California LAW

What We Do  /  Equity  /  California LAW

A diversity educational pipeline from 9th grade to law school.

California LAW Leadership – Access – Workforce is a public benefit corporation created to be the foundational structure that connects, communicates, collaborates, and coordinates with programs working to help diverse students enter the legal profession. It consists of 14 high school law academies created under the California Partnership Academy model in a unique collaboration between the State Bar of California and the California Department of Education. Additionally, it includes members of the Community College Pathway to Law School initiative with 29 community colleges throughout the state, six undergraduate institutions, and five law schools, resulting in an educational pipeline into the legal profession created under the leadership of the State Bar of California's Council on Access and Fairness.

California LAW is closely aligned with the Foundation's strategic goal to expand student access, success, educational, and career outcomes through the promotion of student diversity and increased opportunity.

The Foundation's partnership connects California LAW to California's expansive learning infrastructure, the California Community Colleges, and the Foundation's student success efforts and workforce initiatives.

Community College Pathway to Law School Initiative

The Community College Pathway to Law School initiative is an innovative, unprecedented program in the United States that helps diversify the legal profession in California. It provides a clear pathway from community college to law school through support for students, including mentoring and pre-law counseling, and professional development activities for faculty members. 

The Community College Pathway to Law School initiative requires the completion of courses that are based on a defined set of “success factors” that help make effective lawyers. The initiative aligns criteria from the “success factors” with California Community College courses already approved in corresponding Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) areas in order to prepare students for law school and the legal profession prior to transfer. 

California Law Academies

In 2010, the State Bar created a unique partnership with the California Department of Education to build its first 6 high school law academies under the California Partnership Academy model.  Created by the California Legislature in 1986, it required that students in these classrooms be at least 50% at risk and be in high schools of 350+ students. High school students receive a law class starting in the 10th grade - every day for 3 years. The law academies are supported by a volunteer group of lawyers and judges under the California Law Academy Support Council (CLAS).  More than 1200 legal professionals give of their time, energy, and funds to work with these students.

Leadership and Staff

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Ruthe Ashley

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Foundation for California
Community Colleges

1102 Q Street, Suite 4800
Sacramento, CA 95811

Toll Free: 866.325.3222
Fax: 916.325.0844

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Supporting our Work

Help the Foundation further its mission to benefit, support, and enhance the California Community Colleges.

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Who we serve

The Foundation serves as the official foundation supporting the Board of Governors, Chancellor’s Office, and the entire California Community College system, including 116 colleges and 73 districts, serving 2.1 million students.

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