BUFFALO, N.Y. -- About two dozen college students will spend
four weeks on the University at Buffalo campus this summer to learn
about the law and legal studies, develop their writing and
test-taking skills, and imagine the possibilities of life as an
The UB Undergraduate Scholars Program is being sponsored jointly
by UB Law School, the Minority Bar Association of Western New York
and UB's Millard Fillmore College. Underwritten by the Law School
Admissions Council (LSAC) Discoverlaw.org, the program will run
from June 1 to June 29 this year. It will bring to UB's North
Campus rising sophomores and juniors who represent racial
minorities underrepresented in the legal profession.
"The goal," says Lillie V. Wiley-Upshaw, UB Law School's vice
dean for admissions and financial aid, "is to encourage these
academically promising students to consider law school and to help
them acquire the tools they'll need to succeed.
"Fewer than 10 percent of all attorneys are people of color,"
Wiley-Upshaw says, "and that's certainly not representative of our
country. As the State of New York's law school, we have a
responsibility to help change that in our own region and
The three-year commitment for the summer program is being funded
with a $300,000 grant from the Law School Admission Council, a
national organization that provides services to support the law
school admissions process and administers the Law School Admission
Test (LSAT). It was a competitive process and the UB Law School was
one of three law schools selected for funding.
Twenty students from Western New York, plus five from Morehouse
College in Atlanta, will live in the newly built Greiner Hall
during the summer, alongside current UB Law students who will
support them in their academic work. Four UB Law faculty members
will volunteer their time:
Professor James Wooten will teach a week-long Introduction to
Law course, introducing the students to the skills of
Associate Professor Michael Halberstam will introduce the
students to Civil and Criminal Procedure and introduce the ethical
requirements of the legal profession.
Professor Charles Patrick Ewing will teach Evidence and Trial
Practice, laying out the rules of evidence and their application in
adversarial trial practice.
Professor David Engel will teach Tort Law in Culture and
Society, exploring the principles of tort liability for personal
In addition, the students will be taught the skills of legal
analysis, writing and research, for which their teachers will
include LAWR staff instructors Johanna Oreskovic and Bernadette
Clor; receive intensive coaching on the fundamentals of writing;
learn about LSAT test-taking strategies from Barbara Sherk,
director of academic support at UB Law; and learn from Wiley-Upshaw
how to navigate the law school admissions process.
Students will also have opportunities to network with members of
the Minority Bar Association; reflect on the profession through
panel discussions of practitioners; hear from distinguished guest
speakers, including UB Law School Dean Makau W. Mutua and Buffalo
City Court Judge E. Jeannette Ogden; and tour Buffalo's Family
The students also will be hosted by the Hon. Paula L. Feroleto,
the Eighth Judicial District Administrative Judge, for a half-day
program which will include an actual court session. The UB
Undergraduate Scholars Program will culminate in a mock oral
argument in which students will try out the skills and knowledge
they have gained.
Student participants in the program will be paid a stipend of
$900 to help defray lost income from summer employment.
Applications are now available and can be found on the law school's
website. The application deadline is March 16.For more information,
contact the Law School's Admissions Office at 716-645-2907 or
Since its founding in 1887, UB Law School -- the State
University of New York system's only law school -- has established
an excellent reputation and is widely regarded as a leader in legal
education. Its cutting-edge curriculum provides both a strong
theoretical foundation and the practical tools graduates need to
succeed in a competitive marketplace, wherever they choose to
practice. A special emphasis on interdisciplinary studies, public
service and opportunities for hands-on clinical education makes UB
Law unique among the nation's premier public law schools.