Program was named the recipient of the Diversity Champion Award – community college category at the recent California Pathways to Law Summit.
(Santa Ana, Calif.) - Santa Ana College's (SAC) Pathway to Law School program received the Community College Diversity Champion Award for efforts to support diversity, equity and inclusion within the law field. SAC is one of two community colleges in Orange County to offer this program. This award was presented virtually during the Seventh Annual California Leadership Access Workforce (Cal LAW) Pathway to Law Summit on February 18 and 19. SAC's Pathway to Law School program was nominated by the Cal LAW Board of Directors as the community college award recipient!
SAC's partners at the Elizabeth G. Macias Legal Studies Academy at Santa Ana High School received the Diversity Champion Award – Law Academy in the high school category.
Established in 2016 by the Cal LAW Pathways Board of Directors, the Diversity Champion Awards recognize outstanding organizations that have demonstrated strong efforts to close the diversity gap in the law profession.
SAC congratulates Pathway to Law School Department Chair Kristen Robinson and Dean of the Business Division Madeline Grant for their regional leadership and collaboration, which led to this distinguished honor and recognition.
Department Chair Kristen Robinson shared, “The Pathway to Law School program allows community college students the chance to learn about the law and ability to connect to the legal profession. This is an innovative program that connects our students to 10 law schools in the state as well as the State Bar of California. We finally have a way to mentor and prepare community college students to enter the legal profession."
Each year, the Cal LAW Pathways Summit provides an opportunity for law practitioners and educators to come together and exchange strategies, make connections, and participate in panels and other activities to promote diversity in legal professions. This year's summit theme was “Overcoming Invisible Barriers to Success and Empowerment Through Law."
The annual summit is hosted by Cal LAW, which was established in 2015 under the leadership of the State Bar of California's Council on Access and Fairness (COAF) and with support from the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) to provide a clear educational pipeline for diverse students from high schools, community colleges, and four-year institutions into law schools or law-related careers.
Pathway to Law Program Background
In 2014, California Community Colleges and the State Bar of California established an initiative to provide students at 24 community colleges a smoother pathway to six of California's top law schools. The goal of the program is to enhance opportunities and advancements in the legal profession for diverse populations, particularly those who have traditionally been underrepresented. Recently, the program was expanded to include additional law schools for a total of 10, which include:
Chapman University, Fowler School of Law
Loyola Law School
Pepperdine University, Caruso School of Law
Santa Clara University, School of Law
University of California, Berkeley, School of Law
University of California, Davis, School of law
University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law
University of California, Irvine, School of Law
University of San Francisco, School of Law
University of Southern California, Gould School of Law
Additionally, 21 high school law academies were added into the program.
Students in the Pathway to Law School program at SAC receive assurances that credits in prescribed courses will transfer, early exposure to law school, personalized advisement and mentorship from law school advisors, financial aid counsel, LSAT prep, and waived application fees for admissions to the participating law schools.
To learn more about SAC's Pathway to Law School program, visit sac.edu/pathway2law.
About Santa Ana College
Santa Ana College (SAC), which turned 100 years old in 2015, serves about 18,000 students each semester. The college prepares students for transfer to four-year institutions and provides workforce training for business and industry. In addition, another 11,000 students are served through the college's School of Continuing Education located at Centennial Education Center. Ranked as one of the nation's top, two-year colleges awarding associate degrees to Latino and Asian students, the college is also recognized throughout the state for its comprehensive workforce training programs for nurses, firefighters, law enforcement and medical personnel. SAC is one of two comprehensive colleges under the auspices of the Rancho Santiago Community College District.
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