The Texas Bar Foundation has awarded a $16,000 grant to the University of Texas-Pan American in an effort to support the Law School Preparation Institute (LSPI), according to Your Valley Voice.
The grant will help 10 students pay for books, LSAT prep courses and provide a stipend while enrolled in the five-week summer course.
LSPI was started back in 2001 and it has a 90 percent acceptance rate for graduates who apply to law school, which is higher than the national acceptance rate of 60 percent.
Dan Worthington is a Texas Bar Foundation Fellow. Worthington said, “What this program [LSPI] does, is it helps get the students get ready for law school and if they succeed in law school, they will get a better opportunity for employment and … a lot of those students will return to the Valley as lawyers. That’s why, to us, it seemed an appropriate investment.”
The co-director of LSPI, Dr. John Darcy, said, “LSPI makes our students aware of the opportunities available to them to pursue careers in law and other careers outside of law. It’s a very disciplined program that requires a great commitment and so it introduces students to study at a level of rigor that they don’t see at the undergraduate level.”
Many of the students who apply to the program are working full-time jobs while also taking the intensive program. That is why they are provided with a $1,000 stipend. This is in place in the event that they need to quit their jobs while enrolled in the program.
Dr. Walter Diaz, the dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, said, “It’s like an emersion; they’re there all day, which means that many of them, if they work, can’t work the hours that they usually work. So, that support is very, very important to the success of the program. The gift enables us to have a more sustainable program and to be able to provide the LSPI students the full support that they need.”
The Texas Bar Foundation has awarded grants to law programs since 1965.