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UW Law School accepting applications to new Pre-Law Scholars Program

February 9, 2016 By Tammy Kempfert

The University of Wisconsin Law School is now accepting applications for its inaugural James E. Jones Jr. Pre-Law Scholars Program, a summer immersion experience for students who have completed their freshman or sophomore year of college.

James E. Jones

James E. Jones

The Pre-Law Scholars (PLS) Program is designed to improve access to legal education for students from historically underrepresented groups and socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds. Participants will spend four weeks in Madison — from June 6 through July 1 — learning about legal education and careers in law from a team of UW Law School experts. They will take introductory law courses featuring the Law School’s law-in-action approach from law professors, develop their oral and written legal advocacy skills with an interactive course taught by legal writing experts, get advice on applying to law school from admissions staff, network with local practitioners, and learn about areas of legal practice from career counselors.

Twenty applicants will be selected to participate in the program, which includes tuition, room and board on the UW–Madison campus for the duration of the program, and a $1,000 stipend.

The PLS Program is made possible by a $70,000 grant from the Access Group Center for Research & Policy Analysis. Access Group provides funding for programs that address critical issues facing legal education today, including enhancing access to legal education for students from diverse backgrounds.

UW Law’s PLS Program was named for the late Professor James E. Jones, the school’s first African-American faculty member. A pioneer in equal employment and affirmative action policy, Jones taught labor law and arbitration for nearly 30 years at the Law School and in 1991 was named Nathan P. Feinsinger Professor of Labor Law.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity to help a richly diverse group of undergraduates explore whether law school is the right choice for them. Working with UW Law School’s top-notch faculty and staff, they get a sense of what the J.D. program entails and the kinds of careers it will make possible,” says UW Law School Dean Margaret Raymond. “I’m especially happy we are able to welcome these students to our beautiful campus and UW–Madison community. It is also incredibly meaningful that we can name it after one of our true pioneers, Professor Jim Jones, so that his legacy and impact can continue to be recognized.”

For information and an application form, visit the PLS Program website. The deadline to apply is April 1.

Additional questions can be addressed to Rebecca Scheller, assistant dean for admissions and financial aid at UW Law School, at 608-262-5914 or