Law Schools

Students at 24 California community colleges are offered a 'smoother pathway' to law school

Six of California’s law schools and their undergrad campuses will partner with 24 community colleges in an effort to promote diversity and create a “smoother pathway” to a legal education.

The program offers mentoring, early exposure to law school experience, financial aid counseling, LSAT preparation and waived law-school application fees, according to the Los Angeles Times blog LA Now and a press release. TaxProf Blog links to additional coverage, including stories in the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Jose Mercury News.

Students in the program will have to complete courses based on “success factors” that help make effective lawyers. Credits in the prescribed courses will transfer.

University of California at Davis law dean Kevin Johnson told the Chronicle he sees participation in the program as a public duty. “We’ll create a person at the law school who is a champion of this pipeline program,” he said. “We’ll bring community college students to the law school and expose them to a legal education. We’ll do our very best to work with students to make sure they get the information they need to come to law school.”

Besides UC Davis, participating law schools are the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, University of San Francisco School of Law, University of California at Irvine School of Law, Santa Clara University School of Law, and Loyola Law School.

The chancellor of community colleges signed a memorandum of understanding with the law schools on Law Day. The initiative is sponsored by the State Bar of California’s Council on Access and Fairness.

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