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SIU School of Law Diversity Prelaw Summer Institute seeks students

Students listen to informative speaker in a courtroom.
Russell Bailey
SIU News

High achieving college sophomores and juniors who want to gain insight into legal careers and prepare for law school are invited to attend the Southern Illinois University School of Law Diversity Prelaw Summer Institute.

Scheduled for May 19-25, the weeklong institute is part of SIU Carbondale’s commitment to diversifying the legal profession. In the past two years, SIU Law started the institute and has signed agreements with two historically Black colleges and a minority-serving institution to prepare potential students to apply to and succeed in law school.

Limited to 15 students, the institute is free and includes food and housing, an online Law School Admission Test (LSAT) prep course and transportation to events. The application deadline is March 30. Accepted students will be notified by email. Additional information and the registration form is at https://bit.ly/SOL-SUMMER-INSTITUTE.

This is the third year for the summer institute. St. Louis attorney Deidre M. Powell, a 2021 SIU Law school alumna, is program director.

“My hope is that this year’s program will continue to foster relationships among participants, the law school and facilitators, further broadening and exposing future diverse law students to the key concepts of preparing for law school and excelling in law school and beyond,” she said.

The institute fits well with SIU’s strategic plan, Imagine 2030, which includes a pillar to improve diversity, equity and inclusion, said School of Law Dean Camille Davidson. While celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2023, the law school last fall achieved its most diverse class in more than a decade and a 24% increase in first-year students from the previous year.

“We see the value of the initiative when participants matriculate and succeed in law school,” Davidson said.

A year ago, participating students came from SIU Carbondale, Emory University, Howard University, Morehouse College, SIU Carbondale, University of Illinois, University of Scranton and Xavier University of Louisiana.

Students will participate in legal writing exercises, case briefings and a simulated law class. They will also visit the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee; network with community leaders; visit the Thompson Coburn law offices in St. Louis, and learn about identifying legal career opportunities and financing law school.

Pete Rosenbery — arts and design, architecture, automotive and aviation, humanities, journalism and mass communications, law, public policy, social sciences.

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