Since 2007, the University of Pennsylvania Carry Law School’s Black Law Student Association (BLSA) has reached hundreds of undergraduate students in the Philadelphia metropolitan area through its outreach program, Law School Application and Success. .. The program’s comprehensive goal is to remove systematic barriers to perpetuating inequality, maintain homogeneity in the legal profession (an area already full of exclusivity), and inspire a diverse cohort of future lawyers. is. During a series of weekend sessions, the program provides insights into the law school admission process and mentorship for students from ethnically diverse, first-generation, and / or disadvantaged backgrounds. Participants conclude by completing the “JD Action Plan”.
“Don’t be afraid of the process of applying to law school just because you’re confused by the process of applying to law school or you don’t have contact to ask questions to the law school. The law school has culture, background, and experience. It can only be improved by increasing the diversity of the law school. It is our job to strengthen the pipeline to law school so that the end result can be achieved, “said Carla Anderson, director of the Access Initiative. Stated.
Penlo BLSA provides essential support for current and future students identified as African Americans, Caribbean, or Africans, and fosters a strong community celebrating their collective achievements. Through the Outreach program, BLSA members share tools and insights that further enhance black individuals. We will also share with students from historically undervalued communities who are interested in the legal department and make information widely available.
“2016 BLSA Motto”Lift when we climb “ The Victoria Gross L’22 and BLSA admission chairs have long been an inspiration and are suitable for this program. We want to show program participants that they have access to law school and legal careers. Victoria also participated in the outreach program as a college junior.
Last year, the pandemic posed several program challenges. The biggest obstacle was the need to virtually renew the program face-to-face, while preserving the individuality of the original program as much as possible.
At the beginning of 2020, the program had 61 active participants, but in March it dropped to 46 participants. One of the invisible benefits of the pandemic and online transition was that the outreach program did not have to consider overburdening participants. In 2021, we were able to extend our outreach from local schools to all higher education institutions in the Tri-State area of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. As a result of optimizing outreach, the program experienced a record 78 participants in 2021.
As it grows, so does the program. Participants can now view their resumes with their assigned law student mentor. This complements a review of a personal statement incorporated into the program three years ago to make it even more robust. This personalized feedback is aimed at increasing the competitiveness of applicants and has proven to be effective by participants.
“The BLSA Outreach Program reaffirmed that law schools and lawyers have space for people like me. LSAT preparations from assigned mentors who are in contact for advice from law schools. From the workshop to the mock class under the guidance of Professor Dorothy Roberts, I boldly and confidently pursued my dreams in every session. As a first-generation law school and graduate student, I was in another colored law school. I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to learn from my students, and I am confident that other students will also benefit from this program, “says Chayla Sherrod L’23.
Participants in the outreach program enrolled in law school not only broke the cycle of disadvantages between generations within the family, but also held prestigious positions in law reviews, other journals, and many other leadership positions. We continue to break down barriers by earning.
Lenny Post, Vice Dean of Admissions and Financial Assistance, said: “The BLSA Outreach Program has been an important resource for aspiring law students for 15 years. It breaks down long-standing barriers to legal education for undervalued students in the legal profession. Providing important information and resources to future students for the purpose of. “
Leticia Salazar L’22, Volume 170 Next Editor-in-Chief University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Illustrates the success of program participants. Salazar, who is currently enrolled in the Dual Degree Program, will graduate from both JD and MSEd in Education Policy in 2022.
“The BLSA Outreach Program was my first introduction to life as a black student at law school, and I am forever incredibly grateful for this experience,” Salazar said. “I am very grateful to the network that became available early in my law school journey through panels, resume / application workshops, and mentorship. Like many others in the program, I don’t have a lawyer in my family and I didn’t know who to contact during the law school application process. The BLSA Outreach Program gives me the ability to be part of a special community. Was a successful black leader. “
To date, the program has attracted more than 600 participants, many of whom are lawyers today. Geneva Campbell Brown L’13, Associate Senior Counsel for Business Transactions at Cigna, was one of those students.
“The BLSA Outreach Program provided an important foundation for giving me access to resources and networks that would allow me to run steadily when I started law school. Preparation was essential for someone like me with an undervalued background and faced a unique barrier to growth and success as a law school. The BLSA Outreach Program filled these gaps for me, It helped me build relationships with current and future lawyers who have invested in seeing what I achieve. “
“In addition to the impressive undergraduates participating in the outreach program, one of the most exciting things about the outreach program is that the program introduces the best of our law school community. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) Officer. “Students, staff, faculty and graduates all participated in these efforts, united by the desire to promote access to law schools and ultimately diversify their legal profession.”
The 2020-2021 BLSA Outreach Program will begin this month and end in April. For more information, please contact Carla Anderson at contactadmissions @ law.upenn.edu.
The Black Law Student Association is reaching out to support the diversity of the legal profession – India’s Education, Education News India, Education News
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