UCLA Law Fellows Program to Expand to California’s Central Valley

​Lauri Gavel
Executive Director of Communications
UCLA School of Law
(310) 206-2611

LOS ANGELES, CA, April 18, 2013—The UCLA Law Fellows Program, which prepares high-potential undergraduate students and college graduates from diverse backgrounds for careers in law, has received a California Bar Foundation grant to launch a pilot Law Fellows Program in California’s Central Valley. The UCLA Law Fellows Program-Central Valley (LFP-CV) will equip Central Valley students with information and resources aimed at increasing their competiveness for admission to law school.

In the initial year, 25 fellows will be selected through a rigorous application process. Two full-day Saturday Academies will be held at the University of California, Merced; the first will be held on April 20, 2013 and the second will be held on June 22, 2013. The Academies will offer academic enrichment through law school‐level instruction, and will feature programmatic components including a mock class taught by law faculty members, workshops on law school admissions, personal statements, financial aid and networking skills, and an LSAT overview. Additionally, practicing attorneys from the local legal community will provide insight into their respective practice areas and will share their personal, academic and professional experiences.  The program will also include a visit to UCLA, hosted by UCLA Law’s 2013 Diversity Admissions Open House.

According to University of California, Merced Lecturer Mark T. Harris, who also advises the UC Merced Law Clinic, Pre-Law Society and Phi Alpha Delta chapter: “Our entire campus community is thrilled to welcome the participants in the inaugural UCLA Law Fellows Program-Central Valley. The residents of the Central Valley have a huge unmet need relative to the delivery of comprehensive legal services at a reasonable price. UC Merced has a strong commitment to legal education.  We have a fully functioning pre-law society; a student run law clinic; and most recently, a chapter of Phi Alpha Delta, the national law fraternity. We hope this weekend’s workshops and activities are merely the start of what will prove to be a long-term relationship between UCLA School of Law and UC Merced.”

The LFP-CV will be implemented by UCLA Law’s Academic Outreach Resource Center, under the leadership of Founding Executive Director Leo Trujillo-Cox and Associate Director Tony Tolbert.

“We are excited for this opportunity to expand the UCLA Law Fellows Program, and look forward to working with UC Merced to engage a wide variety of students and encourage them to apply to and attend law school,” Leo Trujillo-Cox said. “California’s Central Valley is one of the fastest growing regions of the state, but it is also one of the most underserved. The LFP-CV will play an important role in helping to increase the pool of attorneys and expand the delivery of legal services in the Central Valley.”

Now in its 16th year, the Law Fellows Program is nationally recognized as one of the most comprehensive and innovative pipeline-building initiatives in legal education. By demystifying the law school experience and exposing participants to the practice of law, the program seeks to diversify the law school applicant pool, enhance participants’ competitiveness for admission to law school and facilitate entry into the profession. Close to 1,200 students have participated, and to date, nearly 500 fellows have either completed law school or are currently enrolled at law schools across the country. More than 300 fellows have or are attending California law schools. Fellows have also received positions with many prestigious organizations across the nation.

About UCLA School of Law
Founded in 1949, UCLA School of Law is the youngest major law school in the nation and has established a tradition of innovation in its approach to teaching, research and scholarship. With approximately 100 faculty and 1,100 students, the school pioneered clinical teaching, is a leader in interdisciplinary research and training and is at the forefront of efforts to link research to its effects on society and the legal profession. For more information, visit www.law.ucla.edu.