Initiative creates opportunity for college students from untapped markets who are underrepresented in the legal profession.
March 9, 2015- The University of Houston Law Center (UHLC) announces the launch of its Pre-Law Pipeline Program, designed to attract and encourage undergraduate students from low income, first generation, and underrepresented backgrounds to pursue legal careers.
The six-week preparatory course is an initiative of the administration of UH Law Center Dean Leonard M. Baynes, who began his tenure at the law school last fall. The Law Center previously had a similar program, which was directed by longtime UHLC Professor Michael A. Olivas. The new program is funded through the support of the office of UH Provost Paula Myrick Short.
“Dean Baynes is demonstrating great leadership in our local legal community with the UH Law Center Pipeline program. His strategic move to reach underrepresented students to inspire them with a career in law is an outstanding example of why the University of Houston is the ‘House Innovation Built.’”
“The UHLC Pre-Law Pipeline Program will allow us to develop the next generation of college students and guide them in their first steps to becoming a lawyer. It is part of the University of Houston’s tradition of empowering the next generation and being an integral part of the metropolitan community. I am proud of the Law Center and the faculty’s commitment to this endeavor and very thankful to Provost Short for her support of the UHLC Pipeline Program,” Baynes said.
The six-week residential program is designed with a holistic approach, aimed to equip students so that they are prepared to meet the demands of the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) exam, the law school application process and, ultimately, their law school careers. It will be held primarily at UHLC during the summer months, with internship locations in and around the Houston area. In 2015, the dates are June 1 through July 10.
The program welcomes all undergraduate students who are first-generation college students, low income or members of groups underrepresented in the legal profession who have an interest in attending law school and pursuing a legal career. To be considered for the program, students must hold a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher and must have completed 45-75 college credits by June 1.
The program will consist of two weeks of law school courses taught mostly by UHLC professors. That will be followed by an intensive two-week LSAT preparatory course with an emphasis on logic games. The final two weeks will consist of judicial or nonjudicial internships in the greater Houston area.
“The whole pipeline idea is that from the time they’re in here, we try to keep them on path to find their passion for the law and channel them through the law school application and admissions process,” said Kristen Guiseppi, program manager. “It’s a great effort to really help students get to where they need to go.”
Guiseppi said the program will be initially targeted toward UH undergraduates, but there are plans to reach out to other universities and colleges.
Once students have completed the instruction, UH Law Center will remain in contact with them throughout the following year and offer an LSAT-intensive course.
For more information on the Pre-Law Pipeline Program including fees, visit www.law.uh.edu/pipeline or email Kristen Guiseppi at KGuisepp@central.uh.edu.
Need-based scholarships may be available to accepted students.
University of Houston Law Center Media Contacts: Carrie Anna Criado, UH Law Center Executive Director of Communications and Marketing, 713-743-2184, firstname.lastname@example.org; John T. Kling, UH Law Center Communications Manager, 713- 743-8298, email@example.com; or Stephen B. Jablonski, Multimedia Specialist, 713-743- 1634, firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the University of Houston
The University of Houston is a Carnegie-designated Tier One public research university recognized by The Princeton Review as one of the nation's best colleges for undergraduate education. UH serves the globally competitive Houston and Gulf Coast Region by providing world-class faculty, experiential learning and strategic industry partnerships. Located in the nation's fourth-largest city, UH serves more than 40,900 students in the most ethnically and culturally diverse region in the country.
About the University of Houston Law Center
The University of Houston Law Center is the leading law school in the nation's fourth-largest city. Founded in 1947, it is a top-tier institution awarding Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) and Master of Laws (LL.M.) degrees. The Law Center is fully accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools.