Access Group grant supports Chicago-Kent diversity program

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Chicago-Kent College of Law has received a $102,000 grant from the Access Group Center for Research & Policy Analysis to support a summer program for college students that promotes diversity in the legal profession.

The law school's PreLaw Undergraduate Scholars Program, begun in 2002, seeks to provide undergraduate students, from groups that are underrepresented in law school and in the legal profession, with a deeper understanding of legal education and the various careers in the legal profession, and with insight into successfully navigating the law school application and admissions process.

"The Access Group Center for Research & Policy Analysis is pleased to award the Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law a $102,000 grant to enhance the PreLaw Undergraduate Scholars program. Access Group is committed to addressing gaps in the educational pipeline and to funding programs like the one at Chicago-Kent that share this commitment," said Christopher P. Chapman, president and chief executive officer of Access Group.

A diverse group of 19 undergraduate students attended Chicago-Kent's PLUS Program in 2016.
A diverse group of 19 undergraduate students attended Chicago-Kent's PLUS Program in 2016.

Students who attend Chicago-Kent's program, held for three weeks each summer, take doctrinal and experiential skills-based courses adapted from the law school's curriculum and taught by law school faculty. They visit state and federal courts, take part in a mock trial competition, learn about the law school application and admission process, discuss career options, and meet leaders in the legal profession.

"I want to make students aware of the multiple career opportunities that exist for those with law degrees, either in traditional legal roles or non-traditional roles in business and other industries. Additionally, I want students to understand how lawyers and other legal professionals are uniquely positioned to impact social change and access to justice," said Marsha Ross-Jackson, program director, senior lecturer and assistant dean for student professional development and diversity at Chicago-Kent. "I also want to encourage them to begin developing and maintaining relationships with professionals who are willing and able to help them navigate their careers."

Founded in 1888, Chicago-Kent College of Law is the law school of Illinois Institute of Technology, also known as Illinois Tech, a private, technology-focused, research university offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering, science, architecture, business, design, human services, applied technology and law.

Founded in 1983, Access Group Inc. is a nonprofit membership organization comprised of nearly 200 nonprofit and state-affiliated ABA-approved law schools. The organization works to further access, affordability and the value of legal education, specifically, and graduate and professional education more broadly, through research, policy advocacy, and direct member and student educational services. Access Group is headquartered in West Chester, PA; its Center for Research & Policy Analysis is located in Washington, DC.