Outreach

News About the Outreach Resource Center and the Law Fellows Program

February 2017 - Law Fellows Program at 20: Opening Doors for Aspiring Lawyers

20170217 Law Fellows Program 01

Leana Taing ’14 used her UCLA School of Law education to close a circle that had opened half a world away, before she was born. One summer as she worked toward her J.D., Taing — a Stockton native raised by immigrants who had fled the murderous regime of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge — served an internship at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, helping to prosecute war crimes.

It was, she says, an unforgettable experience — one that she owes to the UCLA Law Fellows Program. Now in its 20th year, the initiative demystifies law school and gives aspiring lawyers the tools to succeed in law. So far, more than 1,600 undergraduate students from a variety of schools have participated; about 600 fellows have gone on to law school, including more than 100 at UCLA Law. Fellows are overwhelmingly from backgrounds that are underrepresented in the legal profession.

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When Taing was growing up, she says, “There was a lot of gang activity in Stockton and a lot of resentment aimed at refugees.” She watched as many Cambodian immigrants were deported for committing aggravated felonies, and she felt an urge to help. She wanted to do public interest work, assisting those with limited means and little understanding of the legal system.

“Without Law Fellows, I would not be where I am today,” says Taing, who now represents indigent parents in Los Angeles’ children’s court. “I’m sure people have said that before, but I was thinking about how you make choices seemingly insignificant at the time, and the ripple effects can change the direction of your life. That’s what Law Fellows did for me.”

Each spring, about 100 undergraduates come to UCLA Law for the program.  They take in lectures by UCLA Law faculty, are paired with current law students who mentor them, and connect with Law Fellows alumni who have gone on to successful careers at top firms, in public service or in government. Admission is competitive but free of charge. Fellows who complete the coursework receive a free LSAT prep course.

Leo Trujillo-Cox, who earned his J.D. from UCLA Law in 1997, runs the program. He was president of one of the first classes at any Top 20 law school to have a majority of its members come from minority backgrounds. But Proposition 209, which effectively ended affirmative action in California two years earlier, contributed to a severe drop-off in minority applicants to law schools. Trujillo-Cox was tapped by then-Dean Susan Westerberg Prager to help bolster diversity at a time when non-white applicants with competitive GPAs and LSAT scores were few and rival institutions were unburdened by restrictive state laws.

“My thought was: Why fight over a small pie 20170217 Law Fellows Program 03when we can expand it?” says Trujillo-Cox, who is the school’s Executive Director of Academic Outreach & Development (pictured, with assistant director Monica Mar ’08). “Why not grow that pie and also create a pool of students that are sharp, deserving and closely linked to the school? We would do a service for UCLA Law and, since many students would also go to other law schools, we would do a service for the profession.”  

The trailblazing initiative has been a model for efforts at other colleges and has garnered widespread support. Last year, the program received a $125,000, two-year grant from the non-profit Access Group. The California State Bar Foundation recently renewed its annual commitment to back a Law Fellows extension effort at UC Merced, which assists students from California’s Central Valley. The University of California Office of the President has allocated funding for the program to provide three years of LSAT tutoring and counseling to undocumented undergrads. Law Fellows has also attracted money to help former foster children and second-time takers of the bar exam.

“Having a diverse student body contributes in deep and fundamental ways to UCLA Law’s twin pillars of access and excellence,” says Jennifer L. Mnookin dean of UCLA School of Law. “For many law fellows, setting foot in our building is the first time they’ve ever met a lawyer, and Leo and the Law Fellows Program clarify the application process and provide students with tools and a perspective that will help them gain admission to law school and succeed once they are there. The law fellows who end up joining us here at UCLA Law unquestionably broaden the perspectives that we bring to our building, to everyone’s great benefit.”

‘This is you in a couple of years’

20170217 Law Fellows Program 04Early on a Saturday in January 2017, a fresh group of 95 law fellows met at UCLA Law for the first of their semester-long Saturday Academies. Some had made their way from San Diego, Berkeley or New York. At least one crashed on a sorority house couch. All were there on their own dime.

