Stanford Law Scholars Institute

Stanford Law School recognizes that the legal sector is among the least diverse professions in the United States and is committed to helping create a legal profession that better serves all communities. In response, we have created the Stanford Law Scholars Institute, which is designed to provide support and training to undergraduate students seeking to explore the opportunities and benefits of a legal career for themselves, their families, and their communities.

What is Stanford Law School’s Law Scholars Institute?

Stanford Law School’s SLSI is a leadership and pipeline program for college students from broadly diverse backgrounds and designed to address obstacles that first-generation and low-income undergraduate students in particular might face to accessing legal education. All students are invited to apply. Twenty Law Scholars will be selected to participate in the 2023 cohort.

Vector illustration depicting power of mind. The illustration is made from vectorized elements took from two different acrylic paintings and some other vector elements.

SLSI consists of the following components:

First, SLSI’s residential program will take place from June 25 – July 1, 2023. This fully subsidized, one-week residential and experiential learning program will take place on the Stanford University campus and at Stanford Law School.

During the residential program, Law Scholars will gain:

  • Knowledge of the legal profession from top legal scholars and practitioners: Law Scholars will receive support and training designed to increase their skills, analytic abilities, and other underlying competencies that are critical to law school success. They will also have the opportunity to discuss the options created by a legal career from leading practitioners, judges, Stanford law faculty, staff, students, and alumni.
  • Law school application guidance: Law Scholars will be introduced to ways to prepare for the LSAT and to submit a strong law school application. They will learn how to select a LSAT preparation course, the different parts of the law school application and how to complete them, as well as how to improve skills related to time management, planning, and succeeding in classroom learning. Note that SLSI is not a LSAT preparation course.
  • Financial support: There is no fee for Law Scholars to participate in SLSI. All participants will receive transportation support for travel to and from the campus, housing on Stanford campus, a meal plan, and a stipend of $3000. In addition, Stanford Law School will subsidize a LSAT preparation course as well as up to five law school application fees.

Second, prior to and following the residential program, participants will continue to be supported and engaged through webinars and online training, with peer coaching and mentoring by SLS students, alumni, faculty, and staff through your law school application process.

Please note that participation in the SLSI will not provide an advantage to gaining admission to Stanford Law School.

How Long is the Program?

Munger Grad Residence

Law Scholars will participate in the Program over the span of several years, beginning with a one-week residential program at Stanford Law School during the summer of 2023 and continuing through the law school application process.

The fully subsidized one-week residential program will include housing on Stanford’s campus, meals, a $3000 stipend to offset lost income, as well as travel to and from Stanford.

Following residency, Law Scholars will receive ongoing mentoring by Stanford law students, faculty, and staff as well as practitioners from a range of practice and geographic areas, the support of the community of Scholars, who will serve as peer coaches, and financial support for a LSAT preparation course.

Curriculum Highlights

  • Overview of the American Legal System: key institutions, including courts and legislatures, the processes involved in litigation and policy-making.
  • An Introduction to Legal Education: law school culture, legal analysis, legal research and writing, oral advocacy.
  • Legal Careers: readings and speakers will provide exposure to the vast array of options a law degree can create.
  • Law School Application Process: how to approach drafting the law school application component parts and planning to take LSAT.
  • Financing Law School: effective strategies to make law school more affordable.
  • Organizational and Leadership Skills: time management, planning, emotional intelligence, active listening, confronting stereotype threat, imposter syndrome and implicit bias, managing teams and groups.
Faculty 2017 Winter Reading List 20

Program Highlights

A gavel rests on sounding block next to a brass scale of justice in front of a long row of law books on a desk in a law office.
  • Speakers and instructors for the program will include Stanford Law faculty and staff as well as leading practitioners and judges.
  • Platforms for continuing mentoring and advising: online, in person, or by phone, Scholars will have access to mentors and advisors as they move forward in the process to apply to law school.
  • Law School Admissions Test planning: Stanford’s SLSI Program is not focused on preparing Law Scholars to take the LSAT. The Program will subsidize a test preparation course when Scholars have decided to take the exam and will provide helpful hints about how to approach studying for and taking the test.
  • A community of support from those who share your experiences, concerns, and who have faced and overcome similar obstacles.

Program Leadership

Diane T. Chin and Faye Deal lead the curriculum development and delivery at Stanford Law School.

Diane serves as the Associate Dean for Public Service and Public Interest at Stanford and is a first-generation lawyer, who was born and raised in Oakland, California. She has decades of law teaching experience as well as training and working with young lawyers to refine and develop lawyering, management, and leadership skills. Diane is a civil rights lawyer by training.
Faye has served as the Associate Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid at Stanford since 1992. She presides over one of the most competitive law admissions programs in the country. Faye has supported and worked with thousands of law school applicants and students to support their entry into law school and to work with them to address financial hurdles to accessing law school.

What are the Eligibility Requirements?

To be eligible to participate in the SLSI, you must be a student in good standing, planning to be or enrolled in a 4-year college or university who will be a sophomore or junior in Fall 2023. You must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2. All such students are invited to apply.

If you are not a US citizen, you will be responsible for ensuring that all immigration requirements, such as obtaining visas, are met in order to participate.

All selected Scholars must agree to comply with Stanford and local public health requirements related to COVID-19, including vaccination.

What is the Application Process?

The application process will occur in two phases: (1) submission of application information, letters of recommendation, and additional information about your personal experiences and interest in the program by January 20, 2023; and (2) interviews with up to 60 finalists between February 6 – 10, 2023.

Selected participants will be notified of their acceptance into the program by or on March 3, 2023.