February 9, 2024

T.R.A.I.L. (Teaching Resources Advancing Interest in Law) Project

Diversity Programs


Program: Diversity Pipeline Research Grant Program
Grantee: University of North Texas Dallas College of Law
Grant Amount: $125,000

Summary of Grant Outcomes

The Teaching Resources Advancing Interest in Law (TRAIL) Project is a semester-long, three-credit course designed to increase the number of diverse students applying to law school. The ten-module course helps undergraduate students increase their LSAT scores by strengthening their analytical thinking and reading comprehension and overcome psychological barriers, such as imposter syndrome and stereotype threat. Activities connected students with a more realistic understanding of law school, the law school application process, and the practice of law, including opportunities to attend a law school class and receive mentorship from current law students at the University of North Texas Dallas College of Law.

The course was offered at three minority-serving institutions in Dallas-Fort Worth, TX Metroplex region: Paul Quinn College, the University of North Texas Dallas, and the University of Texas at Arlington. Participants were given three assessments that measured their reading comprehension, critical thinking, and academic self-concept at the beginning and the end of the course. A total of 85 undergraduate students participated in the project between across four semesters between 2021 and 2023.

Project findings confirmed that students’ LSAT scores can be significantly improved within a semester time frame. Student improvement is positively impacted by instructor behavior, school climate, and completion of the reading comprehension resource material. Classroom instruction on the LSAT and LSAT-taking strategies, by themselves, did not yield significant improvement in LSAT scores.

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