May 2, 2018 - The success and promising future of the University of Houston Law Center's Pre-Law Pipeline Program is being highlighted in the May edition of Texas Lawyer.
The program, which is about to begin its fourth year, was established by Law Center Dean Leonard M. Baynes and Program Manager Kristen Guiseppi. Professor Meredith Duncan, Director of Metropolitan Programs, oversees the program.
The eight-week summer course is designed to increase diversity among law school applicants and to provide students from low-income, first generation, and underrepresented backgrounds an opportunity to consider law school seriously.
"It's our responsibility to the profession, to make sure it has a wide swath of people," Baynes said in the article. "The most important thing is that they go to law school. I don't care where they want to go to law school—I just want them to pursue their dreams, and achieve their dreams."
During the program, undergraduate students attend introductory classes, participate in Houston-based judicial and legal internships, attend special events, and are prepped for the LSAT and law school application process.
The program divides students into two tracks – LSAC's DiscoverLaw.Org Prelaw Undergraduate Scholars (PLUS) Program and Scholar II.
The PLUS Program track is intended for students in their first two years of college. The curriculum consists of five weeks of instruction including law school classes taught by UHLC faculty and three weeks of internships.
The Scholar II track is designed for students in their third or fourth year of college who are preparing to apply to law school. It focuses on building a strong law school application. The curriculum consists of eight weeks of LSAT preparation, resume and personal statement workshops, and follow-up one-on-one sessions. It is recommended that students participate in both tracks to maximize their potential in the program.
Guiseppi said that students who have completed the program usually see a dramatic increase in their LSAT scores.
"What that does for our students is it takes them from potentially an LSAT score where they may not even be accepted to law school, to a point where they now have different law school options, and they are eligible for scholarships," she said.
The article includes comments from Law Center 1L student Natalie Diala, and University of Houston undergraduate student Daniel Henry.
"I went into the program thinking that it would help me know for sure if law was something that I wanted to pursue," Diala said. "At the end of the program I knew I definitely wanted to be an attorney."
"I just went to learn about the legal field, and I came out knowing [and] fighting for justice as an attorney was my purpose," Henry added.
The program will resume with a new class on May 30. The UHLC Pre-Law Pipeline Program is currently accepting applications for enrollment on a space-availability basis.