Trujillo-Cox welcomed them into the “Law Fellows family.” Fellows would know each other for the rest of their personal and professional lives, he told them. He teased the day’s events: an introductory class from Professor Emeritus Paul Bergman, co-author of “Reel Justice: The Courtroom Goes to the Movies,” who used clips from “The Paper Chase” and “Legally Blonde to emphasize the rigors of law school; a lecture by Professor Pavel Wonsowicz, who used the Socratic method to give students a taste of the ways in which attorneys formulate legal arguments; and a panel of former fellows who spoke about their paths to becoming successful lawyers.

Speaking of those alums, Trujillo-Cox told fellows, “This is you in a couple of years.”

Like Taing, many fellows came from immigrant families or are first-generation Americans. Several in the 2017 class benefit from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy that delays deportation for undocumented people who came to the country as minors and allows them to seek work permits.

Viridiana Inguanzo, a 2017 fellow who is 20170217 Law Fellows Program 02a UC Berkeley senior and a DACA recipient, said the program is crucial for her aspirations. “It’s super-personal for me. My career and my life are basically on the line with all of the policies that Trump wants to put forward, so I feel like being in the legal field is a way that I can help my community most.”

The program’s free LSAT prep course was a big draw for Paola Dela Cruz, a senior at UC Santa Barbara. “I would have to apply for other scholarships or have to work extra hours to be able to pay for something like that,” she said.

But her first taste of legal education at the Saturday Academy in January had her fully charged. “Sitting in the classroom where law students learn, I literally felt the blood rushing through my veins,” Dela Cruz said. “It became so much more real. Like, it’s possible: I’m doing it. We’re all doing it.”

February 2017 - UCLA Law Alumna Named Neier Fellow by ACLU and Human Rights Watch

20170203 Jasmine Sankofa 1UCLA School of Law alumna Jasmine (Phillips) Sankofa '15 has been named a recipient of the 2017-2019 Aryeh Neier Fellowship, awarded by Human Rights Watch and the ACLU. Sankofa is the first graduate of UCLA Law to receive the honor.

Fellowship recipients investigate and address human rights violations in the United States in areas including criminal justice, immigration and national security. Fellows are salaried and spend one year at each of the sponsoring organizations.

Sankofa is a graduate of the Critical Race Studies (CRS) program and the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy (PILP) at UCLA Law. While at UCLA Law she co-chaired the International Human Rights Law Association, the Reentry Legal Clinic, and the Education Rights Clinic, and earned numerous fellowships and awards. She is also an alumna of the Law Fellows Program at UCLA Law. Currently a law clerk for the Hon. Ronald L. Ellis of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, she has previously served numerous organizations promoting sexual and reproductive rights, disability rights, and reform in prisons and youth detention centers.

“UCLA Law is where I became intentional about my interest in domestic and international human rights,” Sankofa said. “Professors affirmed that my work around the U.S. criminal legal system was indeed human rights work, and encouraged me to pursue opportunities abroad. As someone who had never traveled abroad, I needed the push and support – and I got it. From that point on, I've been adamant about applying a human rights lens to domestic abuses. I was able to do just that as a student in the International Human Rights Clinic. I left UCLA on solid ground—aware of what I want to do, why I want to do it, and whom I do it with and for.”

Human Rights Watch and the ACLU created the fellowship in 2002 to honor the legacy of Aryeh Neier, former president of the Open Society Institute and former director of both the ACLU and Human Rights Watch. Previous Neier fellows have advocated for reform on issues ranging from government surveillance programs to solitary confinement of youth.

“UCLA Law has a long and strong tradition of developing leaders in public interest law,” said Professor Tendayi Achiume, who works with both the Critical Race Studies and Public Interest Law programs. "Like many of our CRS and PILP alumnae, Jasmine is using her law degree to empower marginalized communities and voices at a time when this work is especially vital. As a law student her commitment and passion for human rights were remarkable, and although she is our first alumna to receive this award, she joins many other UCLA Law graduates whose work is devoted to improving the lives of people globally."

January 2017 - State Bar Foundation Award Boosts UCLA Law Outreach into Central Valley

January 12, 2017 - The California State Bar Foundation has offered new funding to the UCLA Law Fellows Program, which helps students from underrepresented communities become more competitive law school applicants. The new award will help UCLA School of Law provide outreach and law school training to high-potential undergraduate students in the rural Central Valley.

This marks the fifth year that the foundation has provided backing for the UCLA Law Fellows Program-Central Valley. The $20,000 award is the largest that the California State Bar Foundation offers.

