October 23, 2019

AccessLex Institute to Launch Diversity Pipeline Initiative in the Summer of 2020

Diversity Programs


In the Summer of 2020, AccessLex Institute will launch LexScholars, a diversity pipeline initiative aimed at learning more about effective methods for increasing law school diversity by providing more than 1,200 aspiring lawyers with resources and guidance to pursue their goal of attending law school.

The legal profession is the least diverse profession in the United States. The demographics of the profession are a direct reflection of unequal access to legal education. Therefore, if the profession is to become more diverse, law schools must first become more diverse. Legal education diversity “pipeline” programs play an important role in helping increase law student diversity; but little research has been done on these programs, specifically pertaining to why they are effective. LexScholars will seek to fill this void, with the hope of helping identify best practices and effective pipeline program methods.

LexScholars will target aspiring lawyers from underrepresented racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds who possess potential for law school success but may be unlikely to gain admission due to unfavorable LSAT scores and undergraduate grades. An underlying philosophy of LexScholars is that there is much untapped potential among law school applicants who are least likely to gain admission. LSAT scores and undergraduate grades have value in predicting law school success, but aptitude and potential are not fully captured by these measures.

With this guiding philosophy, LexScholars is open only to aspiring lawyers with undergraduate GPAs no higher than 3.30 and LSAT scores no higher than 144 (or other standardized test scores no higher than 25th percentile). 

Participants will benefit from a robust program consisting of LSAT preparation, law school admission counseling, financial education, wellness training and writing skills development. Some participants will spend a month in Washington, DC taking part in a residential summer program that starts on July 11, 2020. There are no costs associated with LexScholars. Summer program participants will receive stipends and other financial aid.

In return, LexScholars participants will allow AccessLex to track their law school admission experiences and outcomes. Again, the goal is to help identify best practices and effective pipeline program methods. Participants will not only benefit themselves, but they will also help make significant long-lasting change in legal education and the legal profession.

Applications for the 2020-2021 cycle will be posted on February 3. All required materials must be submitted by April 1. For additional information about LexScholars, please visit AccessLex.org/lexscholars or email us at lexscholars@accesslex.org