April 12, 2021

Re-Imagining Legal Education: Innovations in Pipeline Programs

Image includes photos of students at various stages of the pipeline to law school surrounded by instruments of justice.

Image includes photos of students at various stages of the pipeline to law school surrounded by instruments of justice.

The goal of equity and inclusion in the legal system requires diverse representation in the legal profession. We are at a critical point in time where the pandemic has further crystallized how historically marginalized communities are disparately impacted by individual and systemic racism and oppression. Pipeline programs are critical to help ensure that students already on the margins do not fall out of the pipeline, but the environment in which pipeline programs operate has changed. This ten-part series of collaborative programming will address a number of issues impacting the pipeline to the legal profession. Each session will include an opportunity for attendees to learn and share with the goal of strengthening the educational pipeline into the legal profession.

Sponsored by Council for Diversity in the Educational Pipeline;  Just the Beginning – A Pipeline Organization; StreetLaw, Inc; Law School Admissions Council; and Loyola University Chicago School of Law
Co-Sponsored by the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions


Part IV: Re-Imagining K-12 Pipeline Programs: Early Exposure Matters

April 30, 2021  (2:00-4:00 p.m. ET)
 >Register Here

Students make critical career decisions early--often as early as middle and high school. Therefore, pipeline programs must create initiatives that influence students at a younger age while creating an environment that maintains positive relationships and influence throughout their K-12, college, and law school experiences. It is imperative that the legal profession adopt a holistic approach to ensuring students’ success at every point along the pipeline. Participants will come away with a stronger understanding of the challenges facing students, the immense talent that lies within them, and practical advice for keeping promising students on track.  
Breakout Rooms included in session

Speakers include:


  • Joy Dingle, Director of Legal Diversity Pipeline Programs, Street Law Inc.

Part V: Money, Money, Money, Money….Money: Innovations in Funding for Pipeline Programs

May 21, 2021  (2:00-4:00 p.m. ET) 
>Register Here

Obtaining funding for programs is a universal challenge for pipeline programs. Essentially the key is to find funders and meet their funding requirements. How do you match the programs goals and objectives with the funding sources sought? How important is writing a grant application or funding proposal? In addition to the well-known funding sources, what other methods can organizations use to obtain financial support. The amount of funding sought is determined by having a carefully developed budget including analyzing cost and program options, determining the key goals and objectives, and financial management. Additional program concerns related to obtaining and providing financial support will be discussed. 
Breakout Rooms included in session

Part VI: Experiences in Building an LGBTQ+ Pipeline

June 25, 2021  (2:00-4:00 p.m. ET)
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Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) youth are disproportionately entering the school-to-prison pipeline, a pathway to repeated encounters with the criminal justice system. This is especially true for LGBTQ youth of color. Yet there is an increasing number of openly LGBTQ+ individuals entering law school and the legal pipeline continues to flow for LGBTQ employees.Are there lessons to be learned from these trends? This program will explore the unique issues LGBTQ+ youth are facing in the long road to becoming a lawyer. Panelists from a variety of backgrounds will discuss their personal experiences in their journey to becoming a successful attorney and the obstacles they faced growing up in the face of a system that attempted to set them up to fail.
Breakout Rooms included in session

Part VII: There is More Than One Way: Re-Imagining the Pathway Post Secondary Education

July 30, 2021  (2:00-4:00 p.m. ET)
>Register Here

The goal of pipeline programs is to ultimately increase diversity within the legal profession. But is it time to re-evaluate the path toward that goal. This program will feature presentations from the California Community College Pathway to Law Initiative and Indiana University McKinney School of Law who will discuss their innovative programs for increasing post-secondary interest in, and preparation for, law school.
Breakout Rooms included in session

Part VIII: “Pipeline” The Good vs. The Bad: Re-Imagining the Role of Pipeline Programs in Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline

August 20, 2021 (2:00-4:00 p.m. ET)
>Register Here

Utilizing research from the Law School Admission Council and other resources, this program will explore the role of educational pipeline programs as a tool in the arsenal to destroy the school-to-prison pipeline.
Breakout Rooms included in session

Part IX: Intersectionality: An Innovative Lens for Understanding the Challenges Faced by Disabled Students