The Central Valley program launched in 2013 and has provided key resources and training to nearly 100 students from that region. Last year, 22 fellows were selected through a rigorous application process and participated in the program’s Saturday academies at UC Merced. The sessions offer law school‐level instruction and feature a mock class taught by law faculty members; panel discussions with practicing attorneys; workshops on law school admissions, personal statements, financial aid, and networking skills; and an LSAT overview.

UCLA Law's Academic Outreach Resource Center runs the program under the leadership of Founding Executive Director Leo Trujillo-Cox.

"The Law Fellows Program is working to broaden and strengthen the delivery of legal services in the Central Valley," said Trujillo-Cox. "It thrives on the ongoing support of organizations that recognize the value in tapping the potential of diverse and academically outstanding populations in order to reach this goal, and we are thrilled to continue our relationship with the California State Bar Foundation."

Started in 1997, the UCLA Law Fellows Program is renowned as one of the nation’s most innovative pipeline-building initiatives in the law school arena. Since its inception, the program has included more than 1,600 participants, and nearly 600 fellows have either completed law school or are currently students at legal institutions nationwide. Alumni of the Law Fellows Program have gone on to work for many of the country’s most prestigious law firms and organizations.

January 2016 - UCLA Law Fellows Program Receives Additional Funding for Program’s Expansion to California’s Central Valley

January 5, 2016 - The UCLA Law Fellows Program, which prepares high-potential undergraduate students and college graduates from diverse backgrounds for careers in law, has received a fourth year of funding from the California State Bar Foundation to continue the expansion of the Law Fellows Program beyond its home base at UCLA Law to California’s Central Valley. Initial funding from the foundation established the pilot UCLA Law Fellows Program-Central Valley (LFP-CV) in spring 2013. The success of the initiative confirmed the viability of replicating the Law Fellows Program at various sites throughout the state.

In 2015, 22 fellows were selected for the LFP-CV through a rigorous application process. Two full-day Saturday academies were held at the University of California, Merced. They offered academic enrichment through law school‐level instruction, and featured programmatic components, including a mock class taught by law faculty members, panel discussions with practicing attorneys, workshops on law school admissions, personal statements, financial aid and networking skills and an LSAT overview.

The LFP-CV is facilitated by UCLA Law’s Academic Outreach Resource Center under the leadership of Founding Executive Director Leo Trujillo-Cox. The continuing program will help equip Central Valley students with information and resources aimed at increasing their competiveness for admission to law school with the long-term goal of expanding the delivery of legal services in the Central Valley.

UCLA Law launched the Law Fellows Program in 1997 to increase diversity in legal education and the legal profession. Now in its 19th year, the program is nationally recognized as one of the most comprehensive and innovative pipeline-building initiatives in legal education. To date, close to 1,600 students have participated in the initial phase of the program, and nearly 600 fellows have either completed law school or are currently enrolled at law schools across the country. More than 300 fellows have attended or are attending California law schools. Fellows have also received positions with many prestigious law firms and other organizations across the nation.

The program has received the highest honor bestowed to education pipeline programs from the State Bar of California and the American Bar Association.

December 2015 - Grant funds UCLA Law efforts to support students from diverse backgrounds

December 4, 2015 — The UCLA Law Fellows Program, which prepares high-potential undergraduate students and college graduates from diverse backgrounds for careers in law, has been awarded a $125,000 two-year grant from Access Group to provide additional financial and academic support to participants of the program, and to increase the program’s impact and reach.

The Law Fellows Program provides early academic outreach to undergraduate, recently graduated and graduate students at UCLA and other universities and has received the highest honor bestowed to education pipeline programs from the State Bar of California and the American Bar Association.

Access Group, through its Center for Research and Policy Analysis, annually awards grants to programs that conduct effective interventions and approaches to enhance access to legal education for students from diverse backgrounds, specifically historically underrepresented minority students and students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

"We are very excited to receive this generous grant from Access Group," said Leo Trujillo-Cox, founding executive director of UCLA School of Law’s Academic Outreach Resource Center. "This additional support will enable us to provide UCLA Law Fellows with greater opportunities for their success."

Now in its 19th year, the UCLA Law Fellows Program is nationally recognized as one of the most comprehensive and innovative pipeline-building initiatives in legal education. Launched in 1997 by the UCLA School of Law Academic Outreach Resource Center, the program includes a series of Saturday Academies that expose fellows to cases and a variety of materials used in law school. Close to 1,600 students have participated in the initial phase of the program, and, to date, nearly 600 fellows have either completed law school or are currently enrolled at law schools across the country.

