The Academic Outreach Resource Center is committed to ensuring equity, access and excellence in legal education. The center engages in a wide variety of outreach initiatives designed to encourage students from diverse backgrounds to apply to and attend law school at UCLA.
Law Fellows Program
In 1997, the Law Academic Outreach Resource Center launched the Law Fellows Program. This program is designed to encourage and prepare high-potential undergraduate and graduate students for a career in law, increase the pipeline of diverse students interested in law, and demystify the law school experience.
The program format is made up of several components, and includes a series of Saturday Academies held at the law school. These academies offer professional-level instruction by UCLA Law faculty in which Law Fellows are exposed to cases and a variety of other materials taught in law school. In addition to the academic enrichment component, all Fellows are assigned law student mentors with whom they will interact throughout the year. Informative seminars and panel discussions, designed to demystify the law school experience, are led by staff, alumni and other members of the legal community. Finally, participants complete a J.D. Action Plan and meet with the directors of the program regularly, often over the course of several years, until they matriculate to law school and beyond, receiving continuous academic support, mentoring, counseling and career guidance.
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Executive Director of Academic Outreach & Development
Associate Director of Admissions & Recruitment
Instructor, Law Fellows Program
B.A. Ethnic Studies, UC Berkeley, 1991
B.A. Political Science, UC Berkeley, 1991
J.D. UCLA School of Law, 1997
Amanda Smith, Esq.
Assistant Director of Academic Outreach & Development
B.A. Political Science and Black Studies, UC Santa Barbara, 2008
J.D. USC Gould School of Law, 2012
Central Valley Fellows
About the Central Valley Fellows
Established in 2013 with a grant from the California Bar Foundation, the UCLA Law Fellows Central Valley Program selects 20-to-30 Fellows through a competitive application process. Fellows attend two full-day Saturday Academies held at UC Merced in April and June. The academies offer academic enrichment through law school‐level instruction, workshops on law school admissions, personal statements, financial aid and scholarships for LSAT preparation courses. Additionally, practicing attorneys and judges from the local legal community provide insight into their respective practice areas and share their personal, academic and professional experiences.
The Central Valley Program is implemented by UCLA Law’s Academic Outreach Resource Center, under the leadership of Executive Director Leo Trujillo-Cox.
California’s Central Valley is one of the fastest growing regions of the state, but it is also one of the most underserved. The Law Fellow Program-Central Valley V plays an important role in helping to increase the pool of attorneys and expand the delivery of legal services in the Central Valley.
Apply to be a Fellow
Applications are closed at this time. Please check back in winter 2021 for information about the next application period.
From a young age, Cinthia realized her story was similar to that of many Latinas in Los Angeles. She attended overcrowded public schools, witnessed the toll that discriminatory policing had on families, and recognized how lack of access to adequate health care contributed to community health issues.
Furthermore, growing up in a single-parent, first-generation household impacted her prospects of success. However, Cinthia was determined to succeed. Cinthia's mother migrated from El Salvador in the mid-1980s in search of refuge from the civil war. For a majority of her life, Cinthia's mother worked in the Los Angeles garment industry. On average she was paid 35 cents per garment and did not have access to employment benefits. Witnessing these types of injustices motivated Cinthia to pursue a legal education to advocate for the rights of immigrant and low-wage workers.
Before attending law school, Cinthia majored in Political Science and minored in Labor and Workplace Studies & Chicana/o Studies at UCLA. While at UCLA, she served as the first Latina Student Body President in UCLA history. While Cinthia knew she wanted to attend law school, she did not know any lawyers. With the help and guidance from the UCLA Law Fellows Program, Cinthia was able to gain the knowledge and resources to navigate the law school application process.
"The program provided me with a 'crash-course' immersion into the legal profession and boosted my confidence about the application process," she said. "It was through Law Fellows that I became aware of the LSAC application process and LSAT preparation courses. The program also served as a great support system. I developed a strong relationship with the staff, which was thoroughly helpful in my application, scholarship search, and decision-making process. I am confident the UCLA Law Fellows program prepared me to maximize my experience in law school."
Cinthia went on to attend the University of California, Irvine School of Law. During law school, Cinthia served as a student representative on the University of California Board of Regents, where she secured funding for undocumented student service centers and diversity enhancement programs. She currently works at the UCLA Labor Center where her work concentrates of advocacy for immigrant communities and organized labor.
Montae Langston, Law Fellow 2008-09
"As a junior in college I had a sense that I wanted to be a lawyer, but no concrete sense of how to get there. I was always passionate and involved in policy work around foster care and child welfare policies, but was unsure of how these interests might benefit from legal training. As the first person in my immediate family to graduate from high school, I lacked a social network to mentor me through the law school application procedures, LSAT preparation, and overall law school preparedness.
"Law Fellows filled crucial gaps in my knowledge by giving me the opportunity to learn more about what law school entailed, the various fields of practice and the admissions process. I not only benefited from the Saturday Academies held each month, but also from the guidance provided by the mentors, current law school students, and staff. The program also provided me with much needed monetary assistance to purchase a full LSAT prep course. Without the scholarship, I would not have been able to afford a course on my own.
"Looking back, I consider Law Fellows to be a community that has been pivotal to my success in law school and I look forward to nurturing this relationship as an alumnus."