September 24, 2021 (2:00-4:00 p.m ET)
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Disability is often an obstacle to higher education for many students. In our efforts to improve the pipeline for disabled students, we often fail to consider how other  characteristics compound the marginalization of these students. Students who live at the intersection of race and disability are disproportionately impacted in higher education. What are the challenges faced by Black/African American and Latinx disabled students and how do we provide these students with the right skills and exposure to pipeline programs to successfully progress through the educational system and into the legal profession?
Breakout Rooms included in session

Part X: Young People Speak

October 29, 2021  (2:00-4:00 p.m. ET)
>Register Here

Finding a path towards the legal profession can seem like a daunting journey for young people from underrepresented backgrounds. The desire to work in the legal field comes with numerous decisions that shape the experience of young lawyers. Pipeline programs serve as channels of knowledge and guidance for these students. Join us in a discussion led by young people who plan to enter the profession share their experience. What are they facing? Which changes would they suggest to improve their journey through admissions, campus climate, education and training, hiring, and workplace practices?

Previous Parts 

Part I: Re-Imagining Legal Education: Courage, Conviction and Commitment

January 29, 2021  (2:00-3:30 p.m. ET)
View the inarugural event at no cost: 

https://americanbar.zoom.us/rec/share/0AKbsJgnBRk3m_DHIINUwbdCMUUolL6WqK-f8BQeejATfrQdOYQnex-lm6zGgtck.yU3s4lG-2Tb-k5HXPasscode: y#H0UybO 

Our keynote speaker reflected on our collective call to action to reimagine the possibilities for legal education as a social and racial justice imperative.

Speakers included:

  • Keynote Speaker Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Dean and Professor of Law, Boston University College of Law
  • Cal Gonzales, Executive Director, Morgan Stanley; Chair, ABA Council for Diversity in the Educational Pipeline

With remarks from ABA-President Patricia Lee Refo and ABA President-Elect Reginald M. Turner. 

Part II: Pipeline Programs in a Pandemic: Access, Hurdles, and Innovations

February 26, 2021 (2:00-4:00 p.m. EST)

The pandemic has further exposed the inequities faced by underserved communities. Now, more than ever, it has been important for the legal community to coalesce to ensure that the pipeline to becoming a lawyer broadens and that we double our efforts to support diverse students in higher education. In an effort to continue to reach out to underserved communities, pipeline programs have had to quickly maneuver and innovate to provide access to their programming and support in a world where so many students were already having to deal with a digital divide. We learned from a few of those innovators who have reshaped their pipeline programs to serve students through the pandemic. We heard from our panelists about what worked, what didn’t, and what issues will still need to be addressed in order to continue to serve our students. 

Breakout Rooms included in session

Speakers included:

  • Rodina Cave Parnall, PLSI Director, American Indian Law Center Pre Law School Institute
  • Eric Dieter, 2020 PLUS Online Program Director, University of Texas at Austin
  • Antonette Smith, Executive Director, Just The Begining- A Pipeline Organization 
  • Moderator Fe LopezGaetke, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Law School Admission Council

Part III: Re-Imagining Legal Education: Magic Happens When Students and Faculty Collaborate

March 26, 2021  (2:00-4:00 p.m. ET)

Students are keenly aware of issues that are presented based on  the concept of otherness. This program explored best practices and model programs that identify successful faculty and student collaborations.  The panel focused on methods of addressing issues that are top of mind for students when dealing with issues associated with diversity, inclusion and equity within law schools.

Breakout Rooms included in session

Speakers included:

  • Ada Goodly, Director, Louis A. Berry Institute for Civil Rights and Justice, Southern University Law Center; Owner, The Goodly Group, LLC  
  • Miranda Johnson,  Clinical Professor of Law; Director, Education Law and Policy Institute, Loyola University Chicago School of Law
  • Carla Kupe, Chief Executive Officer, The Impact Alliance; Director, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Professional Identity Formation Program; Gender and Racial Equity Director, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago
  • Jayne Reardon, Executive Director, Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism
  • Brittany Green, Class of 2021, Loyola University Chicago School of Law
  • Elizabeth Flores, Class of 2021, Loyola University Chicago School of Law
  • Radhika Sutherland, Class of 2021, Loyola University Chicago School of Law


  • Josie Gough, Assistant Dean for Inclusion, Diversity and Equity; Curt and Linda Rodin Assistant Professor of Social Justice; Director, Experiential Learning and Professional Development Loyola University Chicago School of Law
  • Marla Dickerson, Director of CLE & Managing Fellow of the Cannabis Compliance, Law, & Policy Institute; Member, Council for Diversity in the Educational Pipeline