In your first year at UC Merced, you can begin to explore programs or opportunities for pre-law students that may assist in your journey toward law school admission.
Many law schools offer programs to help current college students from backgrounds historically underrepresented in law school or the legal profession prepare to apply, enter, and succeed in law school.
Some programs may accept applicants as early as the first or second year of college.
Some programs may have a GPA requirement.
Most programs are free. Some may also pay a stipend to students who are accepted and complete the program.
Some examples of pre-law programs and opportunities are listed below--but note that this list is NOT exhaustive!
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
- Free program offered twice each year (KHOP Summer Session, KHOP Winter Session) and designed to help first generation college students or students from underrepresented communities prepare for the law school admission process. Includes a series of full-day Saturday presentations and workshops as well as one Friday in a trial or appellate courtroom.
- Target applicants: third or fourth year undergraduates
- Designed to demystify the law school application process, gain insight into the transition to law school, and share information about the law school experience from current students and alumni from the UC Hastings Black Law Students Association. Typically held on a Saturday in November (may have virtual option for attendance).
- Target audience: prospective Black law school applicants in any class year but pre-law students of any ethnicity are invited and welcome to participate
- Free summer program that helps undergraduates from disadvantaged backgrounds understand the demands of law school, prepare for the law school application and admissions process, and be inspired to someday use their legal skills to give back to the community. Limited scholarships are available for transportation and/or housing costs.
- Target applicants: completed at least two years of college and identify as low income or first generation college student or came from home of origin where English is not the primary language or overcame educational hardships and challenges
- Designed to encourage and prepare high potential undergraduates for a career in law, increase the pipeline of diverse students interested in law, and demystify the law school experience. Includes a series of monthly Saturday workshops typically held at UCLA between January-May.
- Target applicants: preference given to pre-law students who identify as first generation, have overcome economic and/or educational hardships and challenges, or have come from or demonstrate leadership experience in economically or educationally underserved communities
- Designed to increase the pool of law school applicants and expand the delivery of legal services in the Central Valley of California. Selected fellows attend two full-day Saturday Academies held virtually that offer workshops on law school admission, preparation for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), and insight on areas of practice within the field of law.
- Target applicants: pre-law students from the Central Valley who identify as first generation, have overcome economic and/or educational hardships and challenges, or have come from or demonstrate leadership experience in economically or educationally underserved communities
REGIONAL OR NATIONAL PROGRAMS
- Helps underrepresented students gain a better understanding of the legal profession and law school application process through a variety of presentations and workshops.
- Target audience: underrepresented pre-law students at universities geographically near the San Francisco Bay Area
- Two-day intensive summer workshop for diverse students interested in and ready to apply to law school.
- Target applicants: third and fourth year African American, Latinx, Indigenous, and/or undergraduate students of color from the San Francisco Bay Area
- Two-day workshop in March to guide undergraduate students through the law school application process and pair the student with an attorney mentor.
- Target applicants: completed at least two years of college and identify as American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, First Nations of Canada, or other Indigenous; preference given to Native students affiliated with federally- or non-federally-recognized California tribes
- Free intensive weeklong pre-law bootcamp typically held in June that introduces law-bound undergraduates of color to the information, experiences, and resources necessary to be successful in the law school application process.
- Target applicants: completed at least two years of college at a California college or university
- FPOC goal is to empower people of color to enter law school and become attorneys by providing free workshops and admissions consulting to prospective law school applicants. Multiple workshops are offered throughout the academic year and often include admissions representatives or current law students from law schools across the United States.
- Target audience: pre-law students of any class year from underrepresented backgrounds
- HSF scholars are selected based on merit with award amounts of $500-$5,000 based on need. Scholars have access to career services, mentorship, leadership development, and select internship and job opportunities with HSF corporate partners. Scholars are also eligible to apply for all Scholar Conferences including the STEM Summit, Finance Conference, Media & Entertainment Summit, Entrepreneurship Summit, and Healthcare Summit.
- Target applicants: full-time college students of Hispanic heritage (U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident or DACA)
- Designed to identify pre-law Latinx students early in their college career to address common barriers related to law school admission, help students effectively navigate the law school admission process, and increase the number of Latinx students who successfully enter law school, complete law school, and pass the bar exam. Summer program is typically 5 days in early August; winter program is typically 5 days in early January.
- Target applicants: second year undergraduates who identify as Latinx and demonstrate a strong interest in pursuing a legal education
- Free summer program at various host law schools designed to assist participants in preparing for admission and understanding the experience of law school. Participants who successfully complete the PLUS Program receive a $1,000 stipend and LSAC fee waiver
- Target applicants: pre-law undergraduates from groups underrepresented in the legal profession and one year away from applying to law school
- Nine-month program that begins in January designed to diversify the legal profession by preparing underrepresented students to become successful law school applicants, attorneys, and agents of social change.
- Target applicants: pre-law students who identify as first generation in college, underrepresented, socioeconomically disadvantaged, or LGBTQ+
- Ten-month initiative from March to December to prepare 25-40 diverse undergraduates for admission to and success in law school. Includes LSAT preparation course paid for by Munger, Tolles & Olson law firm and monthly Saturday workshops.
- Target applicants: underrepresented third or fourth year undergraduates, including undocumented students, who are in the process of applying for law school; preference given to applicants with ties to the greater Los Angeles area
- Free national conference designed to share information, resources, and contacts to help increase the number of excellent competitive African American law school applicants and assist with mentoring for success in the law school experience and bar exam.
- Target audience: pre-law undergraduates who identify as African American, Black, or within the African diaspora
- Connects pre-law students and law schools united by the call to use the law as a tool for social change.
- Target audience: open to all
- Five-day program in June at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University with workshops designed to educate and help Native American students successfully navigate the law school application process. Food and lodging are provided to all students admitted to the program.
- Target applicants: second, third, and fourth year pre-law students who identify as American Indian/Native American, Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiian
- Eight-week intensive summer program that prepares Native American and Alaska Native students for the rigors of law school.
- Target applicants: students registered in a state- or federally-recognized tribe who have already applied to at least one law school (do not need to have been admitted)
- Nine-month program that begins in January to assist underrepresented students in applying and gaining admission to law school.
- Target applicants: underrepresented students applying for law school admission for the following fall
- Provides the opportunity for incoming first year law school students to work at a top law firm from late May through mid-July in the summer before starting law school.
- Target applicants: underrepresented college seniors who have already applied to law school
- Full scholarship residential five-week summer program that helps talented and motivated college students from underrepresented racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds gain admission to the nation's leading law schools. Hosted in alternate years on the campus of Harvard Law School and New York University School of Law. Scholarship includes transportation to and from the host university campus, campus housing and daily meals for the five-week program, and access to the host university's library, computer centers, and gym. Each TRIALS student also receives a $3,000 stipend.
- Target applicants: students of modest means whose racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds are underrepresented in America's top-rated law schools
- Six-week series that focuses on cutting-edge legal issues in the news. Participants who view at least four of the six sessions receive a Mini Law School Certificate (no academic credit is awarded for participation). Lectures in Fall 2022 will be livestreamed with recordings available approximately two days after the live lecture.
- Target audience: open to all; student cost is $100 but request for financial hardship waiver can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org