Cheyney University (CU) of Pennsylvania has exciting news for pre-law students. CU recently signed a partnership agreement with Vermont Law School that will allow qualified CU graduates to enter into Law School at Vermont Law School which, according to U.S. News & World Report, has the top-ranked environmental law program in the nation. The goal of the partnership is to expand the racial and ethnic diversity of the legal profession, and to equip traditionally under represented students with tools necessary to be successful law school candidates.
Under the terms of the pact, each fall representatives from Vermont Law School will attend Cheyney’s Career Fair and meet prospective students in the pre-law program. Then in the spring, select CU juniors and seniors will participate in a Vermont Law School sponsored Application Preparation Workshop.
Each year, one CU senior will be selected to participate in Vermont Law School ’s Summer Jump Start Program free of charge. The program addresses the fundamental mechanics of how to study the law which, experts say, is different from an undergraduate educational experience when it comes to the reading assignments, the classroom dynamic, the purpose of classes and the professors’ expectations. Jump Start will reportedly help the Cheyney student better understand how law school “works”, and how to read, analyze, and interpret judge-made and statutory law.
To participate in the partnership, applicants must have a cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 3.2 and a strong showing on the LSAT. They must also pass annual fitness and character reviews, and demonstrate participation in volunteer service and leadership activities. If they are accepted, students will receive scholarships from $5,000 up to full tuition for their first two semesters at Vermont Law.
“At Vermont Law, we believe that we should be training the next generation of leaders who will make a difference in their communities and in the world,” says Shirley Jefferson, Dean of Student Affairs and Diversity at Vermont Law.
Vermont Law School offers a Juris Doctor curriculum that emphasizes public service; two Master’s Degrees; and three post-JD degrees. It is home to the Environmental Law Center, the South Royalton Legal Clinic, and the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic.
Other Vermont Law School Partnerships with HBCUs
Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio, and Morehouse College and Spelman College in Atlanta, Ga., were the first Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) to sign partnership agreements with Vermont Law School, the ultimate goal of which is to expand racial and ethnic diversity in the legal profession.
Each partnership is tailored to the interests of the college or university. The agreement with Central State University, for example, is specifically designed to attract prospective students to the JD/Master of Environmental Law and Policy and the JD/Master of Energy Regulation and Law programs at Vermont Law School. The partnerships with Morehouse College and Spelman College are designed to facilitate admission of qualified students to law school in general and Vermont Law in particular.