A powerful message from a 2013 LEAP student.
To combat the lack of academic culmination for Hispanic students, the Fund has launched the LEAP to assist in the accomplishment of academic milestones so students may contribute directly to diversifying the legal profession. LEAP is a one week legal education immersion program that provides full scholarships to its participants. LEAP scholarships include transportation to the LEAP program site housing; housing; meals; educational materials; and field trips expenses. LEAP applications will be available in February at www.HNBAFUND.org. LEAP will be held in US locations annually.
The Fund is a pivotal force aiding the education of Hispanic attorneys and law students throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. LEAP is being launched because it is imperative that the legal and business community take concrete steps to propel Hispanic students to achieve a graduate education in law and inform students of the many careers they may pursue with a law degree. The Fund strongly supports the premise that the legal system will lead the way when diverse groups of people are represented in the legal profession. By providing a continuum of education programs for Hispanic students, grade school to graduate school, the Fund will inspire and cement the upward direction of aspiring Hispanic law students to help prepare the nation's future lawyers, judges, and guardians of the judicial system. Currently, less than 10% of enrolled law students are Hispanic and without institutional support, there will be a widening of service gaps for the Hispanic community in years to come.
All applications are reviewed without discrimination in a uniform manner and up to 25 participants will be selected by the LEAP Selection Committee. Participants must be at least 14 years of age by the first day of the LEAP and must not be more than 17 years of age. Participants must be entering the 9th through 11th grades.
The 2016 LEAP summer program will be hosted in Miami, Florida, on June 23-30,2016. The LEAP summer education opportunity will be an annual legal education-introduction program, and will rotate to various metropolitan areas across the United States each year.
LEAP participants will be housed on a University campus for the one-week residential experience and will live in a protected campus environment with young attorneys, law students and college graduates serving as student-guides and mentors. Participants will also attend law school classes at local University School of Law.
LEAP’s faculty and staff are comprised of members of the bar, current law students and current college students. HNBA members, judges, elected officials, law school professors and esteemed guest lecturers will also contribute meaningfully to the enriching experience. The curriculum includes mock trial preparation, immersion experience in local, state and federal courts, public policy and rule of law lectures, field trips to agencies and a mock trial competition. LEAP will also provide students the opportunity to meet in person with national and international business leaders, lawyers in private practice, government lawyers, government agency officials, and state and federal judges, and law professors. The highlight of the academic component is LEAP Mock Trial Competition, which is held at the end of the LEAP session.
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