Additionally, informative seminars and panel discussions designed to demystify the law school experience are led by staff, alumni and other members of the legal community. Fellows are provided with programming, counseling, career guidance, one-on-one mentoring and a test preparation scholarship.

Founded in 1983, Access Group is a nonprofit organization comprised of nearly 200 nonprofit and state-affiliated American Bar Association-approved law schools. Through research, policy advocacy, and direct member and student educational services, Access Group works to further access, affordability and the value of a legal education specifically, and graduate and professional education more broadly.

December 2014 - UCLA Law Fellows Program Receives Additional Funding to Continue Expansion of Program in California's Central Valley

December 22, 2014 — The UCLA Law Fellows Program, which prepares high-potential undergraduate students and college graduates from diverse backgrounds for careers in law, has received a third year of funding from the California State Bar Foundation to continue the expansion of the Law Fellows Program in California’s Central Valley. Initial funding from the foundation established the pilot UCLA Law Fellows Program-Central Valley (LFP-CV) in spring 2013. The success of the initiative confirmed the viability of replicating the Law Fellows Program at various sites throughout the state.

In 2014, 30 fellows were selected for the LFP-CV through a rigorous application process. Two full-day Saturday academies were held at the University of California, Merced. They offered academic enrichment through law school‐level instruction, and featured programmatic components, including a mock class taught by law faculty members, panel discussions with practicing attorneys, workshops on law school admissions, personal statements, financial aid and networking skills and an LSAT overview.

The LFP-CV is facilitated by UCLA Law's Academic Outreach Resource Center under the leadership of Founding Executive Director Leo Trujillo-Cox. The continuing program will help equip Central Valley students with information and resources aimed at increasing their competiveness for admission to law school with the long-term goal of expanding the delivery of legal services in the Central Valley.

UCLA Law launched the Law Fellows Program in 1997 to increase diversity in legal education and the legal profession. Now in its 18th year, the Law Fellows Program is nationally recognized as one of the most comprehensive and innovative pipeline-building initiatives in legal education. To date, nearly 1,400 students have participated in the initial phase of the program, and almost 600 fellows have either completed law school or are currently enrolled at more than 60 law schools across the country. More than 300 fellows have attended or are attending California law schools. Fellows have also received positions with many prestigious law firms and other organizations across the nation.

In addition, fellows have been well-represented as recipients of the California Bar Foundation's Diversity Scholarship. Thirty-six fellows have received the scholarship during the past six years.

February 2014 - Leo Trujillo-Cox '97 and Norma Nava '05 Chosen as La Raza Alumni of the Year

February 21, 2014 -- Leo Trujillo-Cox ’97, executive director of academic outreach and development and associate director of admissions for UCLA School of Law, and Norma Nava ’05, an associate in the Los Angeles office of Lim, Ruger & Kim LLP, have been chosen to receive the 2014 La Raza Alumni of the Year Award. They will be presented with the award, which recognizes the accomplishments of distinguished Latino/as in the legal profession, at the Annual Raza Alumni Dinner on Saturday, March 15, 2014. The dinner brings La Raza alumni together with students, who have the opportunity to learn about graduates’ experiences in various areas of the law.,/p>

Mr. Trujillo-Cox’s commitment to ensuring academic equity, educational access and excellence in legal education led him to found the Academic Outreach Resource Center at UCLA Law, which is best known for its groundbreaking Law Fellows Program. Now entering its 17th year, the Law Fellows Program is nationally recognized as one of the most comprehensive and innovative pipeline-building initiatives in legal education. Close to 1,300 students have participated; and to date, nearly 550 fellows have either completed law school or are currently enrolled at law schools across the country. Mr. Trujillo-Cox has served the Law School Admission Council as a member of the Minority Affairs Subcommittee on New Initiatives, the Pipeline Models Conference Planning Committee, the Diversity Committee and as chair of the Latino Issues Subcommittee. He has also served as a founding board member of a Los Angeles public charter school, which educates K–8 students through an arts and music based curriculum, emphasizing academic excellence, diversity and ecological and social responsibility.

