By Javier Lopez
The State Bar of California recently chose East Los Angeles College to participate in the Bar’s “Community Colleges Pathway to Law School” Initiative.
Now that the program is recognized by the state, members at ELAC get priority consideration at participating law schools. The program also provides students with many other services and opportunities that help demystify law school their brochure says.
Through the Pathway to Law School Transfer Program, students are given the chance to visit law schools. Ehecatl “Palabra” Rojas, a member of the program, said they have “gone to the law school at UCLA” this semester. At UCLA they met with law professors and got to sit in on a lecture, Rojas said.
During their visits to law schools, members are also given the chance to meet students who are already attending law school. “Meeting with other law students encouraged me to apply to private universities,” Evelyn Rodriguez, president of the Pathway to Law School transfer Program said.
Members have also been able to meet up with the Mexican American Bar Association.
The students met with attorneys who also come from low income communities to talk about how students can achieve their dreams of going to law school.
Students also go to moot court competitions, bar events and Scholarly presentations. Members of the program are provided with a chance to meet with law students and students at ELAC who are interested in law.
Christine Rodriguez coordinator and founder of the program here at ELAC said that the program has given her and other members “a lot of insight into the process of how to get into law school.”
The program also serves as a safe and supportive environment for students who share the same goals.
Rojas said that “building strong relationships with peers.” is a great benefit that the program provides. Finding others who are interested in giving back and helping the community is one of Rojas favourite part of the program.
“They do a pretty good job of supporting each other,” Rodriguez said.Rodriguez is also working on getting the members of the club, such as attorneys or judges, to further guide students on the right path to law school.
She has decided to do this even though the State Bar of California does not require it.
Getting into the initiative was a process that was worked on by members of the program and Rodriguez. “the members helped by submitting letters of support,” Rodriguez said.
The President of ELAC Marvin Martinez also supported the program.
The Pathway to Law School Transfer Program serves as a way to guide people of color into law schools, as said by Rodriguez.
There are requirements to join the program. One must be assessed in English 101 and Math 125 or have completed the courses.
Members must also take Sociology 14 and Math 227 or 260 at the convenience of the student.
Most importantly, members must have and maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA.