Aug. 9, 2019 — University of Houston Law Center Dean Leonard M. Baynes discussed the school’s Pre-Law Pipeline Program and served as moderator of a panel discussion on the use of the LSAT, socioeconomics and U.S. News & World Report.
The panel discussion titled “Building Bridges: Socioeconomics, the LSAT and U.S. News & World Report Rankings,” explored the correlation between socioeconomic status and LSAT scores and the correlation between LSAT scores and law school rankings. The panelists examined whether the LSAT could develop an adversity index akin to what the SAT has recently developed. They also explored how U.S. college rankings now take into account socioeconomic status and whether the law school rankings could do something similar.
In his presentation titled, “Pre-Law Pipeline Program: We’ve Got the Power,” Baynes presented his perspective on how to increase the socioeconomic diversity of the law school student body. He focused on the Law Center’s award-winning program instituted in 2015 to increase diversity in the legal profession of students who are either first generation, low income, or underrepresented in the legal profession. Students enrolled in the summer 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 was delighted to organize such a high powered panel of industry experts and faculty to discuss such an important issue,” Baynes said. “We all want to make sure that a student’s socioeconomic status does not hold her back from going to law school and joining the legal profession.”
Other panelists were: Dean Paul Caron, Pepperdine University School of Law; Robert Morse, Chief Data Strategist, U.S. News & World Report; Professor Victor Quintanilla, Indiana University Maurer School of Law; and Kellye Testy, president and chief executive officer of the Law School Admission Council.
The conference was held July 28 - Aug. 3 in Boca Raton, Fla.