Did you know?
- African-Americans make up 13.4% of the U.S. population but only 3.9% of practicing lawyers, while Hispanics make up 14.0% of the U.S. population but only 3.3% of practicing lawyers;
- At the top 100 corporate law firms, slightly more than 1% of attorneys are minorities; and minorities represent only 4.6% of partners at law firms generally.
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The need to Intervene Early
On average, African American and Hispanic high school students are four years behind White and Asian students in reading, math, U.S. history and geography. In a study of college readiness, the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research found that only 21% of African-American students and 23% of Hispanic students were prepared for college, as compared to 43% of White students. This lack of preparation in high school is inadequate for college achievement and ultimately, for law school entrance and success.
In light of these stark statistics, it is not sufficient to design programs to help minority students beginning in law school or even beginning in college. To truly expand the pool of qualified minority applicants to law school and law firms, the legal community must also develop initiatives to address these problems of poor performance much earlier in the educational pipeline.
A model Early-Intervention Pipeline Diversity Program
According to an article published in the December 2006 edition of The American Lawyer magazine, Legal Outreach is “. . . arguably the legal profession’s best example of an early-intervention pipeline program—and one of the few with a long-term track record.” The author reached this conclusion for one reason – we have created a rigorous four-year College Bound program for high school students that goes beyond inspirational legal programming to actual academic preparation of youth interested in the pursuit of legal careers.
For a comprehensive view of our early intervention pipeline diversity model, click on the image to enlarge:
The College to Law School Component
With a successful high school-to-college pipeline program in place, Legal Outreach has developed a College to Law School Pipeline Diversity Program to provide continuous support to our college students and other talented minority students who desire to attend law school. The College-to-Law School program operates during the summer with college freshmen working as summer paralegals at law firms and sophomores enrolling in a dedicated LSAT course through PowerScore LSAT Preparation.
To become involved with our pipeline diversity initiatives, please e-mail Stephanie Feingold at email@example.com