Pre-Law Pipeline Program prepares undergraduates who are in groups underrepresented in legal field for law school and possible career in law
July 16, 2018 -- The current edition of "INSIGHT Into Diversity" magazine features the University of Houston Law Center's award-winning Pre-Law Pipeline Program as a model of law school efforts to diversify the legal profession.
The cover features Dean Leonard M. Baynes who founded the pipeline program four years ago, shortly after he came to the school. The Law Center twice won the "INSIGHT Into Diversity" magazine's Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award.
The intensive, eight-week summer program is designed to introduce historically underrepresented groups of undergraduate students to the demands of law school and the opportunities of a law career. Forty-three students from 25 colleges and universities are enrolled in this year's program.
In citing the Law Center for its efforts, the magazine noted its student body exceeds the national minority law school enrollment of 31.4 percent:
"With a student body that is 36.4 percent people of color, the University of Houston Law Center (UHLC) strives to paint a picture of the legal profession as one that is welcoming of all individuals regardless of race, ethnicity, or other characteristics," the magazine states in its cover story.
Students enrolled in the pipeline program attend introductory classes, participate in Houston-based judicial and legal internships, attend special events, and are prepped for the LSAT, and law school application process.
"I am very humbled by the recognition by Insight into Diversity Magazine and very proud of the University of Houston Law Center's commitment to diversity and the accomplishments of the pipeline program," Baynes said.
"This program allows us to develop and expand the market of law school students who are low income, first generation, and/or from groups underrepresented in the legal profession. It is always important to recognize that there are talented students from all backgrounds and they really blossom when we give them the tools to succeed.
"Our accomplishment would not be possible without the support of UH Provost Paula Myrick Short and the dedication of Pipeline Program Manager Kristen Guiseppi and the director of Metropolitan Programs, Professor Meredith Duncan."
During its first three years, 86 students participated in the program with 25 accepted to law schools and 11 currently enrolled, said Guiseppi. "Students have seen LSAT score increases of up to 17 points, and have been accepted to schools such as UC Berkeley School of Law, Howard University School of Law, George Washington University Law School, University of Houston Law Center, University of Iowa College of Law, and the University of Oklahoma College of Law."