A Step in the Right Direction

Heriberto Meza
UCI Undergraduate Student

UCI Law is distinguishing itself as a law school that is taking a step in the right direction. This law school has shown its commitment toward helping underprivileged communities since its opening in 2009. One way in which this fine institution is bridging the gaps between marginalized and privileged communities is with the creation of UCI Law’s Pre-Law Outreach Program.

This summer marks the one-year anniversary of the summer intensive program, which has helped change the lives of many underprivileged undergraduate college students from multiple campuses. This program is not exclusive to UCI students ; students from any undergraduate institution are welcome to apply to this program. The program selects students that come from a disadvantaged background, which may range anywhere from being a first-generation college student to having a “limited familial exposure to post-college education and career opportunities” (UCI Law). The diversity that the program offers its students is magnificent due to the multiple perspectives offered in the group discussions, which are part of the six-session program. Not only do you have an opportunity to hear multiple perspectives in this open environment, but you also have the opportunity to know of other students’ strenuous circumstances and why they ultimately choose to follow a legal path. Students are made aware of commonalities between students attending different universities and differences that distinguish each student.

As an alumnus of this life-changing program, my future legal education and profession have been shaped in multiple ways thanks to the time and energy that the UCI Law staff took toward putting this program together. As a student of the program, you are reminded that the score on the LSAT is one of the key components of the law school admission process. That said, the preparation for the LSAT is crucial if you wish to get a good score. Last summer, the Kaplan Testing Company made an agreement with the coordinators of this program to offer a free Kaplan course to any student who completes the six week Pre-Law Outreach Program. The free test preparatory course helps underprivileged students to compete with students who are able to afford LSAT prep courses. Throughout the six-session course, the student is made aware of the various components that make up the law school application. Resume, personal statement, legal research workshops, and guest speakers are offered to students to help them realize their dreams and go off to law school.

As I look back to the summer of 2010, I realize how reassured I have be-come of my dream of becoming a law-yer. I am grateful to all the UCI staff that helped put this program together, espe-cially Anna S. Davis, director of the Pro Bono program at UCI Law. She has volunteered her time to help direct and coordinate this amazing program that made a profound difference in my life. For those of you who were ever so lucky to get admitted to this year’s Pre-Law Outreach Program, I encourage you to cherish the memories that you will be creating at UCI Law. This summer is going to make all the difference in the world.

For more information, please visit http://www.law.uci.edu/prelaw/index.html.