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 program to which any student currently enrolled in a community college or four-year university can apply. Applicants from communities that have been historically underrepresented in the legal profession are encouraged to apply.

SLSI students in class with Rich Ford.
Image by Scott McDonald


SLSI consists of the following components:

First, participants will increase their skills and analytic abilities, understand the options created by a legal career, and learn what is necessary for a successful experience with the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and law school applications during a free, residential and experiential learning program on Stanford University’s campus.

The SLSI combines pedagogical best practices with co-curricular support and training. The program curriculum is designed to introduce participants to the underlying skills that are critical to law school success while also learning about the power and benefits of a legal career. Law Scholars will be exposed to practitioners, judges, and Stanford law faculty, staff, law students, and alumni who will act as role models and mentors. Participants will also be introduced to ways to prepare for the LSAT including the selection of a LSAT preparation course, the different components of a law school application and how best to present your credentials and your personal story, how to improve skills related to time management, planning, and overcoming obstacles to classroom learning and accessing higher education opportunities. Note that SLSI is not a LSAT preparation course.

The costs related to program participation will be entirely subsidized by Stanford Law School, including: travel to and from the university, a meal plan, a stipend of $3,000 and payment for up to 5 law school application fees. International students will be responsible for ensuring that all immigration requirements, such as obtaining visas and public health compliance, are met in order to participate. Participants will be required to comply with all of Stanford University’s policies related to COVID-19 health precautions.

Second, before and after the one-week residential program, participants will continue to be supported and engaged through an online community, with online training, peer coaching, and mentoring by SLS students, alumni, faculty, and staff through their law school application process.

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.
Image by Scott McDonald

Program Highlights

  • 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.
Image by Scott McDonald

Program Leadership

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

SLSI students in class with Diane Chin.
Image by Christine Baker

Diane T. Chin

Diane T. Chin is a Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Stanford Law Scholars Institute. Diane served the law school as its first Associate Dean for Public Service and Public Interest Law from June 2009 through July 2023 and founded the Levin Center for Public Service and Public Interest Law in 2007. She also served the law school and University as a Co-Founder and Acting Director of the Stanford Center for Racial Justice. Diane is a first-generation lawyer, who was born and raised in Oakland, CA. She has decades of law teaching experience as well as training and mentoring young lawyers. Diane is a civil rights lawyer by training.

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Faye Deal speaking with students in during SLSI.
Image by Christine Baker

Faye Deal

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.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Is the Program?

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 2024 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.

What Are the Eligibility Requirements?

To be eligible to participate in SLS SLSI, you must be enrolled in a community college, college, or university and will, ideally, be a sophomore or junior in Fall 2024. 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 personal experiences and interest in the program and
  2. interviews of approximately 60 finalists.

The deadline to submit applications was January 19, 2024, by 5:00 PM (Pacific). Applicants will be notified if they have been selected to be interviewed between January 29th to February 2nd, 2024. Interviews will be conducted between February 5 and February 9, 2024, by Diane Chin and Faye Deal. Selected participants will be notified of their acceptance into the program no later than March 4, 2024.

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