DOVER — Delaware State University announced that Morris James LLP is donating $10,000 to underwrite Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) fees and prep course tuition, as well as providing opportunities for mentoring and internships for Law Studies students at the University.
Law Studies Director Kimeu Boynton of the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice said, “This is huge for our students. Fees and prep courses can easily cost them as much as $500, which is a steep ask for young people from low-resource families, many of whom are already working one or two jobs to stay in college. Knowing those fees will be paid for them provides a critical breathing space that can be devoted to study rather than trying to acquire money for those additional costs..”
The LSAT is the critical standardized test which all students applying to law school are required to take to enter law school. Approximately 60% of all students successfully complete the LSAT. Only 39% of students who take the LSAT are students of color, and they currently constitute only 11% of all law school admissions.
“There is a critical need for more diversity in law schools and greater representation of attorneys from historically underrepresented back grounds in practice,” said Dawn Sheiker, Director of Client Relations at Morris James, in a statement. “We’ve been committed to expanding those numbers for a long time, and this year as we considered options for celebrating our 90th anniversary by giving back to our community, the Law Studies program at Delaware State University seemed like a perfect fit.”
The Law Studies program at the University began as an undergraduate minor, with approximately seventy students enrolled, and recently became an independent major with the acquisition of Wesley College. The program provides a variety of courses and early field experiences to prepare students to apply to law school. In 2018, Delaware State University partnered with Mitchell Hamline Law School of St. Paul, Minnesota, to provide students with free access to that institution’s online undergraduate law courses. “We are constantly looking for ways to broaden the resources available to our students,” Boynton said.
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Tony Allen | PHOTO COURTESY OF DELAWARE STATE UNIVERSITY[/caption]
“This kind of outreach is exactly what Delaware has come to expect from Morris James,” remarked University President Tony Allen in a statement to press. “From the Greater Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League to CAMP Rehoboth, the Links, and many other organizations that support increased access for ALL to the legal profession, Morris James has been a major player for decades. We’re deeply appreciative that they have recognized and chosen to support our own efforts in this regard.”
Senior Political Science major and Law Studies minor Emily Campanelli noted that she often hears Law Studies students worrying about how to pay for the LSAT: “For way too many students the cost can be a huge barrier to continuing on to law school, sometimes serious enough to make them give up their dreams. This is huge win for all of us.”