Ms. Nava, who was a member of the Law Fellows Program in 2001 and served as managing editor of UCLA Law’s Chicano/a-Latino/a Law Review, has a broad-based litigation practice with a focus on commercial real estate litigation, unfair business practices and contract litigation. She was the recipient of the 2005 Hewlett Foundation/American Bar Association Environmental Justice Fellowship that funded her work on environmental litigation projects throughout the Los Angeles area. Prior to joining Lim Ruger, Ms. Nava was a legal fellow with the American Civil Liberties Union where she worked on civil rights appellate advocacy in both state and federal courts.

This is the third year in a row that a Law Fellow has been named one of La Raza’s Alumni of the Year. Devon Rios ’09 and Gladis Molina ’06 were recognized in 2013 and 2012, respectively.

December 2013 - UCLA Law Fellows Program Receives Funding to Continue Expansion of Program in California’s Central Valley

December 20, 2013 -- ​The UCLA Law Fellows Program, which prepares high-potential undergraduate students and college graduates from diverse backgrounds for careers in law, has received funding from the California State Bar Foundation to continue the expansion of the Law Fellows Program in California’s Central Valley. Initial funding from the foundation established the pilot UCLA Law Fellows Program-Central Valley (LFP-CV) in spring 2013. The success of the initiative confirmed the viability of replicating the Law Fellows Program at various sites throughout the state.

In the initial year, 25 fellows were selected for the LFP-CV through a rigorous application process. Two full-day Saturday Academies were held at the University of California, Merced. They offered academic enrichment through law school‐level instruction, and featured programmatic components including a mock class taught by law faculty members, panel discussions with practicing attorneys, workshops on law school admissions, personal statements, financial aid and networking skills, and an LSAT overview.

The LFP-CV is facilitated by UCLA Law’s Academic Outreach Resource Center, under the leadership of Founding Executive Director Leo Trujillo-Cox and Associate Director Tony Tolbert. The continuing program will help equip Central Valley students with information and resources aimed at increasing their competiveness for admission to law school with the long-term goal of expanding the delivery of legal services in the Central Valley.

Now entering its 17th year, the Law Fellows Program is nationally recognized as one of the most comprehensive and innovative pipeline-building initiatives in legal education. Close to 1,300 students have participated; and to date, nearly 550 fellows have either completed law school or are currently enrolled at law schools across the country. More than 300 fellows have attended or are attending California law schools. Fellows have also received positions with many prestigious law firms and other organizations across the nation. In addition, more than 200 fellows have either completed graduate programs or are currently enrolled.

July 2013 - Law professors honored for their work helping people of color (UCLA Today)

July 18, 2013 - Leo Trujillo-Cox (left), founding executive director of the Law Fellows Program and Tony Tolbert, longtime associate director, were honored July 12 for their professional achievements by For People of Color, Inc. (FPOC). Trujillo-Cox received the "Trailblazer Award" and Tolbert received the "Community Service Award" at the organization’s "A Night Out with FPOC" event, which was held at the Los Angeles Athletic Club.

The Law Fellows Program engages high-potential undergraduates and recent graduates from diverse backgrounds in academic and career programming designed to increase their competitiveness for admission to law school, demystify legal education and facilitate their entry into the profession. The program is in its 16th year and is nationally recognized as the most comprehensive and innovative pipeline-building initiative in legal education.

From UCLA Today.

July 2013 - Leo Trujillo-Cox and Tony Tolbert to Be Honored by For People of Color, Inc.

July 5, 2013--The Law Fellows Program’s Founding Executive Director Leo Trujillo-Cox and long-time Associate Director Tony Tolbert will be honored for their professional achievements by For People of Color, Inc. (FPOC). Leo will receive the “Trailblazer Award” and Tony will receive the “Community Service Award” at the organization’s “A Night Out with FPOC” event, which will be held at the Los Angeles Athletic Club on Friday, July 12, 2013.

The Law Fellows Program, which engages high-potential undergraduates and recent graduates from diverse backgrounds in academic and career programming designed to increase their competitiveness for admission to law school, demystify legal education and facilitate their entry into the profession, is now in its 16th year and is nationally recognized as the most comprehensive and innovative pipeline-building initiative in legal education.

