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Santa Monica College's Law Pathway Program Marks First Year


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By Lookout Staff

June 2, 2017 -- Ten students from Santa Monica College's Law Pathway Program have earned priority admission review at six California law schools, college officials announced this week.

The program -- which prepares traditionally underrepresented students to become competitive applicants to law school -- celebrated the accomplishment with an informal ceremony May 23.

The keynote speaker was distinguished criminal defense attorneys Mia Yamamoto, a transsexual civil rights activist based in Los Angeles.

SMC joined the California State Bar Association’s Community Colleges Pathway to Law School initiative last year. The program joins 29 community colleges and six law schools in an effort "to diversify the legal profession and smooth the path to law school for underrepresented students," college officials said.

The six California law schools are Loyola Law School Los Angeles, Santa Clara University School of Law, UC Davis School of Law, UC Irvine School of Law, University of San Francisco School of Law and University of Southern California Gould School of Law.

The program allows students to "engage in an incredible career-focused opportunity," said SMC Superintendent and President Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery.

"The solid educational foundation here at SMC along with real-world legal experience -- plus the support students will need now and in the immediate future -- is an invaluable launch pad for their future careers,” Jeffery said.

Students in the program must complete nine courses that include two created specifically for the Law Pathway.

The program offers students "individual mentoring, exposure to careers in law, networking opportunities, counseling support, leadership training and an experiential-learning component at one of several legal service organizations in the area," college officials said.

“They’re getting hands-on work experience,” said SMC Political Science Professor Christina Gabler, faculty lead for the Law Pathway program. “Our students talk with clients, learn what their issues are, and work side by side with legal professionals to help deal with those issues.”

For more information on the SMC Law Pathway Program, contact or call (310) 434-8719. Details are also available on the program’s webpage:


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