Yale Law School Announces Launchpad Scholars Program

The Yale Law School Launchpad Scholars program, powered by Latham & Watkins, expands commitments to create a greater pipeline of opportunity and equity in legal education and the legal profession.


With rising law school costs and other barriers limiting access to the legal profession, a law degree may be out of reach for some students. Announced today to provide these aspiring students with the best opportunities to access a legal education, the Yale Law School Launchpad Scholars program, powered by Latham & Watkins, helps members of underrepresented or underserved communities navigate the law school application and admissions process from start to finish. The innovative program aims to ensure that excellent candidates from all backgrounds can maximize their potential as law students and legal professionals, enabling them to become leaders in their future careers.

The Launchpad Scholars program is open to all current students and graduates planning to apply to law school in the fall of 2024, with the goal of enrolling in law school in the fall of 2025. Scholars will be selected based on their potential for academic excellence. , promise of leadership, engagement with their communities and a demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with people from diverse backgrounds and with diverse perspectives. The program will provide participants with application and career readiness support, including substantial LSAT prep, mentorship from attorneys and law students, and other resources that will prepare participants to apply in law schools of their choice. The Launchpad Scholars program is open to all applicants, but especially welcomes applications from members of groups historically underrepresented in the legal profession.

Applications for the inaugural program will open in March 2023. Information sessions will be held this fall and winter for applicants to learn more about the program. Interested applicants are encouraged to review the information session schedule on the Launchpad Scholars Program website.

The program will begin in August 2023 with a welcome summit at the New York office of Latham & Watkins, featuring community building, career exploration and leadership development sessions. Each scholar will be paired with a mentor student from Yale Law School and a mentor lawyer from Latham & Watkins, both of whom will provide support throughout the program.

“The Launchpad Scholars program will meet potential students where they are, providing them with the knowledge and skills they need to enroll in law school, thrive during their time there, and become leaders in the fields of law. their choice.”
—Dean Heather K. Gerken

Launchpad scholars will also participate in a comprehensive, cohort-based LSAT prep program, including classroom instruction, proctored practice tests, one-on-one exam sessions, and more. Throughout the year, Scholars will attend monthly sessions led by prominent Yale Law School staff and alumni designed to prepare them for the law school application process, to law school itself and to post-graduation careers. The program will conclude in June 2024 with a week-long residential institute, where students will spend a week at Yale Law School focusing on the law school application process, participating in field trips. field work with legal employers and through dialogue with distinguished members of the Yale Law School and Latham and Watkins Communities.

“The Launchpad Scholars program will meet potential students where they are, providing them with the knowledge and skills they need to enroll in law school, thrive during their time there, and become leaders in the fields of law. their choice,” said Heather K., dean of Yale Law School. Gerken. “This program is a vital part of our ongoing commitment to further diversify the legal profession and make the benefits of a rigorous legal education accessible to all.”

“This groundbreaking pipeline program enables the next generation of law students to engage with lawyers, law firms, legal education, and the admissions process from the start, empowering students to ultimately create the law school experience of their choice,” said Abid R. Qureshi, Global Chairman. of the Latham & Watkins recruitment committee.

The Launchpad Scholars program builds on Yale Law School’s commitment to expanding access and equity in legal education. Together with the Tsai Leadership Program and the Hurst Horizon Scholarship Program, these initiatives continue to make law school more accessible and impactful for cohorts of students who better reflect the diversity of our communities. Since Dean Gerken’s first term, Yale Law School has hosted its most diverse six classes, tripling the number of veterans enrolling and nearly doubling the number of first-generation college graduates enrolling in law School.

“Without access to academic, professional, financial and logistical support systems, the challenges of applying to law school can often be too much for even the most gifted and motivated students to overcome,” said Miriam Ingber’ 04, Associate Dean of Admissions. and financial aid to Yale Law School. “The Launchpad Scholars program will lead to an expanded pool of qualified candidates who will enhance the intellectual and community life of law schools across the country, including ours.”

Recognizing that talented students may have varying levels of knowledge and access to careers in law, Latham & Watkins is committed to leveling the playing field in education for students from historically underrepresented groups and to contributing to the careers of aspiring lawyers from the earliest stages of their training. . Latham & Watkins has many programs and partnerships in place to promote diversity, equity and inclusion within the firm and the legal profession in general.

“We are excited to work with Yale Law School to attract, train and mentor the next generation of lawyers. We believe that tapping into students from all backgrounds will develop strong future lawyers and allow us to better serve communities. where we live and work,” said Michèle Penzer ’93, Partner, Latham & Watkins.

There is no cost to apply or participate in the Launchpad Scholars program. All travel, food, and accommodation costs for in-person programming will be covered, as will all LSAT program expenses, including registration fees for two test administrations. All scholarship recipients will also receive reimbursement for six law school applications.

For more information about the program and application requirements, please visit law.yale.edu/launchpad.


Media contacts:

Alden Ferro
Associate Director, Office of Public Affairs
Yale Law School
[email protected]

Lauren Mas
Communications Manager
Global Lawyer Recruitment
Latham and Watkins
[email protected]

Ryan H. Bowman