April 2013 - UCLA Law Fellows Program to Expand into California's Central Valley

Lauri Gavel
Executive Director of Communications
UCLA School of Law
(310) 206-2611
gavel@law.ucla.edu

LOS ANGELES, CA, April 18, 2013—The UCLA Law Fellows Program, which prepares high-potential undergraduate students and college graduates from diverse backgrounds for careers in law, has received a California Bar Foundation grant to launch a pilot Law Fellows Program in California’s Central Valley. The UCLA Law Fellows Program-Central Valley (LFP-CV) will equip Central Valley students with information and resources aimed at increasing their competiveness for admission to law school.

In the initial year, 25 fellows will be selected through a rigorous application process. Two full-day Saturday Academies will be held at the University of California, Merced; the first will be held on April 20, 2013 and the second will be held on June 22, 2013. The Academies will offer academic enrichment through law school‐level instruction, and will feature programmatic components including a mock class taught by law faculty members, workshops on law school admissions, personal statements, financial aid and networking skills, and an LSAT overview. Additionally, practicing attorneys from the local legal community will provide insight into their respective practice areas and will share their personal, academic and professional experiences. The program will also include a visit to UCLA, hosted by UCLA Law’s 2013 Diversity Admissions Open House.

According to University of California, Merced Lecturer Mark T. Harris, who also advises the UC Merced Law Clinic, Pre-Law Society and Phi Alpha Delta chapter: “Our entire campus community is thrilled to welcome the participants in the inaugural UCLA Law Fellows Program-Central Valley. The residents of the Central Valley have a huge unmet need relative to the delivery of comprehensive legal services at a reasonable price. UC Merced has a strong commitment to legal education. We have a fully functioning pre-law society; a student run law clinic; and most recently, a chapter of Phi Alpha Delta, the national law fraternity. We hope this weekend’s workshops and activities are merely the start of what will prove to be a long-term relationship between UCLA School of Law and UC Merced.”

The LFP-CV will be implemented by UCLA Law’s Academic Outreach Resource Center, under the leadership of Founding Executive Director Leo Trujillo-Cox and Associate Director Tony Tolbert,

“We are excited for this opportunity to expand the UCLA Law Fellows Program, and look forward to working with UC Merced to engage a wide variety of students and encourage them to apply to and attend law school,” Leo Trujillo-Cox said. “California’s Central Valley is one of the fastest growing regions of the state, but it is also one of the most underserved. The LFP-CV will play an important role in helping to increase the pool of attorneys and expand the delivery of legal services in the Central Valley.”

Now in its 16th year, the Law Fellows Program is nationally recognized as one of the most comprehensive and innovative pipeline-building initiatives in legal education. By demystifying the law school experience and exposing participants to the practice of law, the program seeks to diversify the law school applicant pool, enhance participants’ competitiveness for admission to law school and facilitate entry into the profession. Close to 1,200 students have participated, and to date, nearly 500 fellows have either completed law school or are currently enrolled at law schools across the country. More than 300 fellows have or are attending California law schools. Fellows have also received positions with many prestigious organizations across the nation.

About UCLA School of Law
Founded in 1949, UCLA School of Law is the youngest major law school in the nation and has established a tradition of innovation in its approach to teaching, research and scholarship. With approximately 100 faculty and 1,100 students, the school pioneered clinical teaching, is a leader in interdisciplinary research and training and is at the forefront of efforts to link research to its effects on society and the legal profession. For more information, visit www.law.ucla.edu.

February 2013 - UCLA Law Fellows Program Honored with Alexander Award for Diversity Efforts (aba NOW)

February 2013 - Leo Trujillo-Cox, executive director of academic outreach and development at UCLA’s Law Fellows Program, discusses the preparatory program for diverse students, which was awarded the 2013 Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Award for Excellence in Pipeline Diversity during the ABA Midyear Meeting in Dallas. The award is given annual by the ABA Council for Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Educational Pipeline.

From ABA News.

January 2013 - UCLA Law Fellows Program to Receive the American Bar Association's 2013 Alexander Award

January 16, 2013 -- UCLA School of Law’s Law Fellows Program will be honored with the 2013 Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Award by the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Council for Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Educational Pipeline. The Alexander Award honors individuals and organizations demonstrating success working along the educational pipeline in a collaborative approach involving more than one segment of the continuum, from preschool to high school to college to law school to the practice. The award will be presented to the Law Fellows Program’s Founding Executive Director, Leo Trujillo-Cox, at the ABA’s Midyear Meeting in Dallas, Texas on Friday, February 8, 2013.

