Frequently Asked Questions
If you have questions about this grant application process, please direct them to firstname.lastname@example.org with the word "Question" in the subject line.
Application System Questions
How do I get to the online application system?
You may access the online application system using this link. You will also find a link to the online application system in the application policy and on the AccessLex Center for Legal Education Excellence® website.
Am I required to create an account in the online application system to submit a proposal?
Yes. All applicants must create an account in the online application system in order to submit a proposal. This is a one-time registration process. If you have created an account in the past under the same email address through which you wish to apply again, you will not need to create a new account.
I submitted grant application materials last year. I am interested in submitting new materials this year. Do I need to create a new account?
No. You will not need to create a new login and password. However, once logged in, please be sure to make any necessary updates to your contact information.
Why does the application ask me, “What types of funds are you requesting through this project proposal?”
The question will help us distinguish what kind of project is being proposed and, therefore, the kind of questions you will be asked. Applicants will have the option of selecting one of two options: applicants seeking funds for both the operations of their diversity pipeline program, as well as its required program evaluation, will select ‘Program operations and program evaluation;’ and those who are only applying for funds to support the program evaluation of their pipeline program will select ‘Only program evaluation.’
Eligibility and Process Questions
How do I know if my organization is eligible?
AccessLex will review grant proposals only from tax-exempt non-profit educational institutions and other nonprofit and public organizations. Faculty members, practitioners and researchers may apply for grants through an eligible organization with which they are affiliated. Please review the application policy eligibility section for the exact Internal Revenue Code tax-exempt designations.
If I am a member of a for-profit organization are we eligible to apply for a grant?
AccessLex will not review proposals from for-profit organizations.
How can I find my organization’s Tax ID Number (TIN)/Employer ID Number (EIN)?
Please contact your organization’s finance office to receive your Tax ID. Your organization’s Tax ID number is required to submit an application.
Will the AccessLex Center for Legal Education Excellence accept more than one proposal from an organization or research team?
Yes. However, no duplicate proposals should be submitted for a specific research project.
If my organization submitted a proposal to another AccessLex Center for Legal Education Excellence grant program, are we eligible to submit a proposal to the Diversity Pipeline Research Grant Program?
Yes. AccessLex will consider all proposals that fit within the scope of the grant program and meet the corresponding eligibility requirements.
How many awards does the AccessLex Center for Legal Education Excellence expect to make for the Diversity Pipeline Research Grant Program?
The number of funded proposals varies from year to year, based on funding and the quality of proposals. In 2018, four proposals were funded.
Program Guidelines and Priority Questions
If my program was funded in the past can I reapply for funding after the grant period ends for continued funding?
Yes. But grantees should be aware that the odds of receiving a subsequent award of grant funding are low. Therefore, grantees are encouraged to pursue funding from other sources.
If my program is already in existence should I provide information about it in the application?
Yes. Existing programs are required to provide information pertaining to program outcomes in the application. Committee members are particularly interested in information pertaining to LSAT/GRE preparation outcomes and data relating to applicants and matriculants to law school from the program. It is acceptable to use this data to highlight areas of needed improvement in which grant funds could help.
What types of partnerships and collaborations are you looking for in a proposal?
We encourage applications from programs that display a collaborative approach and strong partnerships with other organizations to achieve the goal of enhancing diversity in legal education. Meaningful collaborations with and between member institutions, existing pipeline programs, proposed pipeline programs and other supporters of legal education diversity are acceptable.
Can the AccessLex Center for Legal Education Excellence help facilitate partnerships and collaborations with other organizations?
We will do our best to help facilitate collaborations and partnerships between organizations committed to enhancing access to legal education for students from diverse backgrounds. Please contact us at email@example.com if you are looking to identify partnerships and collaborations.
Does the project have to run for at least six months?
We seek to fund programs that take an intensive approach to improving the diversity pipeline. We believe a program commitment of no less than six months will reflect the intensity of programs we seek to fund. The grant performance period includes the planning, implementation, and evaluation stages of the program.
What stages of the pipeline does this grant program fund?
The Diversity Pipeline Research Grant program seeks to fund the execution and evaluation of existing or proposed diversity pipeline programs that provide college students and/or college graduates from historically underrepresented groups with information and resources to aid their successful matriculation into law school and the legal profession. The best programs are collaborative and provide meaningful and holistic content, experiences and support, and are designed to be sustainable, include scalable best practices and yield measurable outcomes.
My organization is interested in performing evaluations of existing diversity pipeline programs, is this grant program for us?
Yes. Evaluation is a methodical approach to collecting information about the characteristics, activities, and results of a program. Simply stated, evaluation helps you to answer the question “What impact is the program having?” Accordingly, AccessLex will fund well-designed evaluations.
What type of information are you looking for as it pertains to program sustainability?
AccessLex Institute encourages applicants to share as much information as possible with respect to sustainability including names of current and/or prospective funders, and a fundraising or development plan.
How does the AccessLex Center for Legal Education Excellence define project goals, objectives and outcomes?
Project goals are broad. For instance, a goal might be to increase diversity in legal education. Project objectives are narrow and student-centered. Project objectives answer the question, “what will students be able to do after the conclusion of this project?” For example, a project objective might be that students will be able to describe the key stages of the law school application process. Project outcomes are specific and measurable. As an example, a project outcome might be that 80% of program participants will increase their LSAT score by an average of three points over the course of the program. Outcomes should be tied directly to project objectives showing how applicants will assess the growth and progress of their students. (It is common for applicants to have multiple goals, objectives and outcomes.)
Are there any general tips for writing strong proposals?
AccessLex compiled the following recommendations that we believe will help improve future proposal submissions for all applicants:
- Provide clear goals, objectives and outcomes that, while related to one another, are distinct.
- Ensure that the proposed project aligns with AccessLex Center for Legal Education Excellence funding priority of programs that provide college students and/or college graduates from historically underrepresented groups with information and resources premised on aiding their successful matriculation into law school and the legal profession.
- Write clearly and concisely, anticipate the readers’ concerns and address them.
- Review the application policy closely to ensure the proposed project adheres to all guidelines provided in the application policy and familiarize yourself with the deadlines.
- Conduct a final review of the application to ensure all information typed or pasted in to the online application system appears accurately in the desired format and ensure that you have answered all required questions.
- As stated in the application policy, measurement and evaluation are essential components for demonstrating the effectiveness and scalability of interventions. We recommend applicants identify a member of within their team with experience conducting project evaluations or if appropriate an evaluation consultant to manage the project evaluation. Applicants may also consider allocating specific resources, 5 -10% of your program budget, to support the project evaluation.
- We like to ensure that these projects are student-centered; therefore, proposed budgets that are mainly dedicated to student-, rather than personnel-, related expenses are encouraged.
- Visit our website at https://www.accesslex.org/legal-education-diversity-pipeline-grant-program to view informational videos about the Diversity Pipeline Grant Program.