Ds Scholarship

New law school diversity program has a twist: Guaranteed admission

  • Bootcamp is aimed at minority and first generation law students
  • Participants will spend a year preparing for LSAT and law school, with the promise of admission and a scholarship

(Reuters) – Ten U.S. law schools have agreed to offer deferred admission funds and one-year scholarships to promising and underrepresented candidates whose initial applications were unsuccessful, according to the AccessLex Institute, a nonprofit advocating for Access and Affordability in Law. . education.

To retain their place at participating schools, including Willamette University School of Law and St. Thomas University School of Law, applicants will have to complete a one-year program designed and administered by AccessLex to improve their scores on the Law School Admissions Test and give them essential skills and additional knowledge.

“We will work to increase the chances of achieving good results for people who would not otherwise have had a law school opportunity,” said Aaron Taylor, executive director of AccessLex’s Center for Excellence in Legal Education.

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AccessLex funds the program with proceeds from its previous incarnation as a source of private student loans. The organization said it hopes to enroll 15 law schools by the official opening next year. Schools will refer up to 10 applicants and offer them deferred admission and a grant of at least 20% of the tuition fee provided they successfully complete the preparation year.

Participants must have an LSAT score of the 25th percentile or lower. They must also be from a racial or ethnic group under-represented in law schools; Be the first in his family to go to college; Or they received Federal Needs-Based Pell Scholarships as undergraduates.

Law school deans who agreed to participate, including Daniel Conway of Penn State Dickinson Law, said the program would help their schools increase opportunities for underrepresented groups.

“This partnership is perfectly aligned with our primary goal of creating equality in everything we do,” said Brian Galini, Dean of Willamette Law.

Those who complete the program will also receive a $3,000 stipend from AccessLex to help defer law school costs.

Participants will complete the Kaplan LSAT prep course online and take an entrance exam at least once. They will also take a series of online foundation law courses and receive both financial guidance and co-curricular training.

Taylor said the initial year-round program will require eight to 12 hours of work per week, and sponsoring law schools may cancel admissions offers if participants do not meet their obligations.

Read more:

A deep applicant pool results in a record diversity of top law schools

Do you want more diverse lawyers? More companies focus on pre-law pipeline

The demographics of new lawyers show modest growth in minority lawyers

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