Grant Programs Overview
In support of our research and diversity priorities, our grantmaking approach focuses on funding projects that have the potential to “move the needle” in legal education. Measurement and evaluation are essential components for demonstrating the effectiveness and scalability of interventions and are key factors when deciding what grants we make. We operate five grant programs to fund research and projects related to legal education and our focus on access, affordability and value, namely: the Diversity Pipeline Research Grant program; the Research and Dissertation Fellows program; the Directed Grant program; the Bar Success Research Grant Program; and, the Unsolicited Grants program. These programs have awarded over six million dollars since their inception in 2014.
The Directed Grant Program is a proactive approach to our grantmaking strategy. The program supports research and projects that are highly aligned with our most pressing research priorities and strategic goals. These projects tend to have the ability to leverage other funding sources in order to have the highest level of impact. Applications are allowed only by invitation through direct or targeted requests for proposals from a small group of organizations.
The Diversity Pipeline Research Grant Program provides funding to programs and initiatives aimed at helping college students and/or college graduates from historically underrepresented groups successfully matriculate into law school and the legal profession. The central goal of the grant is to increase the knowledge base around effective methods for increasing the enrollment and success of law students from historically underrepresented racial and socioeconomic backgrounds. Accordingly, we seek to fund collaborative programs that provide participants with meaningful content and experiences as well as holistic support. Funded programs must engage in rigorous program evaluation, systematically measuring outcomes and identifying scalable best practices.
The Research and Dissertation Fellows Program is a partnership between AccessLex Institute and the Association for Institutional Research. The program is designed to promote scholarship on issues related to access, affordability and value of legal education specifically, and graduate and professional education more broadly. This grant program awards $50,000 to scholars and $25,000 to doctoral students to support year-long research projects.
The Bar Success Research Grant Program supports well-designed studies of the bar examination. Examples of study focus include effective predictors of bar success, bar exam test design and/or efficacy and successful study methodologies. Proposals focusing on other relevant aspects of the bar exam are welcomed. We are particularly interested in proposals that seek to inform efforts to increase passage rates among populations most at-risk of not passing on the first attempt as well as proposals that are designed to yield findings that are scalable and replicable.