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DiveIN’s Pipeline Program Aims to Increase Diversity in U.S. Law Schools

Kline School of Law alumni talk about legal careers with students from the 2019 Pipeline cohort Kline School of Law alumni discuss their academic and career paths with 2019 program participants.

July 13, 2020

The Kline School of Law’s Stephen and Sandra Sheller Diversity Pipeline Program, which aims to increase diversity at U.S. law schools, welcomed its largest-ever cohort on July 13.

Free to undergraduate students from backgrounds underrepresented in the legal field, the program demystifies the law school admission process and academic experience during three weeks of workshops and classes. The program also connects participants to mentors.

Last year all nine members of the inaugural cohort were students at Lincoln University, the nation’s first degree-granting HBCU. This year’s cohort is three times larger, with 27 students majoring in political science, English, Africana Studies and biochemistry at Bowdoin College, Brooklyn College, Cornell University, Franklin and Marshall College, Lincoln University, Rutgers University, Spelman College, St. Francis College - Brooklyn and Texas Tech University. The program will be conducted online this year due to COVID-19.

In addition to receiving guidance on the admission process, LSAT and legal careers, participants practice many of skills required in law school during mini classes taught by Kline School of Law faculty and guest lecturers on contracts, advocacy, legal reading and writing, professionalism and other topics.

The Stephen and Sandra Sheller Diversity Pipeline Program is a part of DiveIN, a law school initiative to further diversify the student body and create an inclusive environment where all students are welcomed and supported.

“We talk about how important diversity and inclusion is, but I am a doer,” said Danielle Boardley, director of diversity, inclusion and student belonging, who created and plans to continue expanding the program. “I wanted to make sure that in all that we say, both in DiveIN and the law school, that we’re actually doing something about it. Being a support for the Pipeline students is how we support our vision and mission.”