LawReady™: A new name that reflects the Legal Education Program’s purpose
Earlier this year, LSAC announced a bold new initiative which envisioned a new, holistic pathway to law school. At the time, we called it a “Legal Education Program” designed to equip students with the skills necessary to succeed in law school and beyond.
In the months since, we have been working hard to shape that vision into a program that promises to open new opportunities to students who otherwise might not contemplate a career in law or pursue legal education. A chance to meet students earlier in their academic path, so they can explore the world of justice, decide if they want to pursue it, and build the skills so they’re ready.
We’re excited to share that the Legal Education Program now has a new name: LawReady™. As we’ve developed the program, we’ve talked to hundreds of individuals about what they hoped the program would offer. The greatest common thread in many responses was “readiness,” both for the challenge of a legal education and for success in the world of law.
We know many students, especially first generation and minoritized students, question whether they will belong in law school and can find success in a legal profession . They may not understand how to navigate to law school and a legal career. The name LawReady evokes a sense of confidence and empowers students to believe that they are, indeed, ready and that the program will prepare them for success in law school and beyond. It also draws upon LSAC’s mission, as everything we do is to prepare the next generation of lawyers for the profession.
We’re thrilled at the support we’re already receiving from law schools regarding LawReady, as more than 60 early adopter law schools have agreed to consider LawReady as part of their holistic admission process. We are encouraged that so many schools have signed on to participate and that they recognize the value of the program in preparing students for success in law school and beyond. A full list of the participating law schools is available on our website.
To prepare the program for its eventual rollout, our LawReady team has been hard at work, taking steps to design the best program to support students. To do that we have engaged an Advisory Committee with higher education and industry leaders. We have created the Higher Education Institution Design Partners program which includes academic leaders, prelaw advisors, students, DEI staff, and career services staff to work with us as we build the program. Participants are Cornell College, Dillard University, Northeastern University, and University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
We launched a pilot study at four undergraduate institutions this fall: Cornell College, George Mason University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and the University of South Alabama. We plan to conduct another pilot study at additional schools for the spring semester. The data from the pilot study will help us examine the validity of the program’s measures and the effectiveness of the program in helping students develop the skills, abilities, and other characteristics critical for law school success.
As we embark on the next steps to make this program a reality, we are thankful for all our partners who are working with us and providing input throughout this journey. We are excited for our new name and for everything left to come for LawReady in the future.