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.