Program Overview

Inns of Court

Inns of Court originated in London many centuries ago as the professional associations for barristers. In the late 1970s, United States Chief Justice Warren Burger led a movement to create Inns of Court in the United States, loosely modeled after the traditional English Inns. In 1985, he and others established the American Inns of Court Foundation with twelve Inns nationally. The American Inns of Court is an association of lawyers, judges, and law students focused on legal skills, professionalism and ethics of the bench and bar.

2016 Law School Olympics


 

At SMU Dedman Law, our Inns of Court are each comprised of approximately 30 J.D. students and five international LL.M. students.


The Inns serve as students’ core community groups and provide many opportunities for bonding and connection. In some respects, Inns are like law school “homerooms” or law school “families.” In addition to first-year and LL.M. students, each Inn has two faculty advisors, one Career Services counselor, three alumni Community Fellows and six upper-class students–three Student Bar Association Mentors and three Academic Success Mentors. 

Inns typically meet weekly at the same time and place. Day program Inns meet every Monday at 10:00 a.m. and the evening program Inn meets every Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. Each meeting has a different topic. Usually, Inns meet as single Inns, but at other times, Inns combine in groups of two, three or six for larger programs so that students get to know their peers in other sections. Academic Success Mentors conduct wrap-up sessions at the end of each week starting in the second week of school. Most Inn meetings start with general announcements, and because Inn meetings are mandatory, attendance is taken. 


Inns will provide valuable programming specifically designed to help you become a more successful law student and develop as a professional. The core areas of focus include:


Career and Professional Development

professionalism training - including personal branding and digital presence, job search strategies, networking, interview training and practice area information sessions

Academic Advising

academic skills workshops, outlining and exam preparation, Weekly Wrap-Up mentoring sessions by upperclassmen, course selection counseling 

Alumni Connection

mentoring and networking opportunities, information sessions about how to make the most of the law school experience to maximize performance as a lawyer

Student Affairs

social activities, health and wellness programs, financial management and student debt guidance 

Diversity and Inclusion

leadership training, team building and management

Public Service

service projects during orientation and during the holiday season, information and counseling for public interest careers
Several Inn meetings include social activities designed to help you and your fellow students develop meaningful connections with each other and to help you all unwind. The relationships formed through the Inns will be valuable as you progress through law school and when you start your legal career.

A few Inn events are outside of the regular schedule. For instance, during Orientation, the Inns participated in a service project through the North Texas Food Bank to assist those from our community in need. The Inn program culminates with a Mini-Inn Olympics in the spring semester where Inns will compete against each other in a variety of “athletic” games to determine bragging rights.

Haynes and Boone, LLP, the Dallas-based international corporate law firm that has been one of SMU Dedman Law’s long-time partners, has made a very generous financial gift to support the Inns of Court program. 
###
 
 
 
 
- Default Text -