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California Community Colleges Sign Pathway to Law School Initiative
Delta College is among 24 community colleges and six law schools signing agreement
The California Community Colleges and State Bar of California announced a new initiative at Chabot College in Hayward (5/01/14) that will provide students at 24 community colleges, including San Joaquin Delta College, a smoother pathway to six of California’s top law schools.
The Community Colleges Pathway to Law School Initiative is an unprecedented effort within California higher education to enhance opportunities and advancement in the legal profession for diverse populations, particularly those who have been underrepresented.
Delta College Superintendent/President Dr. Kathy Hart is excited about this new career path opportunity. “The Pathway to Law School Initiative is an excellent example of a collaborative effort that benefits students from diverse backgrounds who are interested in legal careers.” Hart would like to see the program ultimately benefit the local community. “It is my hope that Pathway to Law School students will remember where they got their start and return to practice law in Stockton and the Central Valley.”
The project, sponsored by the State Bar’s Council on Access and Fairness, will establish agreements with two dozen community colleges, six law schools and their respective undergraduate institutions. Students in the program will receive assurances that credits in prescribed courses will transfer; early exposure to the law school experience; individual advisement and mentoring from law school advisors; financial aid counseling; LSAT preparation and waived application fees for admission to the participating law schools.
The initiative requires students to complete courses based on a defined set of “success factors” that help make effective lawyers. The transfer initiative will align criteria from these success factors with community college courses already approved in corresponding Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) to prepare students for law school.
“This project will put talented and promising community college students on a trajectory to enter some of the finest law schools in the nation,” said Brice W. Harris, chancellor of the California Community Colleges. “Students will receive the support they need to succeed and make the legal profession more diverse, and the justice system more reflective of our state.”
State Bar CEO Joseph Dunn emphasized, "We know that our community colleges have the diversity and talent the State Bar seeks to enhance the diversity pipeline into the legal profession, as evidenced by many prominent judges and lawyers who attended community colleges. I am particularly grateful to the six law school deans for partnering in this important initiative."
Participating law schools are: University of Southern California Gould School of Law, University of San Francisco School of Law, UC Davis School of Law, UC Irvine School of Law, Santa Clara University School of Law and Loyola Law School.
“UC Irvine School of Law is delighted to participate in this program to create a pipeline from the community colleges to law school,” said Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of UC Irvine School of Law. “We are confident that this pilot program will enhance the diversity of law schools and the legal profession.”
“Santa Clara University fully supports the goals of the Community Colleges Pathway to Law School,” said Provost Dennis Jacobs. "We are honored to be one of the founding institutions helping to create a pathway from community college, to four-year undergraduate institutions, to law school.”
Community colleges selected for the program are: Antelope Valley College, Bakersfield College, Chabot College, Chaffey College, College of Alameda, College of the Canyons, College of the Sequoias, Contra Costa College, Fresno City College, Gavilan College, Hartnell College, Los Angeles City College, Los Angeles Mission College, Merritt College, Oxnard College, Rio Hondo Community College, Riverside City College, Sacramento City College, San Joaquin Delta College, San Jose City College, Santa Ana College, Solano Community College, Southwestern College, and Ventura College.
San Joaquin Delta College