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BYU Law Partners with Top Corporate Law Firms to Broaden Scope of Spring 2023 Academies Program

Intensive simulation-based opportunity helps students integrate real-world practice of law with academic legal training in the U.S. and abroad.

BYU Law, a global law school focused on leadership in legal theory and practice, today announced the addition of five new boot camp-style Academies for spring 2023, providing more opportunities for first-year BYU Law students to connect with top-flight attorneys for hands on experience in areas of interest. Offered in partnership with several leading law firms, the Academies being added this year include the Appellate Academy in Los Angeles (Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher), the Corporate Compliance Academy in Los Angeles (Mayer Brown), the Restructuring Academy in Philadelphia (Greenberg Traurig), the Chancery Academy in Delaware (Potter Anderson & Corroon), and the International Commercial Arbitration Academy in Geneva.

“Our Academies program has been in great demand with students and law firms alike, recognizing the unmatched benefit from networking and hands-on learning that this program provides,” said Gordon Smith, dean of BYU Law. “It’s gratifying to have interest from such a diverse lineup of topnotch firms in legal markets throughout the country, as well as globally.”

Although details of Academy curriculum vary depending on the subject matter, each Academy is built around an intensive simulation-based approach that helps students integrate their academic legal training with the real-world practice of law, learning from professionals and getting a feel for the area of interest.

For instance, the Appellate Academy is a rigorous training program designed to introduce students to appellate practice. Students will participate in exercises that teach and strengthen appellate advocacy skills, including appellate brief writing and oral advocacy. The 2023 Appellate Academy will be held at the Los Angeles offices of Gibson Dunn, recognized for three consecutive years as “Appellate Group of the Year”. The Chancery Academy takes students to the heart of U.S. corporate law: Delaware, which is the preferred state of incorporation for large companies around the world. Through an in-depth simulation led by Potter Anderson, students will gain an insider’s perspective on fast-paced company litigation.  

Following the success of an international pilot program in Singapore last spring, BYU Law adds the International Commercial Arbitration Academy in Geneva, Switzerland – one of the most important global law hubs in the world. The ICA Academy introduces students to the practice of international commercial arbitration where they will learn firsthand about resolving cross-border, multi-jurisdictional disputes. Students will gain experience preparing three components of an ICA proceeding: an opening argument, a cross-examination and a redirect. As part of this immersive program, students will receive coaching from highly experienced ICA attorneys, enjoy valuable networking opportunities, and experience what it’s like to live and work abroad.

The BYU Law Academies provide each first-year BYU Law student the opportunity to participate in an area of interest for their future legal career exploration. In addition to the newly added Academies, the spring 2023 program will continue its popular Deals Academy in New York City (Kirkland & Ellis), Immigration Academy in Salt Lake City (Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy), Startups Academy in Palo Alto (Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati), and Trial Academy in Dallas (Kirkland & Ellis).

Each Academy will be supervised by a full-time BYU Law faculty sponsor with relevant practice experience and a dedicated academy-specific adjunct faculty coordinator from BYU Law, in addition to lawyers who work for collaborating law firms. Students are selected by application based on demonstrated interest in the relevant practice area, and commitment to professionalism and professional development. The Academies Program is funded by the law school; participation (including all training, travel, lodging and meals) is provided at no charge to all students selected for an Academy.

About the BYU Law Academies Program Launch

The BYU Law Academies Program launched in 2018 when the school created the Trial Academy, a weeklong program pairing first-year students with a faculty of seasoned trial lawyer coaches in a boot-camp-style learning environment. Students received instruction and worked in small groups with their coaches 10 hours each day, then worked late into the evening preparing for the next day’s sessions and a capstone mock trial. After the concluding dinner, one associate dean reported: “At my table last night the students kept asking me 1) why doesn’t every school do this, and 2) why didn’t we do this before?” Inspired by the success of the Trial Academy, the next year BYU Law established the Deals Academy to focus on M&A work. Twelve students were selected to participate in this Academy, which was hosted in New York City by Kirkland & Ellis. Senior associates and junior partners from K&E served as coaches for the students as they worked through a simulated deal, and senior partners spoke with the students at the end of each day. As the Academies Program has grown, more and more BYU Law students have utilized the opportunity for career building, including mentorship, internship and job placement.

For more information about the BYU Law Academies, visit

About BYU Law School
Founded in 1971 with its inaugural class in 1973, the J. Reuben Clark Law School (BYU Law) has grown into one of the nation’s leading law schools – recognized for innovative research and teaching in social change, transactional design, entrepreneurship, corpus linguistics, criminal justice and religious freedom. The Law School has more than 6,000 alumni serving in communities around the world. In its most recent rankings, National Jurist recognized BYU Law as the #1 best-value law school in its 2021 and 2022 rankings. BYU Law also earned its highest U.S. news ranking to date, coming in at No. 23 in the U.S. News 2023 Best Graduate School rankings. For more information, visit