Purpose of Grants
The Law School Admission Council, Inc. (“LSAC”) is committed to promoting access and equity in legal education and the legal profession. The DEI Pipeline Grant (the “Grant”) program exists to assist minoritized individuals who are underrepresented in the legal profession, and who face historical, social, political, economic, and educational barriers, by awarding grants to institutions whose programming that focuses on at least one of the following goals:
- Goal 1: Early Access/Outreach
Introducing the law and careers in law to students, particularly students from underrepresented populations, before high school graduation
- Goal 2: Score Gap
Reducing disparities in the rate at which populations score 150 or above
- Goal 3: Equitable Admissions
Reducing disparities in admission rates across populations
- Goal 4: 1L Retention
Reducing disproportionate attrition rates across populations after the first year of law school
The Grant is available to fund initiatives and projects for U.S. and Canadian institutions. 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.
LSAC will consider Grant proposals from Institutions for projects that:
- Represent programs affiliated with U.S. or Canadian institutions.
- Focus on one of the aforementioned goals.
- Center on the experiences and needs of minoritized students.
- 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.
Eligible institutions include U.S. and Canadian 501(c)(3), nonprofits, not-for-profit, or postsecondary institutions with projects aimed at diversifying the legal pipeline by focusing on one or more of the goals listed above.
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 request to support one-day events or ceremonies, or for any projects or initiatives that do not align with LSAC’s mission and strategic plan.
Each institution may only receive one Grant from LSAC during each fiscal year (July 1 through 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 this 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.
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 individuals during the administration of Grant projects. Each institution shall submit its Grant proposal in an accessible PDF format or screen-reader-accessible PDF format to LSAC.
Grant Proposal Components
Each Grant proposal must include (at a minimum):
- an introduction, including a stated alignment with one of the four target goals
- a description of your organizational background and a Statement of Need
- a program narrative
- a program description, including a description of the individuals the Grant program will serve
- a proposed program schedule
- an evaluation plan for how the institution will collect data to evaluate targeted program outcomes based on clear, measurable goals (e.g., pre-surveys, post-surveys, and interviews)
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 6 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.