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University of Houston Law Center Logo. (PRNewsFoto/University of Houston Law Center) (PRNewsFoto/University of Houston Law Center)

HOUSTON, May 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The University of Houston Law Center is expanding its award-winning Pre-Law Pipeline Program with two tracks aimed specifically at UH undergraduates and working individuals who are considering law as an alternate career path.

The new UH Cougar Law Program is limited to current UH students or recent graduates who are committed to attending the University of Houston Law Center. During the eight-week summer program, students will attend introductory classes and writing workshops to prepare them for the law school application process.

The Working Professional Scholar Program is designed to introduce the law school classroom experience and preparation for the LSAT to those considering a career change. Students will gain a better understanding of the application process and demands of law school and the legal profession. The program begins in June and will continue into the fall.

"I am very proud of the accomplishments of the current pipeline program," said Dean Leonard M. Baynes. "The goal always has been to develop new aspiring talent from new markets. There are a lot of smart people out there who want to be lawyers. These new components of the program are designed to mentor and develop that talent among our Cougar college community and among working professionals who started their careers as police officers, teachers, nurses, letter carriers, paralegals, or firefighters."

Applications for both programs are being accepted now. The UHLC Pre-Law Pipeline Program expansion is part of an ongoing diversity initiative sponsored by the University of Houston Office of the Provost.

"It is critical for the future of the legal system in Texas and the nation that access to a career in law be available to everyone, especially to those who historically have not been heard. This is one of the hallmarks of the Pre-Law Pipeline Program at the UH Law Center," said UH Provost Paula Myrick Short. "I am proud that this acclaimed program is expanding under the leadership of Dean Leonard Baynes and the exceptional faculty of our center."

The eight-week summer Pre-Law Pipeline Program, starting its sixth year, is designed to increase diversity among law school applicants by providing students from low-income, first generation, and underrepresented backgrounds an opportunity to seriously consider a legal education. The program divides students from around the country into two tracks — Scholar I and Scholar II.

Students in the Scholar I track attend five weeks of classroom instruction taught by Law Center faculty as well as sessions on legal writing and research and trial advocacy. Each student then has a three-week internship with a variety of local law firms and legal organizations.

Scholar II students study a comprehensive LSAT-focused curriculum to develop a strong foundation of test basics. They also participate in one-on-one sessions and workshops on writing their personal statement, diversity statement, and resume.

Since the Pre-Law Pipeline Program began in 2014, 169 undergraduate students drawn from 56 colleges and universities across 24 states have completed the course. Sixty-one, or about 75 percent, of the program's college graduates have gone on to law school. Pipeline graduates have been awarded more than $2 million in law school scholarships.

The program has been honored by numerous organizations and publications, including the American Bar Association, the Law School Admission Council, the AccessLex Institute and INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine (HEED Award).

"The program's versatility and support system are what makes it unique," said Kristen Guiseppi, program director. "We constantly adapt our programmatic offerings and formatting to meet the needs of our students and our community. Two examples are the conversion of our curricula to an online format to continue providing high-quality programs in the midst of this pandemic and our expansion to serve nontraditional students who may not readily have access to pre-law resources."

Click here for more information about the UHLC Pre-Law Pipeline Program.

Click here for more information about the UH Cougar Law Program.

Click here for more information about the Working Professional Scholar Program.

Media contacts: Carrie Anna Criado, UH Law Center Assistant Dean of Communications and Marketing, 713-743-2184, cacriado@central.uh.edu; Elena Hawthorne, Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing, 713-743-1125, ehawthor@central.uh.edu; John T. Kling, Communications Manager, 713-743-8298, jtkling@central.uh.edu; and John Brannen, Senior Writer, 713-743-3055, jtbranne@central.uh.edu.

About the University of Houston

The University of Houston is a Carnegie-designated Tier One public research university recognized with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter for excellence in undergraduate education. UH serves the globally competitive Houston and Gulf Coast Region by providing world-class faculty, experiential learning and strategic industry partnerships. Located in the nation's fourth-largest city and one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse regions in the country, UH is a federally designated Hispanic- and Asian-American-Serving institution with enrollment of more than 46,000 students.

About the University of Houston Law Center

The University of Houston Law Center (UHLC) is a dynamic, top tier law school located in the nation's 4th largest city. UHLC's Health Law, Intellectual Property Law, and Part-time programs rank in the U.S. News Top 10. It awards Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) and Master of Laws (LL.M.) degrees, through its academic branch, the College of Law. The Law Center is more than just a law school. It is a powerful hub of intellectual activity with more than 11 centers and institutes which fuel its educational mission and national reputation. UHLC is fully accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools.

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