Pipeline programs, developed and in place at many law schools, are designed to increase the flow of diverse students into the pool of applicants for legal education. Without that increase, “the profession will remain apart from the population it represents.”1. The challenges are many and varied. Sundry inequities and hurdles make access to education for diverse students “a winding maze with detours, dead ends, obstructions and holes.”2. It follows that no one-size-fits-all pipeline program is possible. As Dean Michelle Anderson of the CUNY School of Law writes, “The format of law school pipeline programs varies widely.”3. An example of this variety is our efforts at Denver Law.
Pipeline: Middle School and High School to College
Our partnership with the Denver Urban Debate League brings that organization under our roof and gives our law school a stake in the opportunity for one hundred and fifty students on teams representing fifteen high schools from Denver Public Schools and Aurora Public Schools, districts with a very high percentage of diverse students, to participate in competitions and develop skills translating to academic success and access. Click on “Denver Urban Debate League” at the left to learn more.
Working with high school and middle school teachers and counselors, we arrange trips to the law school for diverse students interested in learning more about law school and the legal profession.
In the summer of 2018, we collaborated with the Center for Legal Inclusiveness on "Journey to JD," a week-long summer law camp. Twenty diverse high school rising juniors from around Colorado spent a week at DU, learning about the law and exploring Denver.
Pipeline: Undergraduate to Law School
The 2014 Pipeline Conference, co-sponsored by Denver Law and the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT), brought law professors, law school admissions officials, lawyers and law students together with diverse undergraduates from eleven Colorado colleges and universities to share information about preparing for and succeeding in law school. We repeated the Pipeline Conference March 28, 2015, adding a track for high school students. In the spring of 2016 and then again in 2017, we held our third and fourth Pipeline Conferences. We plan to continue in the years ahead to offer undergraduates and high school students interested in the law inspiration and information. See more information about our Pipeline Conferences to date by clicking on the headings to the left.
We've established a partnership with Metro State University, hosting a "Metro State Day at Denver Law" in 2017 and 2018. Thirty-five-plus Metro State undergrads spend a half-day at our law school. They hear from law professors and admission officers. They have lunch with current Denver Law students who graduated from Metro State.
The Prelaw Vanguard at Denver Law is our name for the collective of undergraduate and high school students we reach out to, throughout the Denver area and Colorado. To join the Prelaw Vanguard, follow the link listed to the left.
Pipeline: Law School Faculty
Our Emerging Legal Scholars Initiative addresses another kind of pipeline—from law school and the legal profession into the legal academy—by bringing diverse candidates for law school faculties to professional conferences. Read about our 2014 Emerging Legal Scholars by clicking on the link to the left.
The John Mercer Langston Black Male Faculty Writing Workshop is not our initiative—it is a group of African American male law professors who meet annually to discuss and promote recruitment and retention of diverse law school faculty members. We proudly hosted their Workshop in the summer of 2013. Learn more at the left.
1. Sarah E. Redfield, THE EDUCATION PIPELINE TO THE PROFESSIONS: PROGRAMS THAT WORK TO INCREASE DIVERSITY (2012).
2. Dorothy H. Evensen and Carla D. Pratt, THE END OF THE PIPELINE: A JOURNEY OF RECOGNITION FOR AFRICAN AMERICANS ENTERING THE LEGAL PROFESSION (2012).
3. Michelle J. Anderson, Legal Education Reform, Diversity, and Access to Justice. 61 RUTGERS LAW REVIEW 1029 (2009).