Three UCLA Law alumni were instrumental in the program’s selection for this honor. Ireneo A. Reus, III ’04 nominated the Law Fellows Program for the award, and Cheryl M. Lott ’04 and Diego Cartagena ’03, both Law Fellows Program participants, wrote letters of support.

The Law Fellows Program, which engages high-potential undergraduates and recent graduates from diverse backgrounds in academic and career programming designed to increase their competitiveness for admission to law school, demystify legal education and facilitate their entry into the profession, is now in its 16th year and is nationally recognized as the most comprehensive and innovative pipeline-building initiative in legal education.

November 2012 - Leo Trujillo-Cox, Tony Tolbert and UCLA Law Fellows Program to be Honored by Mexican American Bar Association

​November 26, 2012 -- Leo Trujillo-Cox, Tony Tolbert and the UCLA Law Fellows Program will be honored with the Justice Cruz Reynoso Community Service Award by the Mexican American Bar Association (MABA). The award is given annually to individuals for their outstanding community service. Past recipients of the award include Luz E. Herrera, president and co-founder of Community Lawyers, Inc. and Eddie “El Piolin” Sotello, radio personality and immigrant rights advocate.

The Law Fellows Program’s Founding Executive Director, Leo Trujillo-Cox, and its long-time Associate Director, Tony Tolbert, will receive the award at the organization’s 53rd Annual Gala & Installation Dinner, which will be held on February 16, 2013 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel. The Law Fellows Program, which engages high-potential undergraduates and recent graduates from diverse backgrounds in academic and career programming designed to increase their competitiveness for admission to law school, demystify legal education and facilitate their entry into the profession is now in its 15th year and is nationally recognized as the most comprehensive and innovative pipeline-building initiatives in legal education.

The event will also feature the installation of MABA President-Elect Elizabeth P. Uribe, a 1999-2000 Law Fellow. “There are a number of past participants on our Board and in our general membership. There is no doubt that the UCLA Law Fellows Program was instrumental in our success of attaining our educational goals,” Uribe said.

MABA, the largest Latina/Latino bar association in the nation, is committed to the advancement of Latinos in the legal profession and the empowerment of the Latino community through service and advocacy.

August 2012 - Academic Outreach Resource Center Receives Gift in Support of Current and Former Foster Youth

August 29, 2012 -- The Academic Outreach Resource Center has received a gift of $25,000 in support of current and former foster youth at UCLA who have participated in the law school’s Law Fellows Program. The gift establishes the Edelstein Law Scholars Fund to provide foster students with the necessary resources to excel in their undergraduate studies and increase their academic competitiveness for admission to law school.

The fund will enable the Law Fellows Program to provide eligible students with private tutoring for the LSAT and to develop a range of support initiatives with UCLA’s Bruin Guardian Scholars Program, aimed at serving this underrepresented student population. These efforts will help to increase the representation of former foster youth in law school and within the legal profession.

The fund was created by Susan B. Edelstein, executive director of UCLA TIES for Families, in honor of Ms. Edelstein’s late husband and UCLA Law alumnus, Gerald Edelstein ’66.

August 2012 - State Bar of California honors UCLA's Law Fellows Program (UCLA Today)

August 27, 2012 - UCLA School of Law’s Law Fellows Program has received the 2012 Education Pipeline Award from the State Bar of California. The award recognizes exceptional efforts of law-related educational programs that prepare and encourage students to become interested in the judicial system and careers in the law.

An awards reception will be held on Oct. 13 in Monterey, Calif.

The Law Fellows Program is nationally recognized as one of the most comprehensive and innovative pipeline-building initiatives in legal education. Leo Trujillo-Cox, executive director of academic outreach and development and associate director of admissions and recruitment, is instructor of the program, which is now in its 15th year. It engages high-potential undergraduates and recent graduates from diverse backgrounds in academic and career programming designed to increase their competitiveness for admission to law school, demystify legal education and facilitate their entry into the profession.

Close to 1,200 students from dozens of undergraduate institutions have participated in the program. To date, nearly 450 fellows have either completed law school or are currently enrolled, with almost 300 fellows attending California law schools. Law Fellows have also received positions with many prestigious law firms and organizations.

From UCLA Today.

