Purpose of Grants
The Law School Admission Council, Inc. (“LSAC”) is committed to promoting access and equity in legal education and the legal profession. To pursue its mission, LSAC is dedicated to issuing grants to Institutions (as defined hereinafter) for initiatives and projects that focus on and impact diversity in the law school pipeline. The primary focus of LSAC’s DEI Pipeline Grant (the “Grant”) program is to assist minoritized candidates in the United States of America and Canada who are underrepresented in the legal profession and who face historical, social, political, economic, and educational barriers.
The Grant is available to fund initiatives and projects for U.S. and Canadian nonprofits and/or Institutions affiliated with U.S. or Canadian post-secondary Institutions (individually, the “Institution” and, collectively, the “Institutions”). Any Institution is eligible to obtain Grant funding from LSAC. Individuals may apply for Grant funding on behalf of their respective Institutions; however, individuals are not eligible for Grant funding in their capacity as individuals and the Grant will only be awarded to an Institution. Notwithstanding the foregoing, eligibility for Grant funding is not limited to Institutions that are “member” law schools of LSAC.
LSAC will consider Grant proposals from Institutions for projects that:
- center on the experiences and needs of minoritized prelaw students
- encourage and empower minoritized students to pursue a legal education
- aim to increase the enrollment and success of minoritized students in law school
- focus on attracting students based on low socioeconomic status, geography, and/or first-generation status, and other special circumstances such as experiencing homelessness, undocumented status, students connected to the foster care system, and students diagnosed with disabilities
Institutions may also submit a Grant proposal for research projects or other innovative initiatives that align with LSAC’s mission and strategic plan. LSAC will not consider any requests to support one- day events or ceremonies, or for any projects or initiatives that do not satisfy LSAC’s mission and strategic plan.
Each Institution may only receive one Grant from LSAC during each “Fiscal Year.” For the purposes of each Grant, the “Fiscal Year” shall be the time period that begins on July 1 and ends on June 30. Members of the LSAC Board of Trustees; the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, its subcommittees, or work groups; and persons who have been members of one or more of these bodies within one year of the Grant application deadline (individually, a “Group” and, collectively, the “Groups”) are not eligible to apply on behalf of any Institution that is considered to be their employer. If an individual belongs to any Group, and their respective Institution applies for an LSAC DEI Pipeline Grant, then such individual will not be able to participate in or observe the review process for the Institution’s Grant that occurs during the term of the Institution’s existing Grant.
Grantees will be required to include a Financial Sustainability Plan outlining how the proposed Grant program will continue its operations following the expenditure of the Grant funding.
Grant Proposal Criteria, Oversight, and Evaluation
All Grants must include a robust evaluation plan that is based on clear, measurable goals that explicitly satisfy the purpose set forth in these LSAC DEI Pipeline Grant Guidelines. Each Grant proposal must include (at a minimum):
- the scope and breadth of the Grant project
- a detailed description of Grant program activities
- a detailed budget and budget justification for the amount of Grant funding requested (budget template not specific)
- a description of any candidates that the Grant program will serve
- how Grant program activities will impact the candidate outcomes that the Grant program aims to achieve
- how the Institution will collect data to evaluate targeted candidate outcomes using project-appropriate evaluation methods (e.g., pre-surveys, post-surveys, and interviews)
- the Grant project’s potential replicability by other Institutions
- the Grant project’s sustainability (including funding commitments by the awarded Institution and any other sponsors to operate the Grant project)
- the uniqueness of the proposed Grant project
- how the Grant project contributes to LSAC’s mission and strategic plan
The purpose of the evaluation is to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Grant project and to contribute to a growing repository of best practices for supporting minoritized candidates during Grant projects. Each Institution shall submit its Grant proposal in an accessible PDF format or screen-reader-accessible PDF format to LSAC.
Deadlines and Review
Grant applications may be submitted at any time. However, LSAC will only review applications four times a year: July 1, October 1, January 1, and April 1, or on the first business day thereafter. All proposals received by the above-mentioned dates will be reviewed. Grantees will be notified of the funding decision within six weeks.
The amount of the Grant award will vary depending on the proposed Grant project; however, the range of any Grant issued by LSAC shall be $2,500 to $9,000 each Fiscal Year in which the Grant program is administered. The Grant may not be used by any Institution to cover indirect expenses incurred by the Institution (e.g., office expenses, telephone expenses, rent, etc.).
Distribution of Grant Funds
Grant funds will be distributed by LSAC to the Institution based on the agreed upon payment schedules for the Grant program as mutually determined by LSAC and the Institution. LSAC will issue the first installment of the Grant award to the Institution upon the execution of the Grant Agreement entered into by LSAC and the Institution. Subsequent installments of the Grant award will be distributed to the Institution upon receipt and acceptance of an interim and/or final report and issuance of an invoice by the Institution to LSAC. The specific terms of each Grant award will be subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Grant Agreement entered into by LSAC and the Institution.
For the purposes of receipt of Grant funding, LSAC requires that a single Institution is the designee and recipient of the Grant funding.