During spring semester, the law school announced the launch of its new Pre-Law Undergraduate Scholars (PLUS) Residential Program. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and guidance from public health authorities, the sponsoring organization, Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) canceled the summer residential program and replaced it with the re-imagined PLUS Online Program.
The four-week program, held over the summer, provided an intense focus on the skills required for success in the law school admissions process and a legal career. The 25 rising sophomore and juniors in college from around the nation were offered technology support including laptops with hotspots and all students received a $1,000 stipend from LSAC.
“We provided experiences, resources, and relationships designed to support successful matriculation into law school,” said Sarah Keiski, assistant dean of Admissions. “Our program participants will have ongoing mentorship and encouragement from a variety of Oregon Law community members as they navigate the law school admission process and beyond. We hope the program provides greater access to more college students who can help shape the future of law.
*or students from racial and ethnic groups underrepresented in the legal profession
Each day, the students logged on for four hours to participate in various sessions, including a Legal Writing course and a Legal Profession Course. The virtual law school class experience was supplemented with weekly community building sessions, leadership workshops, one-on-one meetings with the teaching assistants (current UO Law students) and additional programming including current law students, judges, LSAT prep, and a virtual law school fair.
Student participant Sarah Shiang says that a highlight for her was meeting students from all over the country and learning more about the legal profession. “It also meant a lot to me that the professors took time out of their busy schedules to provide feedback on my writing, on top of teaching and holding office hours.”
Hannah Loera, another student in the program, says that this was a tremendous opportunity for students, like herself, who come from low income households.
“We've all talked a lot about how we often are not able to participate in legal internships or political programs because they are unpaid,” said Loera. “In addition to the stipend and waivers, actually having an opportunity to network with professionals has been invaluable. The feedback on my legal writing was so far beyond what I was expecting. I was so grateful to have high quality feedback and availability, and I know my writing has absolutely improved by being here. Thank you for hosting our program and for believing in all of us.”
By School of Law Communications