As the state and country become more diverse, the need increases to develop leaders who possess diverse experiences, talents, and capacities for leadership. To meet this need, Colorado Law has launched a program that transforms the way we think about diversity and cultivating leadership.
The Leaders in Law and Community (LILAC) Fellowship program addresses diversity in the broadest sense by recruiting and developing students from backgrounds underrepresented in law schools and in the legal profession. LILAC Fellows are from financially disadvantaged backgrounds, have diverse cultural identities, or are individuals who have overcome significant obstacles. With their experiences, backgrounds and accomplishments, LILAC Fellows will have the potential to use their law degrees to be transformational leaders in law and community.
In identifying and recruiting LILAC Fellows, Colorado Law has cast nets wider and deeper to find students who will not just succeed along traditional lines, but who will also use their law degrees to make powerful contributions to society. We are looking for students who bring diverse perspectives to Colorado Law - perspectives from cultural or personal identities; from disadvantaged backgrounds; from personal or work experiences that are atypical of law school applicants; or from seemingly insurmountable obstacles that, through resilience and determination - were overcome before law school. We are looking beyond commonly used criteria - LSATs and GPAs - to indicators of success such as community leadership, perseverance and demonstrated ability to problem solve and think critically.
LILAC will be comprehensive three-year program that educates fellows and cultivates their leadership potential through:
- A three-year scholarship that covers (1) the full cost of tuition and fees for the first year of law school, whether in-state or out-of-state tuition is required; and (2) the cost of in-state tuition and fees for the second and third years of law school;
- Dean’s fellowships to provide the option of stipends for either public service work or a faculty research assistantship during the summer after the 1L year;
- Mentors during their 1L year drawn from committed 2Ls and 3Ls and leaders in the legal profession, business, government, and non-profit sectors, including Colorado Law alumni and friends;
- Community engagement opportunities that connect LILAC Fellows to Colorado Law alumni and friends to help build “social capital;"
- LILAC Fellows Leadership Speakers Roundtable during their 1st year with guest speakers who are notable leaders in their communities;
- Intensive Symposium-style course in the fall of their 2L year that may examine such topics as social problems, law reform, or leadership; and an elective related to their individual area of interest in the spring of their 2L year;
- Public service projects developed by LILAC Fellows during their 2L and 3L years to drive change in communities in Colorado and around the world, while providing opportunities to exercise and hone their own leadership capabilities;
- A Capstone Paper (a two-four page written summary of the public service project selected; the reasons for the selection; what the Fellow contributed to the project in a leadership role; what the Fellow learned about themself as a leader; and how the Fellow intends to use those skills to drive change in local, national or international communities.). This Capstone Paper may be written over each Fellow's 2L and 3L year and will be presented during the second semester of the 3L year to a small supportive audience;
- Travel opportunities associated with externships, conferences or other programming that complement the classroom experience and broaden the Fellows’ horizons; and,
- Academic support, as needed, will be readily available to help fellows thrive in the classroom.
The cost per year for the Leaders in Law and Community fellowship program is estimated to be $240,000. To donate to support this transformational program, visit www.giving.cu.edu/lilac. If you have additional questions or comments about LILAC or would like to volunteer as a mentor, please email email@example.com.
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