June 1, 2018 — Members of the 2018 Pre-Law Pipeline Program class were welcomed to campus with an orientation on Wednesday at the University of Houston Law Center.
The program, now in its fourth year, was established by Law Center Dean Leonard M. Baynes and Program Manager Kristen Guiseppi. Professor Meredith J. 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 seriously consider a legal education. The program divides students into two tracks — LSAC's DiscoverLaw.Org Prelaw Undergraduate Scholars (PLUS) Program and Scholar II.
"The University of Houston Law Center is committed to ensuring that the doors of legal education are open to all students whatever their backgrounds," Baynes said. "The pipeline program provides a unique opportunity for college students to get a bird's eye view of law school, legal internships, and LSAT review. It also gives the students the tools for their success allowing them to achieve whatever they aim to do. I look forward to teaching the students a class on race and racism and the law next week."
"I am excited to welcome a new cohort of 43 aspiring lawyers to the Pipeline Program," Guiseppi added. "With the receipt of the Law School Admission Council PLUS grant, we are able to increase the class size of the PLUS Program track, formerly known as the Scholar I track.
"This summer, our incoming class is made up of 24 PLUS Program Scholars and 20 Scholar IIs who are visiting from 25 colleges nationwide. We have three returning students who are taking advantage of the program's extensive two-year curriculum which includes the immersive introductory law school and legal experience of the first track, and the law school application preparation of the second track. I am confident that this is going to be another amazing summer."
The 25 schools represented include:
Students received an overview on classroom etiquette from Duncan. She encouraged students to be prepared, prompt and serious about the program, to participate in class and to be respectful of their classmates, professors and teaching assistants.
"What you have is a very unique opportunity," Duncan said. "It's fair to say that most of you are here because you want to learn the law and learn about being a lawyer, and some of you are here to change your life and change the lives of your family. Don't squander this opportunity. Be a serious student. This is the beginning of your training to be a professional. This is the first step and I know that each and every one of you can be successful."
The orientation concluded with a professional development overview from Stephanie Gallo, a senior career development specialist in the Law Center's Career Development Office. Gallo gave advice on dress code, how students can manage their presence on social media channels, prioritizing ethics, proper email etiquette and job interview and networking techniques.