University of Arkansas School of Law Welcomes PLUS Students
Posted on June 27, 2013
Twenty rising sophomores and juniors from throughout the United States and one from Taiwan 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 University of Arkansas School of Law is one of five law schools in the nation selected to participate in this program.
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 under-represented student populations. The grant covers the cost of instruction and room and board, and stipends for enrolled students.
“To achieve meaningful access to justice for all communities and peoples, we must include the same diversity within the legal profession that we see within our communities and our nation as a whole,” said Stacy L. Leeds, Dean of the School of Law.
The 2013 PLUS class is composed of 16 women and four men. The students hail from every corner of the nation, including Massachusetts, New York, Georgia, Texas, and Minnesota. Undergraduate institutions represented by this year’s PLUS class range from an undergraduate student at the University of Arkansas to students from as far away as Brown University, Boston College and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 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 PLUS program will build on the leadership and academic achievement that these students have already demonstrated and will give them to the tools to succeed if they choose to continue on with a formal legal education,” said Kalesha McGraw, assistant director of admissions and director of the University of Arkansas PLUS Program.
PLUS students spend their mornings participating in courses in oral advocacy, legal research and writing, and legal systems and processes. Afternoons are spent with a variety of guest lecturers who will introduce the students to a variety of legal issues including human rights law, bankruptcy law, and criminal law. Students will also have the opportunity to visit area law firms, meet with local attorneys and judges, and travel to Little Rock for an Access to Justice session at the William J. Clinton Presidential Center. As part of the professional development component, PLUS students will participate in an introduction to the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), which will prepare them to take the course when they return to their undergraduate institutions. Current students of the University of Arkansas School of Law are also a part of the program: three students serve as teaching assistants and five serve as mentors to the students, attending classes, lectures and trips with them.