IDEAL Program

The Program

Fordham Law School’s Increasing Diversity in Education and the Law (IDEAL) is a pipeline program that identifies motivated and talented underrepresented students in the New York City area and exposes them to the many facets of the legal profession. With this initiative, we are embracing our responsibility to increase diversity in the legal profession. If our legal system is to provide equal justice, it must provide equal opportunity to become a lawyer.

—Dean Matthew Diller, Fordham Law School

Our Mission

The IDEAL program seeks to engage college students who are interested in pursuing a law degree or who have an interest in the law. Through the program we seek to address issues relating to disadvantaged and underrepresented individuals in law school and the increasing need for diversity in the legal profession.

In collaboration with Fordham University and other educational institutions that serve underrepresented populations, IDEAL identifies promising students and exposes them to a rich and dynamic educational curriculum beginning their sophomore year and culminates with graduation from their undergraduate institution.

IDEAL offers the participating student’s early exposure to the study and practice of law and through the program seeks to afford participants the opportunity to learn about and attend law school and to become a leader on a variety of issues that impact issues of diversity and social justice in the legal profession. Participants in the IDEAL program will receive the tools and the opportunity to learn about law school and the legal profession. We will also prepare participants for the law school application process and the challenges of law school.

The Experience

Activities and timeline are subject to change.

  • Early July – Early August

    Students are enrolled in and complete Fordham’s Pre-Law Institute, which is a 6-week online summer course designed to give undergraduate students and graduates insight into the law school experience and an introduction to foundational subjects in U.S. law. The PLI program also include a dialogue with a judge, a virtual visit to a law firm, and a panel on public interest lawyering. In addition, optional sessions prepare students for the law school admissions process and the first year of law school. ** students are eligible to receive 3 college credits.

    • Participate in the The Council on Legal Education Opportunity, Inc. (CLEO) Jumpstart LSAT program at Fordham
    • Attend diversity related programming and special events put on by Fordham Law School
    • Travel to Washington, D.C. to visit the Supreme Court,  meet with other federal government agencies, and meet with prominent lawyers at Big Law firm (costs covered by the program).
    • Students are enrolled into an LSAT preparation course
    • (OPTIONAL) Students may be placed in selected legal internships upon completion of the LSAT boot camp. Internship placements include:
      • Public interest organizations
      • District attorney’s offices
      • Judges chambers
      • New York City law firms
    • Students will participate in professional development workshops featuring speakers from the legal community and Fordham Law School network.
    • Attend information session hosted by Fordham Law School Admissions Staff
    • Meet with Fordham Law alumni and student mentors and cultivate relationships
    • Students will be placed in selected legal internships that reflect their interest and will work alongside mentoring attorneys in a practical setting. Internship placements include:
      • Public interest organizations
      • District attorney’s offices
      • Judges chambers
      • New York City law firms
    • Students will again participate in professional development workshops featuring speakers from the legal community and Fordham Law School network

IDEAL students will receive a monetary stipend for each year of participation. Attendance in the program itself is free for all participants.

IDEAL Program participant Daniella Lopez 240x240
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Daniella Lopez

Fordham University, Class of 2023

As a first-generation college student from a financially disadvantaged background, I am grateful for the IDEAL program because it has provided me with a sense of security in moving forward with a legal career. The program has afforded me the opportunity to participate in enlightening legal preparatory courses and attain judicial internship opportunities. Finally, this program has allowed me to pursue my passion for immigration law with a degree of legal awareness that many of my peers might lack.

IDEAL Program participant Jordan Joachim-Jones 240x240
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Jordan Joachim-James

IDEAL program alumna, Fordham University at Rose Hill, Class of 2021; Fordham Law School, Class of 2024

I am so grateful for the IDEAL program and all they taught me. The program provided me with unique exposure to the field of law that has been beneficial.

Apply to the Program

IDEAL  application is now open. Please click on this link to apply.

December 2023 Application Opens
February 29, 2024 Priority Due Date
March 15, 2024 Final Application Due Date
Starting March  Selected Applicants Notified
July 2, 2024 First Day of Pre Law Institute Program
August 6, 2024 Last Day of Pre Law Program
Fall 2024 - Spring 2025  IDEAL Programming for the Academic Year 

Eligibility

  • Undergraduate  students enrolled in a full-time program at an accredited college or university.
  • Students must be in their sophomore year at the time of application (entering junior year the upcoming Fall semester)
  • Demonstrates an interest in law or a strong interest in applying to law school upon graduation

 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Undergraduate students who are currently enrolled as sophomores in a full-time program of study at  an accredited college or university AND will be enrolled as rising juniors during the following during the  Summer of 2024 are eligible to apply. College students who are beyond their sophomore year, or college  graduates, are ineligible for the program. No particular academic major is required, however applicants  must plan to attend law school upon graduation for their undergraduate program.

  • The IDEAL program begins at the end of your sophomore year in college and concludes during the summer after you graduate college. This program is a 2 ½ year commitment. Students are required to recommit to the program before every summer session.

  • At this time, the summer program will be hybrid. If required, the IDEAL program will cover relevant costs associated with travel.

  • The prep program begins early July and ends early August.

  • The Pre-Law Institute courses will take place virtually, however students will be required to attend in-person afternoon sessions on select days. Students enrolled in Summer II will take an LSAT prep course in-person.

  • The IDEAL program does not cover housing or meal expenses.

  • Participation in the IDEAL program does not guarantee admission to Fordham Law School.

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