A powerful message from a 2013 LEAP student
Rates of Hispanic student high school, college and graduate school education are low. While advances have been made, the legal profession today does not reflect our nation's diversity. 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.
To help address this problem, The HNBA Fund has launched LEAP to assist students with accomplishing the academic milestones needed in order to diversify 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 April 15, 2014 at www.HNBAFUND.org. LEAP 2014 will be held in Hartford, Connecticut in partnership with Day Pitney, LLP.
The HNBA Fund, the only nonprofit entity associated with the Hispanic National Bar Association, 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 HNBA 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 HNBA 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.
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.
In addition to a completed application, applicants must submit two letters of recommendation from a teacher, counselor, community leader, or any individual who can attest to the character of the applicant; and a copy of the applicant’s last official academic transcript.
The 2013 LEAP summer program will be hosted in Los Angeles, California, on June 23-30, 2013. 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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