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ERIC Number: EJ840050
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Apr-16
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1557-5411
Changing the Face of the Legal Profession
Hunt, Jazelle
Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, v26 n5 p17 Apr 2009
College graduates who do not make it into any law school are given one more chance to prove themselves: an invitation to join the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law's Pipeline to Justice program. Pipeline to Justice is the brainchild of CUNY law school's Associate Dean and Professor Mary Lu Bilek and Dean Michelle Anderson. The program's aims are twofold: (1) to prepare law candidates, who have not yet conquered the LSAT but are diligent in other areas of life, to retake the test and then succeed in law school; and (2) to allow students from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds the chance to enter the legal field and serve their communities. Months before anyone knew there would be a Pipeline to Justice, Bilek was wondering how she could advance CUNY law's mission of "law in the service of human needs." The lack of diversity in the profession was something she wanted to change. So she met with the new dean in 2006, who has decried the lack of diversity in her field as "a disgrace." Clearly, they were already on the same page. Innumerable hours of legwork, one board of trustees approval and weeks of personally sifting through denied applications later, Bilek was ready to make the first attempt at a successful program. The selection process is simple enough. Each year, two admissions committee members flag applicants who were denied admission but whom they consider would make good Pipeline candidates. Carefully scrutinizing their essays, Bilek then selects and invites students whose reasons for wanting to attend law school align with CUNY law's goals. In October of each year, the "Pipeliners," as they are called, take about 15 practice LSATs while taking the "Binary Solutions" course, which focuses on analytical skills. If they raise their score enough, they move on to phase two, which prepares them for the graduate-level "legalese" readings and writing style they will encounter in law school. Finally in June, the remaining Pipeliners are admitted into CUNY law. The entire program runs the length of a school year. Two-thirds of the Pipeliners from the first year of the program gained entry into the CUNY law school class of 2010. Of those admitted Pipeliners, 73 percent were from underrepresented groups. The next year, when the first Pipeliners joined the university, CUNY School of Law saw one of the most diverse first-year classes ever.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York