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Rio Hondo College to Offer Law School Pathway

Six law schools to participate in new initiative for students seeking legal career

WHITTIER, Calif. – Rio Hondo College will be one of the first community colleges in the state to offer a smoother pathway to six of California’s top law schools by participating in the Community Colleges Pathway to Law School initiative.

The Community Colleges Pathway to Law School initiative, which will begin at Rio Hondo College in the fall, is designed to enhance opportunities and advancement in the legal profession for diverse populations, particularly those who have been underrepresented.

Rio Hondo College was chosen by the State Bar’s Council on Access and Fairness for its leadership and student success indicators, which will be critical in providing meaningful experiences for students interested in pursuing law.

“It is a great honor for Rio Hondo College to have been selected as a community college to partner with the top law schools in California,” said Rio Hondo College Superintendent/President Teresa Dreyfuss. “Many of our students can use this opportunity to achieve the American Dream as they become the first attorneys in their families.”

The Community Colleges Pathway to Law School initiative will establish agreements with Rio Hondo College, six law schools and their respective undergraduate institutions.

Students in the program will receive assurances that credits in prescribed courses will transfer; early exposure to the law school experience; individual advisement and mentoring from law school advisors; financial aid counseling;

LSAT preparation; and waived application fees for admission to the participating law schools.

Participating law schools are the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, University of San Francisco School of Law, University of California, Davis School of Law, UC Irvine School of Law, Santa Clara University School of Law and Loyola Law School.

The Community Colleges Pathway to Law School Initiative requires students to complete courses based on a defined set of “success factors” that help make effective lawyers. The transfer initiative will align criteria from these success factors with community college courses already approved in corresponding Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) to prepare students for law school.

“Rio Hondo College has so many bright, talented students who are very interested in practicing law,” said Rio Hondo College Board of Trustees President Vicky Santana. “This pathway is going to generate a lot of interest from our students and those who are seeking a career in law and don’t know where to start. This opportunity also coincides nicely with our Student Success Initiative.”