June 16, 2020 - Students from across the country were recently welcomed to the University of Houston Law Center's award-winning Pre-Law Pipeline Program in two recent orientation sessions held on Zoom. For the first time in the program's six-year history it is being offered online, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
“I am delighted to welcome you to the Pre-Law Pipeline Program,” said Dean Leonard M. Baynes. “I applaud Kristen Guiseppi, the Director of the Program, for her innovation and hard work in making this happen.
“With the program being moved online, we assure you that you will receive the same high-quality prelaw training that we usually provide, but in this virtual online setting.”
“I am so amazed and inspired by our scholars who have shown true grit and resilience during this highly unprecedented time,” added Program Director Kristen Guiseppi. “I am equally thrilled to welcome them to our pipeline family.
“Our work now is so much more critical and necessary with all that is happening today, and I am happy that we’ve made it a priority to continue to offer these services and support to these aspiring lawyers.”
The eight-week summer Pre-Law Pipeline Program is designed to increase diversity among law school applicants by providing students from low-income, first generation, and underrepresented backgrounds an opportunity to seriously consider a legal education.
The program divides students from around the country into two tracks — Scholar I and Scholar II.
Students in the Scholar I track attend five weeks of classroom instruction taught by Law Center faculty as well as sessions on legal writing and research and trial advocacy. Some students will also intern at a variety of local law firms and legal organizations.
Scholar II students study a comprehensive LSAT-focused curriculum to develop a strong foundation of test basics. They also participate in one-on-one sessions and workshops on writing their personal statement, diversity statement, and resume. Four students are taking part in the new Working Professional Scholar Program. It is designed to introduce the law school classroom experience and preparation for the LSAT to those considering a career change. Students will gain a better understanding of the application process and demands of law school and the legal profession. The program began this month and will continue into the fall.
In the orientations sessions, students received a greeting from Dean Leonard M. Baynes through video message, an overview of the program’s rules and schedule and heard from panelists who previously participated in the Pre-Law Pipeline Program.
Since the Pre-Law Pipeline Program began in 2014, 169 undergraduate students drawn from 56 colleges and universities across 24 states have completed the course. Sixty-one, or about 75 percent, of the program’s college graduates have gone on to law school. Pipeline graduates have been awarded more than $2 million in law school scholarships.
The program has been honored by numerous organizations and publications, including the American Bar Association, the Law School Admission Council, the AccessLex Institute and INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine (HEED Award).