Each summer our Youth Law Academy program organizes a one-week bootcamp for 15 undergrads, called the “Diversity Legal Pipeline” (DLP).
This year’s DLP was an intensive, fast-paced introduction to what it takes to apply to law school, and to succeed on the path to becoming an attorney. Students heard from attorneys who work in employment, immigration, government, business, and public interest law. Virginia Villegas was the keynote speaker and we had corporate, law firm, and nonprofit attorneys that participated. Students learned the ins & outs of the law school application process, had a presentation from the Berkeley Law Dean of Admission, took and reviewed an actual LSAT, participated in a simulated contracts law class with Professor Leo Martinez, read some actual court cases, asked questions of attorneys during three attorney panels, met law students, got some wellness advice from Fernando Flores of IMaterNow, and had plenty of time to mingle and meet with speakers and presenters. One day was spent in San Francisco where the students toured Golden Gate Law School, visited attorneys at Public Advocates, ate lunch with attorneys and law students at Morrison Foerster, LLP, and met with Judge Monica Wiley of the Superior Court. Our participants overwhelmingly reported that the DLP motivated them to pursue a career in law and gave them increased knowledge of the application process, the personal statement, the LSAT, and professional skills like networking.
Thanks to all YLA/DLP Funders for making this happen: Oakland Fund for Children and Youth, California ChangeLawyers, Morris Stulsaft Foundation, the Bernard and Alba E. Witkin Foundation, and AT&T’s legal department. Special thanks also to all of the folks that sponsored students to ensure they would have access to LSAT preparation courses: East Bay La Raza Lawyers Association, Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom, Maria Sager, Arturo Gonzalez, Cooley LLP, Girard Sharp LLP, Shute Mihaley Weinberger LLP, Angel Garganta, Beatriz Mejia, Steve Taylor, Marvin Anderson, Sergio Garcia, and Jose Padilla. And thanks to all the guest speakers and panelists that made our week such a huge success!