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Brooklyn Legal Pipeline helps place first generation and diverse students into law school

November 27, 2018 By Rob Abruzzese, Legal Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Brooklyn Legal Pipeline Initiative will start its third year in January to help minorities and women get into law school. Pictured are Claire Rush, Paula Edgar and Vanessa Domenichelli during a session in 2017. Eagle file photos by Rob Abruzzese

Having a parent or family member who practices in the field of law can be a huge leg up for potential law school students. However, Claire F. Rush has spent the last three years working to make sure that students who don’t have a family member in the legal community have opportunities, too.

Rush helps to run the Brooklyn Legal Pipeline Initiative, a program co-sponsored by the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association, the Brooklyn Bar Association and the Defense Association of New York that aims to help students from diverse backgrounds apply and get into law school.

“It is a free program designed to provide students from diverse backgrounds who live or attend college in Brooklyn direct instruction on how to successfully apply to and fund a law school education,” Rush said. “It was started in 2017 and more than 50 students have attended the program to date. Target participants are ‘first generation’ college students.

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The Brooklyn Legal Pipeline Initiative will help teach students to network and will provide them with a mentor and a summer internship if they successfully complete a five-course program. Pictured are past Pipeline faculty (from left): Claire Rush, Tahesha Osignowo, Paula Edgar, Hon. Joanne Quinones, Rodney Pepe-Souvenir and Lance Ogiste.
The Brooklyn Legal Pipeline Initiative will help teach students to network and will provide them with a mentor and a summer internship if they successfully complete a five-course program. Pictured are past Pipeline faculty (from left): Claire Rush, Tahesha Osignowo, Paula Edgar, Hon. Joanne Quinones, Rodney Pepe-Souvenir and Lance Ogiste.

 

“The Pipeline seeks to level the playing field for students who are the first in their families to apply to graduate school,” Rush continued.

Starting on Jan. 15, the program will consist of five two-hour classroom sessions held at the Brooklyn Bar Association that will be moderated by volunteer judges, lawyers and law school administrators.

“Law school admissions officers and financial aid counselors from local law schools provide the Pipeline students with a behind-the-scenes look at how to successfully navigate the law school admissions process and pay for a law school education,” Rush said. “Pipeline participants are connected with mentors and given help preparing resumes and cover letters. They attend mock interviews and networking events.”

Classes cover topics that explain what a lawyer is and the various areas of practice; how to apply for law school, including a question and answer session with a career counselor and law school admissions officer; how to network and get the most out of a mentorship; and how to interview. The program concludes with a mock interview.


“Students who complete the program are afforded a summer internship opportunity with a law firm, legal service agency or judge,” Rush said.

This year, the initiative is working with professor Concetta Mennella, who is a member of the Columbian Lawyers Association of Brooklyn and a professor at City Tech, to offer a discounted rate for an LSAT preparation course.

 

All students who live in or around Brooklyn are eligible to participate. Rolling admissions are open through Jan. 11 and the first class is on Jan. 15. Email [email protected] for more information.


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