Wednesday, January 17, 2018
“Equal Access to Justice: Supporting Law Students from Diverse Backgrounds from Admission through the Bar Exam” was the title of the Section on Academic Support program at the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) 2018 Annual Meeting. The line-up included five presenters and was moderated by Jamie A. Kleppetsch who also served as chair of the programming committee. The program highlighted available support mechanisms for law students from diverse racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds from admissions through passing the bar exam. The papers from this program will be published in the University of Maryland Law Journal of Race, Religion, Gender and Class.
Russell A. McClain presented on the history of academic support and proposed a way forward that brings academic support back, in part, to a focus on improving minority performance.
Renee Nicole Allen and DeShun Harris emphasized promoting social justice by combating implicit bias. The general assumption is that Millennials are a colorblind generation but they are equally susceptible to biases and microaggressions so how do we help them?
Jeffrey Minneti discussed how we diversify the legal profession through commitment to access admissions and support of these students as they prepare for and sit for the bar exam.
Leslie Y. Garfield Tenzer described success with an on-line academic support class aimed at fostering learning, overall academic improvement, and removing sigma associated with receiving assistance.
The presenters all had interesting tidbits that can help us all support our diverse students from the beginning of their law school career and through their preparation for the bar exam.
The ASP program committee this year included chair Jamie A Kleppetsch, Danielle Bifulci Kocal, Robert Coulthard, Marsha Griggs, Goldie Pritchard, Natalie Rodriguez, Stacie Rucker, and Laurie Zimet. (Goldie Pritchard)