In the coming weeks, twenty college students from around the nation will get an introduction to the law school experience as part of Chapman University Fowler School of Law’s Pre-Law Undergraduate Scholars (PLUS) program. The program, funded by a grant from the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), brings to Chapman first- and second-year college students from groups traditionally underrepresented in the legal profession.
The program kicked off last week with a breakfast reception in the law school’s Kennedy Hall, where Fowler School of Law Dean Matt Parlow and Assistant Dean of Admission and Diversity Initiatives Justin Cruz welcomed the new students. “Whether you choose to attend Fowler School of Law or pursue a career in law elsewhere, we know that part of the reason you want to do so is that you want to have an impact in the community,” Dean Parlow said. “As you interact with the professors here, and those who work at the law school, we will reveal our stories and what brought us to the law and how our educational background has opened up opportunities for us to make an impact in society.”
On Tuesday, the students visited Orange County Superior Court’s Lamoreaux Justice Center to meet with Commissioner Barry Michaelson. Commissioner Michaelson offered an overview of his work and advice on establishing a successful legal career. Afterward, the group visited Chapman’s Bette and Wylie and Aitken Family Protection Clinic for a tour of the facility and a presentation on the critical services the clinic offers to victims of abuse.
“The PLUS students are an amazing group,” said Professor Wendy Seiden. “They have come into the program ready to learn, and they are extremely participatory in their learning. Their questions are on-point, thoughtful, and bold. It is a pleasure and an honor to teach them — I can’t wait to see what they do next!”
In the coming weeks, PLUS students will take courses taught by the law school’s faculty and learn more about opportunities in the law. The courses will introduce essential legal skills, assist them in navigating their paths to law school, and demonstrate how lawyers use their skills to serve their communities. Students will also hear from distinguished speakers that include the president of the Thurgood Marshall Bar Association and local judges and will meet members of Orange County’s many affiliate bar associations. They will also take a tour of Blizzard Entertainment, where they will meet several Chapman Law alumni currently working as legal counsel for the video game production company.
The program will culminate later in the summer with a graduation ceremony for family and friends.