By Abigail Loop
Baylor 2 Law, a new program being offered at Baylor Law School, is giving incoming pre-law students an opportunity to further their legal education and future careers.
Baylor Law School has selected six pre-law freshmen to become a part of the new program, “Baylor 2 Law,” which provides two scholarships toward an undergraduate and Baylor Law School Degree for each student.
The program offers a $10,000 scholarship that is applied to Baylor undergraduate courses and at least a $21,000 scholarship toward a Baylor Law School Degree.
Similar to the competitive track “Baylor 2 Medical Track Program”, which has been in place since 1998, students who would like to become a part of the Baylor 2 Law School have to be invited first to apply.
“As a senior in high school, students who are interested should apply for pre-law,” Elizabeth Cano, Baylor’s pre-law coordinator said. “Then, if they meet certain requirements, they are invited to apply and then have an interview with a law school admissions officer.”
After they are accepted, Cano said students must keep up the requirements of the program in order to maintain their scholarship and ensure admission into Baylor Law School, At least a 3.6 cumulative GPA while in Baylor undergraduate courses and a minimum LSAT score of 162 are also requirements, according to the program’s website.
Cano said Baylor 2 Law program administrators are hoping the new program will attract more pre-law students to Baylor’s campus
“Baylor is increasing its resources,” Cano said. “We want to attract talented undergraduates and this is an incredible opportunity for interested students.”
Nicole Neeley, assistant dean of admissions at the Baylor Law School, said she agreed with Cano that the program is meant to find exceptional students and help them build their future careers.
“The program targets high-achieving college applicants and rewards a chosen few,” Neeley said. “Part of the program is being able to mentor these students and help them make relationships with people at the law school.”
The first round of these six pre-law students are expected to join the new program this semester.
“We awarded the scholarships in January to the incoming students,” Cano said. “We had 50 students apply and six were selected. All six made it through to the program and received their scholarships as well.”
Compared to other university programs, Cano said no other has one like Baylor’s where scholarships are involved.
“This is a really innovative program,” she said. “Some programs give you early acceptance to law school but none are like this. It’s a good model for pre-law students and scholarships help with the expensive costs.“
According to the American Bar Association Journal, in 2013 there was a decrease of 4,806 students from the fall of 2012, when 44,481 students began their law school studies. Cano believes this to be from the high cost of law school.
“There’s been a decline in law applications and decline in the job market,” Cano said. “Part of the equation is the cost of law school. This program is an incredible opportunity for interested students at an affordable price.”