School of Law welcomes PLUS program to campus
Posted on July 12, 2012
Nineteen rising sophomores and juniors from throughout the United States arrived at the University of Arkansas School of Law this week to take part in the LSAC DiscoverLaw.org Prelaw Undergraduate Scholars (PLUS) Program. This immersive four-week summer program features an academic program that includes legal writing and oral advocacy, as well as professional development including mentoring by members of the Arkansas Bar and judiciary. The program is supported by a $300,000 grant from the Law School Admission Council.
The program focuses on the inclusion of students from colleges with historical or significant populations of African American, Asian American, Latino and Native American students; first generation college students; those with financial challenges; and historically underrepresented student populations. The grant covers the cost of instruction and room and board, and stipends for enrolled students.
“As the law school educates and supports the next generation of lawyers, we recognize that a meaningful access to justice for all communities must include the same diversity within the legal profession as we see within our state and nation,” said Stacy L. Leeds, dean of the School of Law.
The PLUS class is composed of ten women and nine men. The students hail from every corner of the nation, including Washington, Massachusetts, California, New Jersey, and Arkansas. They are active in student government, honors societies and volunteer programs. Their wide range of undergraduate majors, from political science to business to psychology, demonstrates that aspiring lawyers can follow many paths to law school.
“The program will build on the leadership and academic achievement that our students have already demonstrated,” said Kalesha McGraw, assistant director of admissions and director of the University of Arkansas PLUS Program. “With help from prominent attorneys and faculty members, we will introduce our students to skills and concepts essential for law school and useful for continued success in their undergraduate studies.”
Three courses are taught each weekday morning by Leeds, professor Eric Leach and Fayetteville attorney Suzanne Clark. Leeds’ course, Legal Systems and Process, features frequent guest lectures by prominent attorneys from the academic and corporate world. Guest instructors scheduled to present include Ruben Cantu, senior associate general counsel and section head of commercial/class action litigation group at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.; Tamla Lewis, associate general counsel of the University of Arkansas; and Cyndi Nance, Dean Emeritus and Nathan G. Gordon Professor of Law at the University of Arkansas.