Southwestern College Students to Get Leg Up on Way to Top Law Schools Under First of its Kind Pathway Program
Posted: 5/9/2014
Twenty-four community colleges, including Southwestern College, and six law schools sign agreement to smooth way to law degree .

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The California Community Colleges and the State Bar of California today announced a new initiative that will provide students at 24 community colleges, including Southwestern College, a smoother pathway to six of California’s top law schools.

The Community Colleges Pathway to Law School initiative is an unprecedented effort within California higher education to enhance opportunities and advancement in the legal profession for diverse populations, particularly those who have traditionally been underrepresented.

“This project will put talented and promising community college students on a trajectory to enter some of the finest law schools in the nation and receive the support they need to succeed and make the legal profession more diverse and the justice system more reflective of our state,” said Brice W. Harris, chancellor of the California Community Colleges, before signing a memorandum of understanding with the participating  institutions of higher learning at the Law Day Celebration activities at Chabot College in Hayward.

The project, sponsored by the State Bar’s Council on Access and Fairness, will establish agreements with Southwestern College and nearly two dozen other community colleges and six law schools and their respective undergraduate institutions. Students in the program will receive assurances that credits in prescribed courses will transfer, early exposure to the law school experience, individual advisement and mentoring from law school advisors, financial aid counseling, LSAT preparation, and waived application fees for admission to the participating law schools.

 "We know that our community colleges have the diversity and talent that the State Bar seeks to enhance the diversity pipeline into the legal profession, as evidenced by many prominent judges and lawyers who attended community colleges,” said State Bar CEO Joseph Dunn. “I am particularly grateful to the six law school deans for partnering in this important initiative to increase the diversity and overall quality of the legal profession."

Participating law schools are University of Southern California Gould School of Law, University of San Francisco School of Law, UC Davis School of Law, UC Irvine School of Law, Santa Clara University School of Law and Loyola Law School.

“UC Irvine School of Law is delighted to participate in this program to create a pipeline from the community colleges to law school,” said Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of UC Irvine School of Law. “We are confident that this pilot program will enhance the diversity of law schools and the legal profession.”

The Community Colleges Pathway to Law School initiative requires students to complete courses based on a defined set of “success factors” that help make effective lawyers. To prepare students for law school the transfer initiative will align criteria from these success factors with community college courses already approved in corresponding Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC).

"With an undergraduate core curriculum that stresses civic engagement, diversity, and justice, and a law school that has long had one of the most-diverse student bodies in the country, Santa Clara University fully supports the goals of the Community Colleges Pathway to Law School,” said Provost Dennis Jacobs. "We are honored to be one of the founding institutions helping create a pathway from community college to four-year undergraduate institutions, to law school.”  

Other community colleges selected to participate in the program are Antelope Valley College (Lancaster), Bakersfield College, Chabot College (Hayward), Chaffey College (Rancho Cucamonga), College of Alameda , College of the Canyons (Santa Clarita), College of the Sequoias (Visalia), Contra Costa College (San Pablo), Fresno City College, Gavilan College (Gilroy), Hartnell College (Salinas), Los Angeles City College, Los Angeles Mission College (Sylmar), Merritt College (Oakland), Oxnard College, Rio Hondo College (Whittier), Riverside City College, Sacramento City College, San Joaquin Delta College (Stockton), San Jose City College, Santa Ana College, Solano Community College (Fairfield), and Ventura College.

The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation composed of 72 districts and 112 colleges serving 2.1 million students per year. Community colleges supply workforce training, basic skills education and prepare students for transfer to four-year institutions. The Chancellor’s Office provides leadership, advocacy and support under the direction of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges. For more information about the community colleges, please visit http://californiacommunitycolleges.cccco.edu/.
SWC News Room Graphic
Recent Posts
The Southwestern College Governing Board approved the college’s tentative budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year at its June 14 meeting. The $114.9 million spending plan includes $98.6 million—more than 85 percent of the budget—for personnel expenses, including $3.9 million to fund 58 vacant positions.... READ MORE
The Southwestern College Governing Board unanimously voted at its June 14 meeting to refinance a portion of Proposition R bonds to give taxpayers a potential savings of approximately $13.4 million.... READ MORE
The Southwestern College community gathered Tuesday for a candle light vigil organized by the Associated Student Organization (ASO) in honor of the Orlando shooting victims. ... READ MORE
This has been a weekend of mourning as we have tried to understand the murder of 49 and the wounding of 53 of our brothers and sisters in Orlando, Florida. The hate and prejudice that precipitated these acts must not be the behavior that defines us. ... READ MORE
Southwestern College will join Minority Male Community College Collaborative’s (M2C3) first consortium dedicated to improving and advancing the success of men of color as well as students from historically underserved communities. ... READ MORE
The Campaign for College Opportunity together with the California Business Roundtable honored three local San Diego community colleges on June 2nd in Sacramento for being statewide leaders in significantly increasing the number of students earning an Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT).... READ MORE
A record 816 students are set to participate in Southwestern College’s largest commencement ceremony ever on Friday, May 27, at 4 p.m., in the newly renovated DeVore Stadium at the Chula Vista Campus.... READ MORE
The number of Southwestern College graduates earning an Associate Degree for Transfer, which guarantees admission to the California State University system, increased 138% from 2013-14 to 2014-15, making it one of the greatest increases in the state, according to a new report by the Campaign for College Opportunity.... READ MORE
Soon you will be able to tour the Southwestern College campus from anywhere in the world. We’re not talking about a basic 360 degree panorama, a fully immersive virtual reality experience will give anyone with a smartphone the ability to wander the sidewalks of Southwestern College and witness what the students see every day as they head to class.... READ MORE
Thousands. The number of laps that have been swum in the pools. The number of miles ran on the treadmills. The number of reps lifted in the weight room. The number of students who have been educated. The number of the building... READ MORE