Logos of the Washington Law Schools and Heritage University Collaborative

LSAC Prelaw Undergraduate Scholars (PLUS) Program at Heritage University

Are you a college student or recent graduate living in Central Washington who dreams of becoming a lawyer, but aren’t sure where to start? Are you searching for a rewarding way to help and serve the community you call home?

There is now a program designed specifically to help make your dream a reality.

The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) Prelaw Undergraduate Scholars (PLUS) Program at Heritage University is an innovative partnership among Washington’s three law schools – Seattle University School of Law, University of Washington School of Law, and Gonzaga University School of Law – and Heritage University in Central Washington. It aims to make a law degree more accessible to diverse students, especially Latino/Latina/Latinx and Indigenous students.

Our objective is to expand your horizons by helping you realize that gaining entrance to law school and launching a legal career are achievable goals. By the end of the program, you will have a much better understanding of what it takes to apply to and become accepted by a law school, thrive as a law student, and work as a lawyer. In the process, you will make valuable connections with diverse attorneys and judges in your community who are invested in your future success.

Eligibility

Created for diverse rising sophomore, junior, and senior college students or recent college graduates in the Central Washington (or Eastern Washington) region who have an interest in learning about and pursuing a career in law. First priority will be given to Heritage University students and graduates.

Application process

  • Deadline to Apply: March 15, 2024, 5 p.m. PDT

  • Complete online applications through the LSAC website. After logging in (or creating a new LSAC account), choose “Summer 2024 – Plus Summer Program” under “LSAC Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.”

Program dates

  • Friday, June 14 (4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.)
    • Violet Lumley Rau Center Room 1701 and Eagles Cafe
  • Saturday, June 15 (9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)
    • Violet Lumley Rau Center Room 1701 and Eagles Cafe
  • Monday, June 17 (3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.)
    • Violet Lumley Rau Center Room 1701 and Eagles Cafe
  • Tuesday, June 18 (3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.)
    • Violet Lumley Rau Center Room 1701 and Eagles Cafe
  • Monday, June 24 (3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.)
    • Violet Lumley Rau Center Room 1701 and Eagles Cafe
  • Tuesday, June 25 (3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.)
    • Violet Lumley Rau Center Room 1701 and Eagles Cafe
  • Monday, July 1 (3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.)
    • Violet Lumley Rau Center Room 1701 and Eagles Cafe
  • Tuesday, July 2 (3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.)
    • Violet Lumley Rau Center Room 1701 and Eagles Cafe
  • Week of July 8 — Field Trip to Law School(s)
    • SU/UW or Gonzaga
  • Week of July 15 — Field Trip to Law School(s)
    • SU/UW or Gonzaga
  • September 14 (9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)
    • Violet Lumley Rau Center Room 1701, Eagles Cafe, and Smith Family Hall

Location

  • All program sessions will be held on the campus of Heritage University, located in Toppenish, Washington.
  • Exception includes optional field trips to one or more Washington law schools.

Purpose

Funded by a grant from the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), the primary objective of the LSAC PLUS Program is to create a pipeline of diverse students from Central Washington who will enroll in law school and then return home to practice.

Historically, Central Washington does not have sufficient lawyers, particularly racially and ethnically diverse lawyers, to serve the legal needs of its people and the community. Providing this opportunity to area students will help address the critical shortage of diverse lawyers in the region, thus enhancing access to justice for the clients and communities they will serve.

Program description

  • The primary element will be an intensive, three-week summer program, held on the Heritage University campus.
  • Key aspects of the program are designed to help students envision themselves as lawyers, with a visit by several Washington Supreme Court justices, a mock law school class, roundtable discussions with leaders of minority bar associations, mentoring by community lawyers and judges, and modules that provide helpful information to demystify the application process and the law school experience.
  • Students can also choose to visit one of the Washington law schools.
  • A shorter, follow-up program will take place in September.
  • Students who successfully complete the program will receive a $1,000 stipend and a certificate of completion.

Partner organizations

In addition to Washington’s three law schools, Heritage University, and LSAC, the program was developed in partnership with several legal services organizations, which first identified the critical and longstanding need for more homegrown lawyers drawn from Central Washington:

  • Northwest Justice Project
  • Northwest Immigrant Rights Project
  • Columbia Legal Services
  • TeamChild
  • Benefits Law Center
  • Office of Civil Legal Aid (OCLA)

These legal services organizations provide a critically important connection to the challenges facing rural communities needing access to the justice system and the urgent need for lawyers in Central Washington to better reflect  the rich diversity of their clients and communities. 

 


This program received funding from the Law School Admission Council, Inc. (LSAC) The opinions and conclusions contained in this document are the opinions and conclusions of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of LSAC.

Contact

Marthy Hernandez
Program Director/Attorney
WA Law Schools Collaborative with Heritage University
Email: marthy.hernandez@stokeslaw.com

Contact Admission

Seattle University School of Law
901 12th Avenue, Sullivan Hall
Seattle, WA 98122-1090
Phone: 206-398-4200
Toll-free: 800-471-1767
Email: lawadmis@seattleu.edu

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