"The generous grant from TG allows us to expand our mission of getting underrepresented Houston-area students into the law school of their choice," said UH Law Center Professor Michael A. Olivas, one of the coordinators of the UH Prelaw Program Initiative.
TG is a Texas-based nonprofit that provides student loan guarantees to improve and ensure access to higher education for students across the country. The UH Prelaw Program Initiative was established in 2006 to increase and improve the flow of Houston undergraduates and recent graduates into law school, and is aimed at students who are underrepresented in U.S. law schools. Programming by the UH Prelaw Program Initiative includes an intense month-long summer pre-law institute, regular Saturday prelaw academies, law school application assistance, and outreaches to area schools to improve prelaw curriculum offerings. Students who complete the program earn college credits and a $1,000 stipend.
In awarding its grant, TG cited how the UH Prelaw Program Initiative gives an important boost to underrepresented minorities and students who will be the first in their family to attend law school. The group also noted how the UH program benefits economically disadvantaged students from rural or inner-city backgrounds with an interest in serving underprivileged populations during their careers.
"Students aiming at law school can hit hurdles ranging from rising tuition costs to elevated entrance requirements. The students who emerge from the UH Prelaw Program Initiative should have an excellent shot at gaining admittance to a law school - and we expect that many will be in a position of entertaining offers of financial aid from at least one and perhaps several schools," Olivas said.
Olivas expects 35 students to participate in the 2008-09 program, with eventual enrollment reaching more than 100. To qualify for the summer program, students must have completed (or be in the process of completing) their sophomore year at an undergraduate college or university.
Information about the UH Prelaw Program Initiative, including an application form that can be submitted via the Internet, is available at www.prelawprograms.uh.edu. Applications for the Summer 2009 program must be received by March 30, 2009.
The TG grant to the UH Prelaw Program Initiative will be used primarily to support student stipends, LSAT preparation materials and instructional materials. The UH Prelaw Program Initiative was one of 53 nonprofit organizations that received TG grants totaling more than $5.6 million for projects in 2008-2009.
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