Exterior shot of School of Law building

Ronald H. Brown Law School Prep Program

Our 2021 Pipeline Programs

The Ron Brown Prep Program is proud to announce that St. John’s University School of Law will be one of the host law schools for the 2021 LSAC Prelaw Undergraduate Scholars (PLUS) Program (“LSAC PLUS Online”).  PLUS Online at St. John's University Law School is funded by the Law School Admission Council, Inc. ("LSAC"). This is a virtual program that closely resembles our Foundations program. The seven-week program consists of an academic component and legal internship component. If you are interested in being an internship host for 1-2-3 college students this summer, please read here for more details.

The Ron Brown Prep Program will also continue to partner with the Sonia & Celina Sotomayor Judicial Internship Program (SCS JIP) for this upcoming summer in launching the inaugural College Student Internship Program.

Like most people across the globe, we had to make substantial changes to our plans in light of the pandemic. You can read more about our virtual 2020 Summer in the Ron Brown Prep Program Rewind section below. We are thrilled to be able to continue our commitment to diversifying the legal profession and to helping individuals pursue their dreams through alternate courses of action and the unwavering support we receive. Please continue to take precautionary measures to stay safe and healthy in these times.

Note: additional programming for the Summer of 2021 is TBD. 

The Application Process

LSAC PLUS Online is open to college students who: 

  • Have a genuine interest in attending law school and becoming lawyers
  • Have two or more years until the completion of a four-year bachelor's degree by the end of May 2021 (rising sophomores and rising juniors, meaning current freshmen and current sophomores)
  • Are members of a group underrepresented in legal academia and the legal profession 

The following items will be required for upload in addition to filling out the digital application:

  • Resume
  • Most recent unofficial college transcript
  • Personal Statement / Statement of Interest
  • One Letter of Recommendation (Second LOR is optional)

Application Dates

LSAC PLUS Online

  • Opens: January 15, 2021
  • Priority Deadline: March 1, 2021
  • Final Deadline: March 15, 2021

LSAC Prelaw Undergraduate Scholars (PLUS) Program
June 2021-July 2021 
Sponsored by the Law School Admission Council 

The seven-week program consists of a four-week academic curriculum, LSAC PLUS Online, and a multi-week legal internship. This learning experience is designed for college students from diverse backgrounds who will have a minimum of 2 years of credits until they complete a 4-year bachelor's degree by the end of May 2021. The program will begin with LSAC PLUS Online on June 7, 2021; it will be full-time and all virtual. It is expected that students must have a compatible device (computer, webcam, microphone) and access to Wi-Fi to participate. For admitted students in need of assistance, LSAC will provide laptops and internet access at no charge. Students may continue to use the equipment provided through the end of the internship.

Each student will receive $1,000 stipend for participation in LSAC PLUS Online; the Ron Brown Prep Program will provide students with a stipend for the internship. 

This innovative pipeline programming features a legal writing course and a doctrinal legal course taught by expert faculty, and focuses on critical reading, writing, and thinking skills. There will be a series of workshops that offers not only an exposure to the law, but also to law school and the application process. These workshops will be comprised of discussion panels or alternative formats and will include the following: Law School Admissions Overview; Personal & Diversity Statements/Resumes; Law School Admissions Test (LSAT); Law School Overview (Curriculum, Student Support, Clinical Opportunities, etc.); Law Student Perspectives; Introducing a Variety of Career Pathways. 

In addition, there will be community building activities to enhance other skills and abilities, such as teamwork and collaboration, and stimulate emotional support as students embark on their legal journey. Subsequently, students are matched to legal internships where they will transition from the virtual classroom to the virtual workplace and work closely with lawyers and/or judges.  

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The College Division of the Sonia & Celina Sotomayor Judicial Internship Program
May 2021-July 2021 

The Sotomayor Program’s College Division in partnership with the Ron Brown Prep Program at St. John’s Law supports diverse and underrepresented college students who are committed to bringing their unique voice to the legal field. The Sotomayor Program’s College Division includes: (1) an LSAT boot camp to focus the college students on the best law school to which they can gain entry, (2) rigorous academic, professional, and personal programming from legal research and writing to professional branding, wellness coaching, and soft skill trainings, and (3) our signature judicial internship experience to provide practical experience and mentorship opportunities. Our hope is to provide college students with the skills and resources necessary to successfully apply to law school and become a practicing attorney. The Summer 2021 program will run for 8 weeks on a full-time basis and include a 4-week judicial internship and a 4-week LSAT Prep program. Due to COVID-19 concerns, some portion or all aspects of the internship may be held in a virtual format. If you have any questions, please contact [email protected].

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I apply for this program?

A: There will be an “Apply Today!” section on the top of this webpage.  Click on the hyperlink to access the LSAC PLUS Online digital application on the Recruiterbox site.  You do not need to download any additional software to access this application.  Please read the details of the application and its components in its entirety.  Then click the blue Apply button to fill out the form and upload the required materials.

Q: When is the deadline?

A: The priority deadline to apply to LSAC PLUS Online is March 1, 2021. The final deadline is March 15, 2021.

Q: Do I have to pay tuition or any program fees?

No, this program is completely free of cost to you!

Q: What is the start date for the program?

The start date for LSAC PLUS Online is Monday, June 7, 2021.

Q: What is the program’s schedule (time of day, days of the week)?

A: LSAC PLUS Online, the 4-week academic portion of the curriculum, will be held Monday through Friday June 7 to July 2. Sessions will be held from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM EST. For the internship portion, hours will vary depending on the host. Note that we are likely to work with hosts on EST.

Q: What undergraduate level do I have to be in to participate in this program?

