The City College of New York has announced a ten-year, $10 million commitment from law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom to create a new program that will help diversify law schools and the legal profession.
Expected to begin during the 2008-09 school year, the Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom Honors Program in Legal Studies at CCNY will provide students from a wide variety of backgrounds with the education, groundwork, and experience necessary to gain admission to and succeed in competitive law schools. Up to one hundred CCNY juniors and seniors, selected through a competitive process, will participate in the two-year program once it is fully implemented. CCNY freshmen and sophomores will be eligible to enroll in a pre-honors sequence to help cultivate their interest in legal studies and to help recruit and assess interested and qualified students as program participants.
The program, which was announced to coincide with the firm's sixtieth anniversary, will feature an honors curriculum of special courses and seminars that complement other undergraduate majors and will offer students need- and merit-based financial assistance; LSAT preparation; paid summer internships at law firms, corporations, and public interest organizations nationwide; and mentoring by attorneys at Skadden and other legal employers. Other program elements include the creation of an endowed professorship and the Skadden, Arps Legal Honors Center on the CCNY campus, as well as dormitory space for students from outside New York State.
"For a hundred and sixty years, CCNY has provided a world-class education to, in the words of our former president Alexander Webb, 'the children of the whole people' — not only giving them access to the American dream, but also bringing their talents to every area of American society," said CCNY president Gregory H. Williams. "Thanks to this commitment from Skadden, Arps, we will create a nationally recognized undergraduate program in legal studies at one of the most diverse colleges in the nation that will help attract promising students across all ethnic and economic backgrounds to careers in the law."