Riverside City College is one of 24 California Community Colleges selected to participate in a new initiative with the State Bar of California that will provide students a smoother pathway to six of California’s top law schools.
The Community Colleges Pathway to Law School Initiative is an unprecedented effort within public higher education to enhance opportunities and advancement in the legal profession for diverse populations, particularly those who have been underrepresented.
“This project will put talented and promising community college students on a trajectory to enter some of the finest law schools in the nation and receive the support they need to succeed and make the legal profession more diverse and the justice system more reflective of our state,” said Brice W. Harris, chancellor of the California Community Colleges.
The project, sponsored by the State Bar’s Council on Access and Fairness, will establish agreements with six law schools and their respective undergraduate institutions. Students in the program will receive assurances that credits in prescribed courses will transfer, early exposure to the law school experience, individual advisement and mentoring from law school advisors, financial aid counseling, LSAT preparation, and waived application fees for admission to the participating law schools.
“I firmly believe that Riverside City College's participation in the Pathway to Law School Initiative will influence and forever impact the lives of our students, and the RCCD community,” said RCC Associate Professor Laneshia Judon, JD. “We are honored and enthusiastically supportive of this unprecedented initiative geared to increase, engage, and direct students of underrepresented populations on a pathway toward law school.”
Associate Professor Don Ajené Wilcoxson, MBA, is a Pathway to Law School Faculty co-champion with Judon. He believes the initiative “provides direct links to multiple academic disciplines, and faculty and community business leaders” and says, “Riverside City College will provide a roadmap for students to a fulfilling career in the legal profession.”
Participating law schools are University of Southern California Gould School of Law, University of San Francisco School of Law, UC Davis School of Law, UC Irvine School of Law, Santa Clara University School of Law, and Loyola Law School.
“UC Irvine School of Law is delighted to participate in this program to create a pipeline from the community colleges to law school,” said Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of UC Irvine School of Law. “We are confident that this pilot program will enhance the diversity of law schools and the legal profession.”
The Community Colleges Pathway to Law School Initiative requires students to complete courses based on a defined set of “success factors” that help make effective lawyers. The transfer initiative will align criteria from these success factors with community college courses already approved in corresponding Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) to prepare students for law school.
Other community colleges selected for the program are Antelope Valley College, Bakersfield College, Chabot College, Chaffey College, College of Alameda, College of the Canyons, College of the Sequoias, Contra Costa College, Fresno City College, Gavilan College, Hartnell College, Los Angeles City College, Los Angeles Mission College, Merritt College, Oxnard College, Rio Hondo Community College, Sacramento City College, San Joaquin Delta College, San Jose City College, Santa Ana College, Solano Community College, Southwestern College, and Ventura College.