Working alongside San Jose City College, the Pathway to Law program hopes to diversify the ranks of American lawyers by reaching out and guiding minority college students through their law careers. According to the American Bar Association, Latinos and black make up about 5% of minorities working in law, while Asians and multiracial people make up only about 2%. The program further focuses on helping community college students who come from all walks of life and have multitudes of unique life experience to draw from.
For older students, the Pathway to Law program also offers an opportunity many could only dream of: the chance to go back to school and advance their careers forward. Each student is assigned an academic guidance counselor that helps them through the admissions process, selecting classes, and even helping students enter the mindset of applying for law school. The Pathway to Law program assists students further by having students visit law schools and sit in court trials to gain a little real-world experience regarding their chosen career path. Students also benefit by having the opportunity to save on two years tuition should they complete the program. In contrast, a Bachelor’s degree can take 4 years to earn and is not necessary to have to apply for law school.
The February State Bar passage rate was a low 35% this year with minority students performing far more poorly then other applicants. However, the Pathway to Law still intends to guide potential law school applicants down their career paths. Counselors and teachers alike assist intimidated students and remind them that no matter their age or experience, the opportunity for success is there for the taking.