By Julio Sanchez
The Pathway to Law School program intends to guide and assist students in achieving experience and perspective on what it’s like to have a legal career.
It is an official transfer program, which means that when students transfer out of East Los Angeles College, they receive a certificate and a purple sash during the commencement ceremony.
They are meant to symbolize that the completion of certain requirements in pursuit of their degrees.
The Pathway to Law School program was founded by Professor Christine Rodriguez in 2014.
She had the position of Program Coordinator until the 2017 Fall semester when she retired.
Since then, the new program coordinator Dr. Kenneth Chaiprasert has taken over and plans on making the program run as smoothly as possible.
“There’s a lot of things to do. I have a lot of fun because I get inspired when I see the students becoming more active and vocal about legal issues,” Chaiprasert said, “We have great ELAC students and if we can get some of these students to become lawyers, that can help our community. This would be something that is much needed.”
Students in the program are provided with the foundation to transfer and succeed in a law school by visiting law schools, where they can speak with professors and deans.
They are also provided with volunteers and mentors who are attorneys.
They are given internship opportunities for the selected students to gain more of a hands-on experience.
One volunteer said that since joining the program, they realized that aside from a few obstacles, they are almost ready to become a lawyer.
With the program, students can become lawyers in an earlier time frame than without the help of the program.
With the benefit of having partnerships with judges, public defenders and lawyers of the community as well as partnerships with eight universities across the state, students get the help they need to transfer after meeting certain requirements.
The universities that the program is partnered with are: University of California, Davis, University of California, Irvine, University of Southern California, Loyola, University of San Francisco, Santa Clara University, University of California, Los Angeles and University of California, Berkeley.
With the program running as a club, students can go to monthly meetings, which are typically on Tuesdays, but can vary depending on the semester.
In the club, students get a glimpse of what the program provides and how it’s intended for social activities, outreach activities and fundraisers for the program.
The Pathway to Law School program is partnering up with the American Civil Liberties Union to hold a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Debate in the S2 building on April 21 from 10 a.m. to noon.
They will have a repeat of the event a month later on May 26 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The event is a public forum where the LA county sheriff’s candidates will hold a debate on issues in the community and give a chance for the public to be informed on the sheriffs plan for resolving the issues.
According to the program coordinator the event is set to have an estimated audience of over 300 people and is to be covered by the media as well.
“This is what it is all about,” Chaiprasert said, “Creating and making our community not only think about legal issues, but also becoming involved in law and politics.”
Since meeting dates do vary, it is recommended to contact the program for exact dates and time.
The Pathway to Law School program is located in the Social Sciences Department at F7-307 and can be contacted by email through firstname.lastname@example.org.