By Gustavo Buenrostro
The East Los Angeles Pathway to Law Transfer Program offers opportunities to students interested in law that want to find out more information.
Pathway to Law gives students the information to make a decision on whether or not they want to pursue law when they transfer.
The program provides students with experience and networking they normally wouldn’t get anywhere else.
Students visit law schools and attend lectures from law professors at law schools.
Certain law schools have law days where they give additional information.
On these law days, students can meet other students in Pathway to Law, and meet lawyers who practice different forms of law like environmental or constitutional.
Judges and lawyers present as guest speakers as a part of the program.
The events are mainly to give the students exposure to law.
Students can leave the program if they don’t feel like law is a career they want to follow.
“I’d rather students find out here that law is not for them than spend time and money in a law school and find out law is not for them. This program is not for everyone,” said program coordinator Christine Rodriguez.
Anyone can join with any major at anytime in the semester but there are requirements that students must have before they can join the program.
The minimum requirement is to be either enrolled or have completed English 101 and Math 125.
Students must also take English 103, Political Science 001,Communications 104, History 011 or 012, Math 227 and Sociology 014. Sociology 014 is Democracy and Law.
These classes can be taken during the student’s time at ELAC.
In addition, a student must maintain a 3.0 GPA.
The program is associated with a club that students can join. The meetings sometimes have speakers that talk about law and their practices.
Anyone can join the club but trips to other colleges are exclusive to those who are apart of the program.
The meetings are at F7-215 at 12:10-1:30 p.m. and are held every first and third Tuesday of the month.
The program was created by the California State Bar to increase the number of students with “historically marginalized background” in the profession of law.
The State Bar wants more attorneys with different backgrounds.
The State Bar began the program with high schools in low income areas in 2010 called law academies.
The State Bar then did a study and found that most attorneys with “historically marginalized background” came from a community college.
In 2013, the State Bar approved 24 community colleges.
ELAC was not one of the 24 who were approved as Rodriguez only had a three week notice to write a proposal.
ELAC President Marvin Martinez and Rodriguez agreed to start their own program.
In Spring 2015, the program was created and in that following September, the program was launched.
The State Bar increased the number of community colleges to be approved for the program to 30 colleges.
Two months later, ELAC would be approved by the California State Bar and would have access to resources and mentors.
Pathway to Law had its first advisory meeting in February 15, 2016.
An advisory meeting is where a group of lawyers and judges become advisors to help the students get internships or be mentors.
The resources and information provided for the students can help them make an informed decision about whether they wish to continue being apart of the program.
Six colleges will give students who complete the Pathway to Law Program preferential consideration.
These six colleges are University of California, Davis, University of San Francisco and Santa Clara University in the north and University of Southern California, University of California, Irvine and Loyola Marymount University in the south.
Additional information for Pathway to Law at https://www.elac.edu/pathwaytolawschool/.