A powerful message from a 2013 LEAP student.
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Houston, TX— February 23, 2015 — The Hispanic National Bar Association – Legal Education Fund (HNBA-LEF) is proud to announce the application period for the HNBA-LEF Legal Education Action Program (“LEAP”). LEAP introduces Hispanic high school students to the United States legal system. LEAP enrolls and provides scholarships to selected high school students from diverse backgrounds across the United States. LEAP applications are available now online at www.HNBAFUND.org. The 2015 LEAP summer program will be hosted in Houston, Texas, on June 21-28, 2015. The underwriting of this ambitious education program is made possible by the generous contributions of our supporting sponsors including private donors, corporations, law firms, and law schools. HNBA-LEAP President Benny Agosto stated, “The students participate in a life shaping experience. Former students have contacted us to say again how LEAP changed their lives and focus on advancing their education.”
“The HNBA-LEF LEAP is established to assure advancement for minority students through higher education. The LEAP program guides students to understand that there are key players and have the capacity to serve as leaders trained in law in our nation's governance, judicial and legal systems. LEAP also educates students on how our nation’s halls of government are governed by the rule of law,” said Benny Agosto, President of The HNBA-LEF. “The HNBA-LEF is honored to bring this pipeline program to life thanks to the generous backing of our underwriters and sponsors, as well as leaders from our nation’s legal community to accomplish our goals for LEAP,” added Mr. Agosto.
This HNBA-LEF LEAP summer education opportunity has been an annual legal education- immersion program since 2013 hosted in various metropolitan areas across the United States including Los Angeles, California and Hartford, Connecticut. This year the program is hosted at the University of Houston Law School. LEAP provides students the opportunity to meet with national and international business leaders, lawyers in private practice, government lawyers, government agency officials, and state and federal judges, and law professors. LEAP participants learn of the many careers they may pursue with a law degree or other graduate degree, by interacting with leaders who resemble their diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Annually, participating law professors, lawyers, elected and appointed officials, and judges inspire LEAP participants by sharing their personal success stories and help them set attainable goals to achieve a successful legal career. LEAP students also are exposed to the legal side of the business world and enhance their understanding the rule of law. The one-week HNBA-LEF LEAP culminates with students competing in a mock trial with the support of legal advocacy coaches including law school professors and judges. It is the hope of the HNBA-LEF that LEAP equips students to set their sights on becoming leaders within their communities.
The HNBA-LEF LEAP also provides mentor teaching opportunities for law students, who serve as LEAP student-guides during the one-week summer program. LEAP law student- guides accompany and support LEAP participants throughout week. “This immersion program fills a major void in legal education by strengthening diversity in the legal profession through early recruitment of students who represent our Hispanic community,” said Mark Gallegos, HNBA-LEF Executive Board Member, and LEAP Committee Chair.
The HNBA-LEF is a tax-exempt non-profit corporation organized for charitable and educational purposes. It is a pivotal force in advancing the education of Hispanic attorneys and law students throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. The affiliated Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) is a non-profit, association of professionals in the legal profession, representing the interests of over 100,000 Hispanic-American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students in the United States and Puerto Rico. For information on how to become an inaugural sponsor of LEAP please contact Cynthia Carrasco, Esq., LEAP Director, 626-215-3710; Leap@hnbafund.org.
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