July 2012 - Law Fellows Program Receives State Bar of California 2012 Education Pipeline Award

July 30, 2012 – UCLA School of Law’s Law Fellows Program has received the 2012 Education Pipeline Award from the State Bar of California. The award recognizes exceptional efforts of law-related educational programs that prepare and encourage students to become interested in the judicial system and careers in the law.

The Law Fellows program was nominated for this honor by UCLA Law alumni Anthony Solana ’04 and Norma Nava ’05. An awards reception will be held on October 13, 2012 in Monterey, California.

The Law Fellows Program is nationally recognized as one of the most comprehensive and innovative pipeline-building initiatives in legal education. Leo Trujillo-Cox, executive director of academic outreach and development and associate director of admissions and recruitment, is instructor of the program, which is now in its 15th year. It engages high-potential undergraduates and recent graduates from diverse backgrounds in academic and career programming designed to increase their competitiveness for admission to law school, demystify legal education and facilitate their entry into the profession.

Close to 1,200 students from dozens of undergraduate institutions have participated in the program. To date, nearly 450 fellows have either completed law school or are currently enrolled, with almost 300 fellows attending California law schools. Law Fellows have also received positions with many prestigious law firms and organizations.

November 1999 - Law Intensifies Outreach

From UCLA Today:

In the wake of Proposition 209, the statewide initiative that bars public universities from using race or gender as a consideration for admissions, University of California law schools have experienced a severe decline in African-American and Latino enrollment.

At the UCLA School of Law, only three African-American students and 18 Latino students were part of this fall's entering first-year class. But those statistics, highlighted recently at a "teach-in" on diversity attended by 200 students and faculty, do not reflect the intensive efforts the school is making to attract men and women to the student body who reflect the wide geographic, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds of the general population, school representatives said.

"We are working hard to attract and retain underrepresented students of color in a lawful and effective manner, and the school is seeking to increase student and alumni participation in the efforts," said Dean Jonathan D. Varat.

The Law Fellows Program, for example, focuses on helping undergraduate students develop their academic skills in the classroom and through service-learning opportunities. Law school faculty and staff provide high-potential, socioeconomically disadvantaged undergraduates with intensive early academic enrichment in conjunction with extensive mentoring, career development activities and seminars designed to increase the competitiveness of Fellows for law school admission.

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February 1999 - Faculty Appeal: Give Law a Look

From UCLA Today:

More than 100 high school students from educationally and economically disadvantaged communities in Los Angeles will be getting an early sneak peek at a law school education from people in the know — law faculty and a recent law school grad.

Local high school students who have shown academic promise and are part of UCLA's campuswide Career-Based Outreach Program (CBOP) will get an inside view from faculty and alumni of such legal topics as alternative dispute resolution, jury trials and equal protection laws in a series of workshops Feb. 27.

Sponsored by the law school and CBOP, the event is part of a campuswide outreach initiative designed to boost students' awareness of the requirements of higher education and careers while improving participants' academic competitiveness and chances for admission. Buses will bring students from Crenshaw, Dorsey, Fremont, Garfield, Hamilton, Inglewood, Jefferson and other Los Angeles high schools to campus for the daylong event.

"This is an effort to demystify the law school experience," said Leo Trujillo Cox, director of outreach for the law school, and to drive home the importance of setting their sights high early on. "If they are not thinking about college and graduate school early on in their academic careers, they cannot go about optimizing their potential to achieve those goals. The planning needs to begin early."

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February 1999 - Los Angeles High School Students Get a Peek at Law School

From the UCLA Newsroom:

Local high school students who have shown academic promise will have the opportunity to hear about alternative dispute resolution, jury trials and equal protection laws in a series of workshops given by UCLA Law faculty,students and alumni Feb. 27.

The event is part of a campus-wide outreach initiative designed to boost students' awareness of the requirements of higher education and careers while improving participants' academic competitiveness and admission eligibility rates. More than 100 high school students from educationally and economically disadvantaged communities in Los Angeles have been invited to attend the sneak peek at a law school education. They will be provided bus transportation from their home communities and lunch at the daylong event.

"This is an effort to demystify the law school experience,"said Leo Trujillo Cox, director of outreach for the law school, adding that one of the goals of UCLA outreach is to get students to set their sights high at an early stage. "If they are not thinking about college and graduate school early on in their academic careers, they cannot go about optimizing their potential to achieve those goals. The planning needs to begin early."

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