A: Freshman (Rising Sophomore for the Fall of 2021) or Sophomore (Rising Junior for the Fall of 2021).  

Q: I do not have a working laptop/webcam/mic). What do I do? (I do not have a Wi-Fi connection. What do I do?)

A: Upon admission, please let us know as soon as possible if you need any technical assistance, especially concerning a properly functioning device or access to the Internet. LSAC will provide assistance regarding laptop loans and Internet access. This assistance is free of cost to you.

Contact Us

For general inquiries about the Ron Brown Prep Program, including our 2021 programming, please contact us at: [email protected]

Leadership

Elaine M. Chiu
Professor of Law &
Faculty Director, Ronald H. Brown Center for Civil Rights & Ron Brown Prep Program
St. John's University School of Law
8000 Utopia Parkway | Queens, NY | 11439
Phone: 718-990-2492 | Fax: 718-990-8300
[email protected] | www.stjohns.edu/law

Rosa Castello
Professor of Legal Writing &
Assistant Faculty Director, Ronald H. Brown Center for Civil Rights & Prep Program
St. John's University School of Law
8000 Utopia Parkway | Queens, NY | 11439
Phone: 718-990-6633 | Fax: 718-990-8300
[email protected] | www.stjohns.edu/law

Christine A. Kowlessar
Program Coordinator, Ronald H. Brown Center for Civil Rights & Prep Program
St. John’s University School of Law
8000 Utopia Parkway | Queens, NY | 11439
Phone: 718-990-6653 | Fax: 718-990-8300
[email protected] | www.stjohns.edu/law

Tatiana Orizaba Nicoll
Assistant Program Coordinator, Ronald H. Brown Center for Civil Rights & Prep Program
St. John’s University School of Law
8000 Utopia Parkway | Queens, NY | 11439
Phone: 718-990-6653 | Fax: 718-990-8300
[email protected] | www.stjohns.edu/law

Aida Vernon
Program Coordinator (Weekend LSAT Boot Camp),
Ronald H. Brown Center for Civil Rights & Prep Program
St. John’s University School of Law
8000 Utopia Parkway | Queens, NY | 11439
Phone: 718-990-6653 | Fax: 718-990-8300
[email protected] | www.stjohns.edu/law

Mission

The Ronald H. Brown Center for Civil Rights and its flagship Ronald H. Brown Law School Prep Program both advance the mission of engaging in legal studies, research, and outreach on issues affecting the lives of disadvantaged and underrepresented people; increasing racial and socioeconomic diversity in the legal profession; and educating law students to be leaders on issues of racial, economic, and social justice. To help raise the number of diverse, disadvantaged students in law schools, the Ron Brown Prep Program identifies these students in their college years and offers them early exposure to the study and practice of law.

The Ron Brown Prep Program prepares students for the challenges of law school and for the law school application process. Participants gain an edge through: courses and workshop taught by law school faculty and the Prep Program team; internships with judges and lawyers in varying industries; a customized LSAT prep course; and advising on all aspects of the admission process.

Ron Brown Prep Program Rewind

Check out our Newsletters to read more about our past summers!

Summer of 2020: Advancing Our Mission in a Virtual Space

In its 15th year, the Prep Program had its first virtual summer and also its busiest summer ever, serving diverse students across four distinct programs and supporting their journeys to law school: (1) the Virtual Summer LSAT Boot Camp hosted by the Ronald H. Brown Law School Prep Program and the Sonia & Celina Sotomayor Judicial Internship Program (SCS JIP); (2) the Weekend LSAT Boot Camp funded by the Access Lex Center for Legal Education Excellence and its Diversity Pipeline Research Grant Program; (3) LSAC Prelaw Undergraduate Scholars (PLUS) Program Online; and (4) Assembling a Dream Team for the Court...Room: An Introduction to Sports Law for High School Students, sponsored by the NBA G League’s Long Island Nets and the WNBA’s New York Liberty.  

Three of the four programs were new initiatives; the High School Sports Law Program was especially ground-breaking because of the unique collaboration between two local professional sports teams. Below is a write-up in the New York Post, applauding the teams and the Prep Program for stepping up to the plate together to meet the challenge of an unprecedented summer with meaningful, impactful investment into the future of young people. 

https://nypost.com/2020/08/29/nets-liberty-and-st-johns-start-law-course-for-hs-students/

https://youtu.be/dEvpFzEwAgQ

The efforts of the Ron Brown Prep Program would not have been successful without the hard work of many people including: faculty members Professors Robin Boyle, Rosa Castello, Jeremy Sheff, and Rachel Smith; program coordinators Christine A. Kowlessar (St. John’s Law JD, Class of 2019) and Tatiana Orizaba Nicoll (St. John’s University, BA, Class of 2020); and five outstanding current law students (Aminah Ali, Benjamin Ranalli, Ridmila Singh, Zachary Sobel, and Ashley Williams). We are also grateful for the commitment of Dean Michael A. Simons and Vice Dean for Administration Sarah Kelly.

Summer of 2019: A Message from One of Our Students

Our Program

Past Ron Brown Prep Program students have seen their LSAT scores increase and have been accepted to more than 50 different law schools, including:

  • Harvard
  • Yale
  • Boston College
  • Brooklyn Law
  • Cardozo
  • Columbia
  • Cornell
  • Duke
  • Emory
  • Fordham
  • Georgetown
  • George Washington
  • Howard
  • Indiana University
  • NYU
  • Northwestern
  • St. John’s Law
  • UC Berkeley
  • UCLA
  • U. Florida
  • U. Georgia
  • U. Michigan
  • U. Penn
  • Vanderbilt

Prep Program students have been offered millions of dollars in scholarships from law schools across the country. We also have more than twenty alumni in Master’s and Ph.D. programs.