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Santa Monica College Graduates Second Law Pathway Class


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By Lookout Staff

June 1, 2018 -- Sixteen Santa Monica College students became the second group to successfully complete the school's Law Pathway Program that prepares traditionally underrepresented students for law school, college officials announced Thursday.

The students celebrated their accomplishment at an informal ceremony Tuesday at SMC’s Bundy campus that featured keynote speaker Dan Stewart, a Santa Monica College alumnus who is the the former associate dean of Loyola Law School.

The students completed nine courses, received one-on-one mentoring, tailored counseling and leadership training, school officials said.

They also were exposed to careers in law and offered networking opportunities and the chance to learn from participating legal organizations.

The graduating students -- who received priority admission review at eight California law schools -- are transferring to universities, including UCLA, UC Irvine and California State University, Los Angeles.

Kennisha Green, who was drawn to criminal justice after her father was murdered when she was in the third grade, is eying a career in immigration law.

“I gained so much confidence and learned so much through my internship at the Interfaith Refugee and Immigration Service,” said Green, adding that the internship “opened [her] eyes to other things.”

Green, who recently graduated from Cal State LA with a B.S. in Criminal Justice, is currently in the process of applying to Southwestern School of Law and Loyola Marymount University.

Another graduate, Walther Perez is transferring to UC Irvine to study philosophy and economics, before goin on to law school.

He has been working as an intern at the the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) as an intern.

“It’s quite literally my dream job,” said Perez, who plans to apply for a job with the ACLU after law school to “create more change that I want to see in my local community.”

SMC’s Law Pathway Program, he said, “really, really guided me here.”

Edna Chavarry, Director of Academic Affairs Initiatives at SMC and the administrative lead for the Law Pathway, spoke about the opportunities the students received.

“While in the program, they took an experiential class that provided them the opportunity to work alongside local Los Angeles attorneys –- learning about the law not only in the classroom, but in the field,” Chavarry said.

SMC formed the Law Pathway Program after joining the California Law Community College Pathway to Law School Initiative in 2015, a collaborative effort between California Law, The State Bar of California’s Council on Access & Fairness and 29 community colleges and eight law schools.

For more information, visit the program’s website at or contact


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