Exterior shot of School of Law building

Ronald H. Brown Law School Prep Program for College Students


This summer the Ronald H. Brown Center for Civil Rights and its flagship Ronald H. Brown Law School Prep Program heeded the urgent call for action from St. John’s Law students to address the continuing crisis of racial injustice in our country. In its 15th year, the Prep Program had its first virtual summer and also its busiest summer ever, serving 95 diverse students across four distinct programs with 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.  

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—the WNBA’s New York Liberty and the NBA G League’s Long Island Nets—and the law school. 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. 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 coordinator Christine A. Kowlessar (St. John’s Law JD, Class of 2019); program coordinator 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.


Like most people across the globe, we had to make substantial changes to our plans in light of the pandemic. We are thrilled to be able to continue our commitment to diversifying the legal profession and to helping individuals pursue their dreams through this alternate course of action and the unwavering support we receive. Please continue to take precautionary measures to stay safe and healthy in these times.

Our 2020 Pipeline Programs

The Ron Brown Prep Program is proud to repeat the following programs in the summer of 2020: the all male Prep Program Foundations and the Summer LSAT Boot Camp (formerly known as Prep Program II).  We are grateful for the financial support of the LSAC DiscoverLaw program for the Foundations cohort.

In addition, the Ron Brown Prep Program proudly announces a new pipeline program for college graduates or seniors graduating by June 2020 called the Weekend LSAT Boot Camp.  We are grateful for the support of the AccessLex Institute for funding this new initiative. 

Note that we will not be hosting Prep Program I in 2020. 

Ron Brown Prep Program Digital Brochure

For a PDF file of our digital brochure describing these three programs in detail, please click here.

The Application Process

The application period for all three programs has begun!  The digital brochure mentioned above lists the detailed admissions criteria for each program.  Links to application instructions and the digital applications themselves are below.  Generally, the following items are required in addition to filling out the digital application.

  • Resume
  • Most recent official college transcript
  • Writing sample
  • Personal Statement / Statement of Interest
  • Two Letters of Recommendation (Summer) or Two References (Weekend)

Application Deadlines

The deadlines vary, depending on the program.

Deadline: January 31, 2020 - Weekend LSAT Boot Camp

Deadline: April 3, 2020 – Summer Prep Program Foundations

Deadline: March 13, 2020 – Summer LSAT Boot Camp

Weekend LSAT Boot Camp (Post-Graduates Only / spring 2020 Graduates) - (late March 2020-September 2020) - FREE Tuition

The new Weekend Prep Program is designed for college graduates and/or college seniors graduating by June 2020 who are interested in attending law school in the fall of 2021. This program is financially sponsored through a generous grant by AccessLex Institute and is a free program. Enrolled students will be in LSAT classes and other workshops and events on most Saturdays from late March through September.  Applicants should be prepared to commit to a minimum of 10 hours per week to LSAT study and to taking the actual LSAT in September or October of 2020.  This program will offer similar benefits to the Summer LSAT Boot Camp program including high-quality exam preparation and law school advising.  All sessions will take place at St. John’s University School of Law in Jamaica, New York and the program requires that students commute to the Queens campus on a weekly basis.  The program also includes a Diversity Admissions Fair in late October to early November 2020.

Summer Prep Program Foundations (June 2020-July 2020) - (Men only) - FREE Tuition

This seven week program is designed for any male college student from a diverse background who will have completed their college freshmen year by the end of May 2020. It is sponsored by the LSAC Prelaw Undergraduate Scholars (PLUS) Program and is a (mostly) free program.  Students are responsible for the transportation costs of getting themselves to and from New York City to be in the program.  This innovative pipeline program features a unique academic and professionalism course that is taught by expert faculty and focuses on critical reading, writing and thinking skills as well as professionalism skills such as time management and speaking up.  Additionally, students are matched to four week, full-time legal internships in the New York City area where they work closely with lawyers and/or judges. 

LSAC logo


Summer LSAT Boot Camp (June 2020-July2020) ($3000 Tuition)

For seven weeks, students have on-site, in-person LSAT classes and diagnostics, learn in-depth about the law school admission process and work with professionals on their essays and resumes. After the on-site program ends, students continue with a proven online LSAT training program, take the October LSAT and return for a Diversity Admissions Fair in late October to early November. There is dormitory housing available in bedrooms that are shared by two people.  The housing is an extra fee of $325 per week.

Limited Financial Assistance

The Ron Brown Prep Program has limited funds to provide financial assistance for tuition and housing costs for the Summer LSAT Boot Camp.  If you would like to apply for financial assistance, please click here.  The deadline is February 28th, 2020.

Contact Us

For general inquiries about the programs, please contact:

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


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] stjohns.edu | www.stjohns.edu/law 


The Ron Brown Center and its 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 in courses taught by Law School faculty; through internships with judges and lawyers; in a customized LSAT prep course; and with advising on all aspects of the admission process.

Our Program

Please review the eligibility requirements and program fees below. Once you have your grades from the Fall 2019 semester, you can apply using our online application forms below. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. 

