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March 14, 2022

Connecting with Four-Year Institutions

To provide a consistent pathway for the students, the community college pathway program must have contacts with four-year colleges that will be able to provide students with pre-law guidance, resources, and support. 

Identifying and selecting potential four-year college partners

Consider whether the four-year college you have identified has: Pre-law resources, including a pre-law advisor or faculty that have attended law school; a history of student transfers from community colleges; accepts all or a substantial number of credit hours from the community college; and has developed access to multiple colleges to provide options for students. 

Drafting an agreement or Memorandum of Understanding  

If you are successful in identifying a four-year college, we recommend you document the purpose and responsibilities of partners. The agreement could include: Effective dates; Purpose; Identities of the partners; Responsibilities of partners; and Definition of terms.  California LAW Pathways has an example MOU on its website for your consideration and use.

Clearing the pathway for transferring to four-year colleges

Once the relationship is established with the four-year institution, it is recommended you do the following to clear the pathway for those community college students ready to transfer:

  • Establish communications between community college contact person and four-year college contact person, such as a transfer student advisor or coordinator 
  • Provide students with contact information of the four-year college contact person 
  • Educate students about the transfer process 
  • Inform students about the transfer process 
  • Inform students about transfer requirements
  • Inform students about financial considerations, such as tuition and housing and scholarship or financial aid opportunities
  • Determine a method to identify, in the application process, that the community college student has participated in the pre-law pathway program. You can arrange for the community college to indicate the student participated in this program on the transcript.  In addition, it can be noted in transfer application or by the student in his or her personal statement

Ensuring success at the four-year college.  

  • Consider providing the student a list of recommended pre-law courses, such as logic, ethics, rhetoric, and other courses to prepare the students for the LSAT and law school. 
  • Provide instruction on LSAT preparation 
  • Arrange for visits to law firms, court houses, law schools 
  • Help the students develop soft skills, e.g. networking, time management, professional etiquette, etc. 

Finally, students should research the following: College expectations, study skills, self-motivation, self-reliance, resourcefulness, isolation-building community; Student advising for pre-law students; and the availability of a pre-law resources, including a pre-law advisor