Prelaw Programs for Minorities and Other Underrepresented Students

Prelaw Programs for Minorities

As Blueprint JD’s Applying to Law School Timeline noted, national and local prelaw programs stand ready to help you prepare for success on the LSAT and in law school. Traditionally, these programs have been geared toward college juniors. However the continued lack of diversity in the profession has prompted programs for college freshman and sophomores as well as high school students. 

Ready to explore? Below is a list of more than 30 programs available for budding attorneys.  Those with an asterisk (*) are specifically geared toward diverse law school applicants.

    • Alaska Color of Justice Program* – This 2-day program encourages young women and youth of color in Alaska to consider the law and being a judge as a profession. For two days, high school students attend workshops to discuss legal careers, explore life on a college campus and spend time with associate judges from the Alaska Supreme Court and other courts.
    • American Bar Foundation Summer Research Diversity Fellowships in Law and Social Science* – An 8-week, paid summer research position for undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds interested in pursuing graduate study in the social sciences.
    • American Indian Law Center Pre Law Summer Institute* – This intensive two-month program which prepares American Indian and Alaska Native individuals for the rigors of law school by essentially replicating the first semester of law school.  Fees apply.
    • Charles Hamilton Houston Law School Preparatory Institute* – Held at Georgetown Law, this program introduces prelaw students to appellate advocacy as well as the law school classroom and exam experience. Tuition fees apply and housing is not provided.
    • CLEO Achieving Success in the Applications Process (ASAP)* – This weekend program prepares talented, motivated, yet under-represented students to successfully gain admission to and succeed in law school.  Students are guided through the admission process, including selecting prospective law schools, preparing for the LSAT, drafting a personal statement, and debt management.

      CLEO is a nonprofit entity of the American Bar Association. Founded in 1968, CLEO’s mission is to diversify the legal profession. CLE