The Ron Brown Center offers financial assistance to help defray the costs of tuition and/or housing. We strongly encourage all applicants who need financial assistance to apply for financial aid by completing the additional online forms below. Eligibility will be determined based on information similar to the FAFSA form. 

All applications are now open.

Accepting Applications until: 

January 24th, 2020 - Weekend LSAT Boot Camp
February 14th, 2020  - Summer Prep Program Foundations
February 14th, 2020 - Summer LSAT Boot Camp

Apply for Enrollment »

Apply for Financial Aid » 

(Note:  must submit Financial Aid application if seeking housing stipend)

Partner with us in Helping to Diversify the Legal Profession

The Ron Brown Prep Program is among the nation’s best pipeline programs into the legal profession. Working with motivated and accomplished college students from disadvantaged backgrounds, the Ron Brown Prep Program provides long-term, comprehensive support and incredible summer opportunities. We could not achieve our outstanding outcomes without the generous support of sponsors.

Current Sponsors

  • 7Sage
  • AXA Foundation
  • Beatrice R. and Joseph R. Coleman Foundation for Environmental and Social Justice
  • CVS Health
  • CUNY Black Male Initiative
  • Department of Latin American and Latina/o Studies of John Jay College of Criminal Justice
  • Hughes Hubbard and Reed LLP
  • Harris Beach PLLC
  • Latham & Watkins LLP
  • Mayer Brown LLP
  • Paul Hastings, LLP
  • Reginald Lewis Foundation
  • Steptoe and Johnson LLP
  • The United Negro College Fund
  • White & Case LLP
  • York College

Internship Opportunities

  • New York State Judges
  • Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP
  • Paul Hastings LLP
  • AXA Equitable Legal Department
  • New York Attorney General’s Office
  • District Attorney’s Offices
  • Legal Aid Society
  • Common Cause

LSAT Score Boosts

Ron Brown students increasing their LSAT scores by an average of 12 points.

Scholarship Awards

Ron Brown students have received millions in scholarship dollars to fund their law school or graduate school education.

Law School Acceptances*

  • American University
  • Boston College
  • Cornell University
  • Duke University
  • Emory University
  • Fordham University
  • George Mason
  • George Washington
  • Georgetown
  • Harvard University
  • NYU University
  • University of California – Berkeley
  • University of California – Davis
  • University of California – Los Angeles
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Pennsylvania

*Students have been accepted and attended law schools around the United States with scholarship opportunities.

Campaign Goal: Raise $100,000 to enable 50 students to participate fully in the Program. If you would like to partner with us in diversifying the legal profession, please become a sponsor today.

There are two ways to employ a Ron Brown Prep Program student as an intern.

Ron Brown I Internship: In the latter portion of the Ron Brown I program, students intern for a month in a variety of legal practice settings. Past and intervening placements include:

  • AXA Equitable Legal Department
  • NYS Attorney General's Office
  • District Attorneys' Office
  • Hughes Hubbard and Reed LLP
  • Human Rights Watch
  • Bronx Public Defenders
  • Paul Hastings LLP
  • Solo Practitioners & Small Law Firms
  • Urban Justice Center

Bridge Internship

In the summer before matriculating in law school, outstanding Ron Brown Prep Program students are invited to do a bridge internship. Past bridge-employees are Hughes Hubbard and Reed LLP, Paul Hastings LLP and the AXA Equitable Legal Department.

If you would like to be an employer and offer internship opportunities, please contact Professors Chiu or Castello at [email protected] or [email protected].


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

  • Harvard
  • Yale
  • Boston College
  • Columbia
  • Cornell
  • Duke
  • Fordham
  • Emory
  • Georgetown
  • Howard
  • NYU
  • St. John’s
  • UC Berkeley
  • UC Davis
  • UCLA
  • U of Michigan
  • Vanderbilt

We also have more than twenty alumni in Masters and Ph.D programs. Prep Program have also been offered millions of dollars in scholarships from law schools around the country..


“I am the first and only attorney in my family. The Ron Brown Prep Program exposed me to information and connections within the legal profession early in my life (19 years old). It mentored me to be more competitive during the law school application process and throughout law school. Today, I am a practicing attorney and a young professional thanks to my family and the RHB Prep Program.”
Ron Brown Alum ’09

“The Ron Brown Prep Program helped me achieve all of my goals. My LSAT score improved drastically by 16 points from the diagnostic test to the actual exam…I received numerous full tuition scholarship offers, and even an offer with free housing as well.”
Ron Brown Alum ’14

“As a first generation college student, the pursuit of a career as an attorney was as elusive as it was daunting. The Ron Brown Prep Program guided me every step of the way and ensured I attended law school... I am now a semester-early graduate of St. John’s University School of Law, an attorney admitted to practice before the Courts of the State of New York and Connecticut, and United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. ”
Ron Brown Alum’09

“The Ron Brown Prep Program is unique because it provided the tools and support system to succeed on the LSAT and in law school. The most important thing about the Ron Brown Prep Program is the sense of security it gives its students. I encourage anyone, who is interested in investing in future professionals, to invest in the Ron Brown Prep Program.”
Ron Brown Alum ’08


Recipient, Alexander Award for Excellence in Pipeline Diversity (2011) American Bar Association Council for Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Educational Pipeline