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FAQs for Applicants


Applications are now closed.

Check back in the spring for information on how to apply to the next year’s cohort.


 

FAQs

What is the Law School Access Program?
What is the structure of the program? 
How much does the program cost?
How much of a time commitment is this program?
Will we be meeting in person or virtually in 2021-2022?
What if it takes me longer than the program’s length to apply to law school?
What if I’m not sure that I want to apply to law school?
Do I have to live in New Haven to participate?
How do I know if I am a New Haven resident?
How do I apply?
How many Fellows will be admitted?
I’m in college now. When can I apply?
I’ve already graduated from college. Can I still apply?
Is there anything in my background that would disqualify me from consideration?
Do I need to be a U.S. citizen to apply?
Who runs the program?
What if I have more questions?


 

 

What is the Law School Access Program?  

The Law School Access Program is an innovative pilot law school pipeline program designed for first generation, low-income and under-represented minority students from the New Haven area who are considering attending law school. Program participants — whom we call Law School Fellows — will attend a series of “Saturday Academies,” featuring law school admissions counseling, mentorship from attorneys and law students, workshops on critical thinking skills and professionalism, and wellness coaching. Fellows will also take an LSAT preparation course designed to increase their score for law school admission. Once Fellows are ready to apply to law school, they will receive personalized admissions and financial aid counseling to help them navigate the application process.

What is the structure of the program? 

Part I of the program consists of a series of 18 “Saturday Academies” offered most Saturdays from 9:30–noon beginning in October 2020 through April 2021. Academies will feature lectures, panels, and workshops, as well as small group and individual advising. The sessions will be led by law professors, current law students, and practicing lawyers from the New Haven area. Topics will include: 1) exposure to the various careers in law and law-related fields, 2) de-mystifying the law school application process, 3) financial advising, including navigating the financial aid process, 4) how to succeed in law school and the legal profession, 5) leadership development, and 6) wellness coaching, including strategies on confronting and overcoming test anxiety, imposter syndrome, and micro- and macro-aggressions in the legal profession.

Part II of the program focuses on LSAT preparation and will take place in the summer of 2021.

In Part III of the program, Fellows receive individual support in the process of applying to and choosing a law school. This will take place in late summer 2021 through 2021–2022.

How much does the program cost?

The program is free of charge.

How much of a time commitment is this program?

You will get as much out of this program as you put into it. Because the program aims to holistically support each Fellow through all aspects of the law school process and build community in each cohort, we do ask a substantial time commitment of our Fellows. Fellows come from a wide variety of backgrounds, including many who are parents or full-time workers, and we do our best to accommodate their schedules as is reasonable within the structure of our program.

In the first year of the program, from September to April, Fellows must attend the weekly Saturday Academies from 9:30 a.m to 12 noon. Fellows must also devote between 6-8 hours a week to LSAT preparation. This will include small group LSAT classes, private tutoring sessions, and individual studying.

The second year of the program requires a smaller time commitment, although Fellows should be aware that law school applications do take time. Fellows spend this portion of the program working on their applications and meeting with their mentors on their own schedule.

Will we be meeting in person or virtually in 2021-2022?

While much is still up in the air, Fellows should expect to attend a mix of in-person and virtual program activities.

What if it takes me longer than the program’s length to apply to law school?

Fellows should enter the program with the intention of following the program’s timeline, stated in the FAQ above. However, we understand that the LSAT and law school application process can take longer, especially for applicants who are balancing the program with caregiving duties and/or full-time work. The Access program is dedicated to our Fellows as people, not just as law school applicants. While we may not be able to extend the structure of our program, in cases where the application process takes longer, we work individually with Fellows to figure out how to best support them.

What if I’m not sure that I want to apply to law school?

Applicants should at least be seriously considering law school, but it is okay if you aren’t 100% sure that it is for you. One of our goals is to educate Fellows about what law school and legal careers are like. We will understand if at the end of the program you decide that you don’t want to apply after all.

Do I have to live in New Haven to participate?

Yes. The program is designed for New Haven residents. The only exception is for graduates of the New Haven public schools who are currently in college. Such students may be in college outside of New Haven, but should be close enough that they can get to New Haven for the Saturday Academies.

How do I know if I am a New Haven resident?

This program is designed for New Haven residents and people with close connections to the city. We will review each application holistically to assess the residency requirement. Factors that we will consider include: a) whether you attended K-12 schools in New Haven, b) whether you grew up in New Haven or live here now (and if so, for how long), c) any other connections you have to the New Haven community.

How do I apply?

Check back in the spring for information on how to apply to the next year’s cohort.

How many Fellows will be admitted?

We expect to admit 20 Fellows.

I’m in college now. When can I apply?

Rising juniors and seniors may apply to the program.

I’ve already graduated from college. Can I still apply?

Yes. We welcome applicants of all ages, including applicants who have had other careers or jobs and want to transition to law.

Is there anything in my background that would disqualify me from consideration?

No. We consider each application individually and holistically.

In particular, we welcome applicants who have direct experience with the criminal legal system, including those who have been arrested or incarcerated.

Do I need to be a U.S. citizen to apply?

No. There is no citizenship or immigration status requirement for this program.

Who runs the program?

Yale Law Professor James Forman, Jr. along with students at Yale Law School. Forman is the J. Skelly Wright Professor of Law and author of Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America, winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction.

What if I have more questions?

If you have questions about the program or the application, please e-mail us at lawaccess@yale.edu.