Dec. 21, 2017 — The University of Houston Law Center has received a $300,000 grant to support its successful, award-winning Pre-Law Pipeline Program which is designed to increase the number of lawyers from underrepresented groups by introducing undergraduates to the demands of law school and the opportunities of a career in the law.
Students participate in introductory law school classes and are placed in Houston-based judicial and legal internships. Forty-six students from colleges across the country completed the eight-week session last summer during the program's third year since its initiation by Dean Leonard M. Baynes.
The grant from the Law School Admission Council will allow the school to host 20 or 30 participants each summer for the next three years, paying each student a stipend of $1,000. The funds will be used to cover the cost of housing, meals, and course materials for our students as well as stipends for teaching faculty and assistants.
"The UHLC Pre-Law Pipeline Program is exceptional," Baynes said. "In just three years, it has made a difference in the lives of many students, including 10 who are enrolled in law schools across the country. The Law School Admission Council grant provides the "Good Housekeeping seal of approval" on what we all know to be a terrific program.
"The Law Center is honored to receive the $300,000 grant, which will help us expand the pool of qualified law student applicants from all backgrounds enrolling and graduating from law school. By working together, we can diversify the legal profession."
During its first three years, 86 students participated in the Law Center's program. The 2017 session consisted of 46 students: 74 percent female, 39 percent black, 35 percent Hispanic, 13 percent Caucasian, 11 percent Asian/Pacific Islander, and 2 percent Caribbean.
LSAC is a nonprofit corporation that provides products and services to ease the admission process for 221 member law schools and their applicants worldwide. The council is best known for administering the Law School Admission Test. It also processes academic credentials for an average of 60,000 law school applicants annually, provides software and information for admission offices and applicants, conducts educational conferences, and publishes LSAT preparation books and law school guides
"We consider LSAC PLUS programs to be an investment in the future of the diversity of the legal profession," Kellye Testy, LSAC president and CEO, said in announcing the award to UHLC and four other law schools.
Upon completing the program, participants also receive an LSAC fee waiver that can be used to cover the cost of taking the LSAT, all of their law school application fees, and registering for LSAC's Credential Assembly Service.
We are honored to have been awarded this prestigious and competitive grant," said Meredith J. Duncan, director of Metropolitan Programs and George Butler Research Professor of Law. "The $300,000 will move us closer to our goal of increasing diversity within the legal profession."