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FAQs for Applicants
The 2022 application is live!
Please use this form to submit your application. The deadline to apply for the 2022 cohort is Thursday, June 30 at 11:59pm.
What is the Access to Law School 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?
Is there a residency requirement for Fellows?
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?
The Access to Law School Program is an innovative law school pipeline program designed for people from the New Haven area who are first generation, low-income, formerly incarcerated, or members of an under-represented racial group who are considering attending law school. Program participants — whom we call Fellows — attend a series of "Saturday Academies," featuring law school admissions counseling, mentorship from attorneys and law students, and workshops on critical thinking and writing skills. Fellows also take an LSAT preparation course designed to increase their LSAT score for law school admission. Once Fellows are ready to apply to law school, they receive personalized admissions and financial aid counseling to help them navigate the application process.
Part I of the program consists of a series of "Saturday Academies" offered most Saturdays from 9:30-noon from September 2022 through April 2023. Academies feature lectures, panels, and workshops, as well as small group and individual advising. The sessions are led by current law students and an LSAT preparation program. Topics include: 1) exposure to the various careers in law and law-related fields, 2) de-mystifying the law school application process, 3) how to success in law school and the legal profession, 4) leadership development, and 5) LSAT test taking skills and strategies. At the end of the first year, Fellows take the June LSAT.
Part II of the program focuses on applying to and preparing for law school. This will begin in the summer of 2023. Part II consists of individualized admissions support and 6-8 Saturday Academies. Topics will include: 1) reseacrh and writing skills, 2) choosing a law school, and 3) strategies for confronting and overcoming imposter syndrome and micro- and macro-aggressions in the legal profession.
The program is free of charge.
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 application process and build community in each cohort, we do ask for a substantial time commitment from 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 are expected to attend the weekly Saturday Academies from 9:30-noon. Fellows should also be prepared to devote 6-8 hours 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 less of a time commitment, though prospective 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. Seecond-year Fellows also attend several Saturday Academies.
Fellows should expect to attend a mix of in-person and virtual program activities.
Fellows should enter the program with the intention of applying to law school in the fall of 2023. However, we understand that the LSAT and law school application process can take longer, especially for Fellows who are balancing the application process 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.
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.
This program is primarily designed for New Haven residents and people with close connections to the city. Every year we accept some applicants from outside New Haven, prioritizing applicants who have had contact with the criminal legal system. All applicants must be able attend regular Saturday Academies in New Haven.
Applications for the 2022 cohort are now live. You can apply here.
We expect to admit up to 20 Fellows.
Rising juniors and seniors may apply to the program.
Yes! We welcome applicants of all ages, including applicants who have had other careers or jobs and want to transition to law.
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.
No. There is no citizenship or immigration status requirement for this program.
This program is run by the Law and Racial Justice Center at Yale Law School along with YLS students. The RJC's leadership includes Executive Director Kayla Vinson and Faculty Director James Forman, Jr., who 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.
If you have questions about the program or the application, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.