Leading Legal Education Nonprofit Shows the Way Forward with Innovative Diversity Pipeline Program
The legal profession is one of the least diverse professions in the United States. With LexScholars by AccessLex®, its innovative diversity pipeline program, AccessLex Institute is aiming to change that.
Launched in 2020, LexScholars will provide more than 1,200 aspiring law students, over five years, with resources and guidance to pursue their goal of attending law school. By design, the program targets students who possess the potential for law school success but may be unlikely to gain admission due to unfavorable LSAT scores and/or undergraduate grades.
“The ‘ideal’ LexScholars participants have endured and are seeking to overcome multilayered disadvantages,” Aaron N. Taylor, Executive Director of the AccessLex Center for Legal Education Excellence® and the principal architect behind the LexScholars by AccessLex program has said. “And despite potential for success and a clear, demonstrated commitment to attending law school, they are unlikely to gain admission without targeted assistance.”
LexScholars participants receive a free online Kaplan LSAT course, comprehensive law school admission counseling, and ongoing access to financial education and law school informational resources. This year, 250 participants who plan to seek Fall 2022 law admission will be selected. LexScholars openings are filled on a first come, first served basis; therefore, the earlier applicants submit all required materials, the better their chances of selection.
The overarching goal of the program is to help identify obstacles that law school applicants from underrepresented backgrounds face and, correspondingly, identify effective means of addressing those obstacles. As a condition of participation, LexScholars participants are required to complete monthly surveys detailing their experiences and outcomes during the law school admission process. AccessLex researchers will use this information to aid their progression, while also developing diversity pipeline models that will benefit legal education, the legal profession and society overall.
Law students from underrepresented backgrounds often become lawyers who represent underserved people and interests. The impact of this cannot be overstated as there are scores of people across the country who would benefit greatly from gaining access to highly trained attorneys and other public servants. And more to that point, a legal education offers training that is unmatched in its quality, portability and flexibility. That’s to say, a law degree can be advantageous even for those who do not aspire to practice law. Individuals whose trajectories lead them to public policy, politics or education will see their career prospects bolstered by their legal education. And communities with increased numbers of educated, employed and civic-minded residents are stronger for that.
“LexScholars is premised on changing lives, communities and our society,” Dr. Taylor added, “We are looking to invest in the hopes and dreams of aspiring law students now, while working to create better, more equitable systems for the future.”
The LexScholars by AccessLex® application opens on March 15. For more information, please visit: AccessLex.org/lexscholars.
About AccessLex Institute
AccessLex Institute is a nonprofit organization committed to helping talented, purpose-driven students find their path from aspiring lawyer to fulfilled professional. In partnership with its nearly 200 Member law schools, improving access and positively influencing legal education have been at the heart of the Company’s mission since 1983. AccessLex Institute is headquartered in West Chester, PA, with a team of accredited financial education counselors based throughout the United States. Learn more at AccessLex.org.