The Ronald H. Brown Law School Prep Program for College Students, an award-winning summer pipeline initiative of the Ronald H. Brown Center for Civil Rights at St. John’s Law, has received a $125,000 Diversity Pipeline Research Grant from the AccessLex Center for Legal Education Excellence.® The grant will fund the Weekend LSAT Boot Camp, a new Ron Brown Prep Program offering for college graduates and college seniors from diverse backgrounds who are interested in attending law school in Fall 2021. The grant covers program tuition for every enrolled student in full.
For 15 years, in partnership with colleges and universities across the country, the Ron Brown Prep Program has helped students from traditionally underserved and underrepresented groups—who are often the first in their families to attend college—apply to law school and pursue legal careers. The Weekend LSAT Boot Camp, which will run on Saturdays from March through September 2020, extends its parent program’s pivotal reach and impact.
“Our law school pipeline program, which now consists of several cohorts, is emblematic of the Ron Brown Center’s commitment to support students who have faced real struggles and setbacks, and to foster diversity and inclusion in our profession,” says Professor Elaine M. Chiu, who serves as the Center’s Faculty Director with Professor Rosa Castello '06. “This is a success story. To date, over 300 Prep Program alumni have attended over 55 other law schools across the country, including: Yale, Boston College, Columbia, Cornell, Duke, Emory, Georgetown, George Washington University, Harvard, NYU, St. John’s, University of Pennsylvania, UC Berkeley, UCLA, University of Michigan, Vanderbilt, and Yale.”
The newest Prep Program cohort will reflect and represent New York City’s unique workforce. “New York City is one of the most diverse places in the world, with a melting pot of races, religions, nationalities, and ethnic cultures,” says Kamille Dean, who oversees the Ron Brown Prep Program as Director of Diversity and Inclusion at St. John’s Law. “It also has the second-highest number of paralegals in the country, and women make up almost 84.1% of those workers. The Weekend LSAT Boot Camp seeks to empower paralegals, legal secretaries, court clerks, and other full-time workers and caregivers to pursue a law degree and to climb the socioeconomic ladder for themselves and their families.”
The Weekend LSAT Boot Camp meets those goals with a specially designed curriculum. Students commute weekly to St. John’s Queens campus, where they take a comprehensive and tailored LSAT course that includes live and supplemental instruction, study halls with expert tutors, and diagnostic tests. In addition to LSAT training, participants attend motivational and instructional workshops addressing the law school application and admissions process, academic success, test anxiety, professionalism, and wellness among other topics. They also participate in an exclusive Ron Brown Prep Program law school admissions fair featuring over 50 ABA-accredited law schools.
“All of us at St. John’s Law look forward to launching the Weekend LSAT Boot Camp, and to continuing the important work of building a diverse, inclusive, and fully representative legal profession,” Dean says. “While the Program is demanding—applicants should be prepared to commit a minimum of 10 hours per week to LSAT study—it’s also potentially life-changing. The Ron Brown Prep Program’s motto is ‘The World is Diverse. The Law should be, too.’ We’re very grateful to AccessLex for helping us provide this unrivaled law school pipeline opportunity.”
You can apply for admission to the Weekend Prep Program starting December 23, 2019. To learn more about the Program and its application process, please visit us online or contact Kamille Dean at [email protected] or 718-990-6469.