required classes normally reserved for upperclass students during the fall and spring semesters. Alternatively, students can choose to take a reduced course load during the regular academic year.

Akron Law will operate the program on a one-year trial basis, beginning in summer 2018. The pilot program will accommodate up to 30 first-year students and will include up to $2,500 in scholarship assistance to defray summer tuition costs.

‘One-of-a-kind program’

“We’re excited to roll out what we believe is a one-of-a-kind program,” says Akron Law Dean C.J. Peters. “The Summer Start option adds to our flexible legal education offerings. Students who graduate college in December can take the LSAT in the spring and begin law school in May, allowing them to defer repayment of their undergraduate loans. Nontraditional students can start their legal studies when they’re ready, rather than having to wait until August.” 

Combined with the existing January Start option, the new Summer Start program allows students to begin their J.D. program at Akron Law in the fall, spring, or summer semesters.

The Summer Start option also offers additional benefits to students, according to Nolan James, assistant dean of admissions. “The summer courses will be taught in small sections of 30 students or less,” says James. “We think many students will enjoy this more intimate classroom environment.”

Students also will be able to ease into their law school studies by taking two courses over the summer rather than the usual four courses they would take in the fall.

Accelerating degree program an option

“And if they choose, Summer Start students can accelerate their degree program by taking required upperclass courses during their first year of law school,” continues James.

To make the Summer Start initiative even more affordable for entering students, Akron Law will award scholarships of up to $2,500 to a limited number of students enrolled in the program. 

“Normally, we don’t offer scholarships for summer coursework,” said Peters. “But thanks to the generosity of our alumni and other donors, we have some funds available to support special scholarships for a limited number of students during the first summer of the program. If the pilot is successful, we hope to raise additional money for scholarships in subsequent years.” 

Prospective students are encouraged to apply early to maximize their chances of receiving a scholarship.

More information about Akron Law’s Summer Start program is available online or by contacting the Akron Law admissions team at Information about applying to Akron Law is also available online.


Media contact: Lisa Craig, 330-972-7429 or

University of Akron law student in class