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Summer Vacation Overruled: Santa Clara University School of Law Program Helps Underrepresented Students Get Taste of Law School Reality.

According to the Law School Admissions Council, no single minority group in the United States accounts for more than 4 percent of the lawyers in the country. In an effort to change those numbers, Santa Clara University's School of Law is holding a four week, intensive "boot camp" for undergrads who are thinking seriously about giving the legal profession a try.

The program is called PLUS (Prelaw Undergraduate Scholars Program) and is geared towards students who are from backgrounds historically underrepresented in the legal profession. Students are from diverse ethnic and economic groups and many are first generation students. "We don't try to make it easy," says Jeanette Leach, director of the program and Assistant Dean of Admissions and Diversity Services at the school of law. "It is a real eye opener," she says.

Over the course of four weeks, July 10 through Friday, August 4, 24 students and four counselors from across the country stay in dorms on SCU's Mission campus and are exposed to the law school culture as well as the reality of being a lawyer through classes taught by law professors, visits to court rooms, social events with practicing lawyers, and LSAT preparation classes. The program culminates with students arguing actual cases in front of their peers, law professors, and practicing lawyers in SCU's moot court room.

Leach says she has seen a decline in the number of underrepresented students graduating from college and applying to law school in recent years and hopes PLUS along with other programs throughout the country will help encourage students to continue their education.

This is the fourth year Santa Clara University has hosted the program. Students attend the program at no charge and receive an $800 stipend. The program is supported by a grant from the Law School Admissions Council and Santa Clara University. For more about the PLUS program at SCU log onto: www.scu.edu/law/admissions/plus_program.html.

About Santa Clara University: Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located in California's Silicon Valley, offers its 8,397 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master's and law degrees. Distinguished nationally by the fourth-highest graduation rate among all U.S. master's universities, California's oldest higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. More information is online at www.scu.edu.

About Santa Clara University School of Law: The SCU School of Law, founded in 1912, combines a tradition of excellence with a commitment to ethics, diversity, and social justice, and is fully accredited by the American Bar Association. Many of its 974 students work in criminal and civil community law clinics, and may earn certificates in intellectual property law, international law, or public interest law. Law degrees may be combined with an MBA or a master's in taxation. The School of Law also offers lawyers master's degrees in international and intellectual property law. More information is online at www.scu.edu/law.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jul 10, 2006
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