Tuesday, November 12, 2019

LSAC and Street Law Aim to Increase Access to Legal Education through New Network for Law-Themed High Schools

In a first-of-its-kind effort to connect and support law-themed high schools and, in turn, increase access to legal education, the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) and Street Law, Inc., have collaborated to launch the Law-Themed High School Directory. This centralized source of information on U.S. high schools that focus their curricula on law, justice, and careers in the legal profession can support the efforts of teachers, counselors, and administrators at these schools, as well as law schools that are interested in connecting with students from diverse backgrounds. The Directory will be a key resource for helping to increase the breadth, depth, and diversity of candidates entering law school and ultimately the profession.

One way in which Street Law achieves its mission is by helping high school social studies teachers improve the way they teach about law and government. The organization recognized that while law-themed schools face similar challenges and opportunities, there was no existing mechanism for connecting teachers and administrators across the country. Additionally, many law-themed high schools serve students of color and other underrepresented groups, yet lack the resources needed to improve their law-focused programs. With the aim of addressing these needs, Street Law collaborated with LSAC to create a Law-Themed High School Directory. 

“We’ve identified nearly 200 law-themed schools, and that number continues to grow each year,” said Lee Arbetman, executive director of Street Law. “The majority of these schools serve students of color and students from under-resourced communities. Together, Street Law and LSAC can help improve practices at these schools. This can help move the needle on civic learning, which strengthens our democracy, and on the pipeline to the legal profession, which supports the profession’s need for more diversity.”

In addition to its communication and collaboration benefits for law-themed high schools, the new network holds value for high school and younger students looking for a school with a focus on law, as well as for schools at the university level that are interested in recruiting future law students. In these ways, the Law-Themed High School Directory plays a role in diversifying the pipeline of candidates attending law schooland, in turn, promoting universal access to justice, which is at the core of LSAC’s mission.

“LSAC’s mission is centered on improving access to legal education and adding to the diversity of the legal profession,” said Kellye Y. Testy, president and CEO of LSAC. “Students are making decisions at a younger age about whether to pursue a law career, and we want to be there to support them along their prelaw journey. By offering ways for students, teachers, and law schools to connect through tools like this Directory, we are able to strengthen the legal community and society as a whole. We’re proud to work with Street Law on this important effort.”

About Street Law, Inc.

Street Law, Inc., is a global, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization with more than 40 years of experience developing classroom and community programs that educate young people about law and government. For more information about Street Law, please visit streetlaw.org.

About the Law School Admission Council

The Law School Admission Council is a not-for-profit organization committed to promoting quality, access, and equity in law and education worldwide by supporting individuals’ enrollment journeys and providing preeminent assessment, data, and technology services. For more information about LSAC, please visit LSAC.org.

If you would like more information about the Law-Themed High School Directory, please contact Kent Lollis at klollis@lsac.org and Allison Hawkins at ahawkins@streetlaw.org.