WHAT RESOURCES ARE AVAILABLE FOR MINORITY STUDENTS GOING INTO PRE-LAW?
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Minority students, many of whom suffer disadvantages on several fronts while applying to secondary educational institutions, have options for assistance in searching and applying to schools in the pre-law curriculum. One of the best resources for minority law students is the website of the Law School Admission Council, which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping minority students gain admission to the school of their choice.
See our ranking of the 30 Best Value Schools for Pre-Law.
What is a Minority, Really?
The LSAC and most law schools accept each student's self-identification when it comes to minority status. If a student says, "I'm Hispanic," then that's what the student is considered. The LSAC's definition of minority status reads as follows:
"We use the term diversity broadly to include all aspects of human differences, including but not limited to socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, language, nationality, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, geography, disability, and age."
What's Out There To Help?
Aside from the LSAC itself, many organizations provide funding, application assistance, legal advice, and other benefits based on one's minority status. A great place to start is the directory of National Pipeline Diversity Initiatives. This is a searchable database that provides unlimited access to resources for minority law students. After clicking the "search" link, the prospective student comes upon a series of drop-down menus.
Using the hypothetical Hispanic student from above, entering Hispanic/Latino and pressing "search" yields several dozen programs that exist in various states. That list can be intimidating, so the searcher can further refine the list by state, academic level, and other criteria by selecting other items from different drop-down menus.
Additionally, if one puts the search term "resources for minority students in pre-law" into Google and searches, there are scads of results about programs administered by individual schools far too numerous to list here.
Minority Status Is Not Enough
Law schools are truly interested in having diverse student bodies, but minority status alone won't gain a student admittance. Someone's minority status must be shown to be culturally significant to the law school in question or be enriching in some way. It's a superlative idea for students to research thoroughly every school to which they plan to apply.
Additionally, students must realize that hardships and adversity are not universally synonymous with a minority background. There are always many facets to students' personal stories, and law schools are interested in all aspects of a student's history when that person applies.
Most schools have exacting instructions about what to include and what not to include in a personal story. Follow them to the letter to show that you can read, understand, and comply with instructions. In the field of law, half the battle is following the rules.
Resources for minority law students are out there. All students have to do is look for them, choose applicable resources wisely, and follow all instructions. Students will be accepted into such programs based not only on their minority status but also on their character, scholastic achievement, and personal histories.
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