    • CLEO Attitude is Essential Seminar* – A weekend seminar that exposes minority students and students from low to moderate income backgrounds to legal research and writing, case briefing, and the anatomy of an essay exam.
    • CLEO Juniors Jumpstart the LSAT* – This 1-day seminar provides juniors with an overview of the LSAT as well as the opportunity to take a practice exam and network with law students and attorneys.
    • CLEO Road to Law School Prelaw Seminar* – This 1-day seminar provides freshman with an overview of the key components of the law school application process and also addresses financial planning for law school.
    • CLEO Six Week Summer Institute* – A full-time, summer residential program that introduces underrepresented prelaw students to the law school experience.
    • CLEO Sophomore Summer Institute* – This four-week, free residential program brings together students from diverse racial, ethnic, socioeconomic and geographic backgrounds and provides them with the training necessary to successfully prepare and navigate the road to law school.
    • CLEO Sophomore Super Saturday* – This 1-day seminar helps sophomores further develop logical reasoning, reading comprehension and writing skills – the skills needed to become a competitive law school applicant.
    • Cornell Prelaw Program in NYC – This 6-week program combines a classroom experience with an internship.  Tuition fees apply and housing is not provided.
    • For People of Color (FPOC)* – Founder Anthony Solana, Jr.’s guide to law school is an incredible resource for students unable to travel.  FPOC also hosts workshops across the country.
    • FSU Summer Undergraduate Program* – This 4-week, free program, hosted by Florida State University engages college students in the law school classroom experience, the admissions process and post-graduation careers.
    • Indiana CLEO* – For Indiana graduates from disadvantaged and/or racially diverse backgrounds, this program provides law school preparation and a renewable stipend.
    • Iowa Philip G. Hubbard Law School Prep Program* – This 4-week, residential program provides students from historically under-represented groups the skills and assistance that will strengthen their preparation for law school.
    • John Jay Prelaw Institute – Open to all students, these free prelaw boot camps in NYC offer students the opportunity to develop their law school applications (Boot Camp 1) and be exposed to the law school classroom experience (Boot Camp 2).
    • JMLS Legal Education Access Program (LEAP)* – This summer residential program hosted by John Marshall Law School in Chicago helps students prepare for mastering the LSAT, gives an overview of first year law classes, and provides techniques for success as a law student.
    • JTBF Summer Legal Institute (SLI) – This 10-day program is designed to expose high school students to the law and its related professions.  The SLI consists of classroom lectures, writing and oral advocacy, panel discussions, and field trips.  Practical information about preparing for college, securing financial aid, and succeeding in higher education are the other highlights of the program.
    • LatinoJustice PRLDEF LSAT Course* – This test preparation course provides 80 hours of course instruction and 7 practice exams. Tuition fees apply.
    • LatinoJustice PRLDEF LAWbound Program* – For college freshman and sophomores of Hispanic heritage, this program offers admissions counseling, mentorship, and more to those interested in applying to law school.
    • National Black Prelaw Conference* – Founder Evangeline Mitchell organizes and hosts this two-day event featuring “insider” information and connections for 2,000 black prelaw students from around the country. 
    • New York LEO Program* – This week-long program provides an introduction to the first-year law student curriculum for minority, low-income or educationally disadvantaged students who will be attending law school in New York State.
    • Ohio State/Oxford University Prelaw Program – This program offers the opportunity to explore the British legal system and receive college credit, all while studying abroad. Tuition fees apply.
    • Prelaw Undergraduate Scholars (PLUS) Program* – Hosted by approximately 10 law schools across the country, this program is targeted toward racial and ethnic minority students in the first two years of college who wish to develop the skills required to succeed in law school.
    • SEO Corporate Law Program* – The program offers diverse pre-law students an internship with a top law firm and an exclusive 2-week lecture series and networking forum led by top corporate lawyers and law school professors.
    • Seton Hall Summer Institute of Pre-Legal Studies* – This five-week, residential, skill-building program for New Jersey residents is designed to replicate the academic challenges of the first year of law school.
    • Sidley Prelaw Scholars Initiative* – This award subsidizes the cost of applying to law school for talented financially needy minority students. In addition to admissions coaching, students receive financial support, including complimentary LSAT preparation, LSAT exam registration fees and application fees for 7 schools.
    • Sutherland Scholars Program* – This free program helps HBCU students demystify the law school by exposing them to everything they will need to be successful in that first semester. 
    • Tennessee Institute for Prelaw (TIP) Program* – This 5-week summer program for Tennessee and Border County residents not admitted through the regular admissions process simulates the law school experience.  Students who successfully complete TIP will be eligible for Fall admission to the University of Memphis School of Law.
    • TRIALS* – A 5-week, full-scholarship summer residential program for students of modest means whose backgrounds are currently underrepresented at the nation’s top law schools.
    • UBLS LSAT Prep Program* – Open to Bowie State, Coppin State, Morgan State, and UMES students and graduates, this 16-week program offers LSAT preparation courtesy of Princeton Review.
    • UBLS Scholars Program* – Eight students attending a Maryland HBCU will receive (1) a residential, free 2-week boot camp that guides them through the law school admissions process and (2) a 16-week LSAT prep course.
    • UC Davis King Hall Outreach Program (KHOP)* – An intensive, free 2-year law school prep program for first-generation or economically disadvantaged college sophomores.
    • UC Davis Prelaw Boot Camp* – A series of full-day Saturday presentations that prepare first-generation or economically disadvantaged college juniors and seniors for the law school application process, gain insight into the law school experience and receive exposure to diverse legal fields.
    • UH Summer Prelaw Institute  – This four-week, six credit summer program is open to Houston area college freshman and sophomores and includes coursework, skill training, exposure to the legal profession, and mentoring components. Tuition fees apply.

This CLEO alum encourages you to take advantage of one of the many prelaw resources available.

Last Updated: January 13, 2013.

Did we miss a prelaw program? Let us know in the comments or email the author at melinda.hightower@blueprintjd.org.  We’ll update our list periodically.

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Melinda Hightower

Melinda Hightower

Founder and Chair at Blueprint JD
Melinda Hightower is passionate about legal diversity, literature and community activism. When she’s not busy earning her keep as an attorney, she operates Blueprint JD, Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to building diversity in the legal profession.

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