Washington D.C. — The Legal Education Fund (LEF) with the outstanding support of the Hispanic National Bar Association, is proud to announce the application period through May 1, 2015, online at www.HNBAFUND.org for the HNBA-LEF Legal Education Action Program (“LEAP”). LEAP introduces Hispanic high school students to the United States legal system. LEAP enrolls and provides scholarships to selected high school students from diverse backgrounds across the United States. LEAP applications are available now online at www.HNBAFUND.org. The 2015 LEAP summer program will be hosted in Houston, Texas, on June 21-28, 2015. The underwriting of this ambitious education program is made possible by the generous contributions of our supporting sponsors including private donors, corporations, law firms, and law schools. HNBA-LEAP President Benny Agosto stated, “The students participate in a life shaping experience. Former students have contacted us to say again how LEAP changed their lives and focus on advancing their education.” We express our gratitude and respect for the leadership of our contributors and supporters, who include but are not limited to, Walmart, Target, Exxon, PEPSICO, DuPont, Abraham Watkins, K&L Gates, Special Counsel, MCT Industries, DLD Lawyers, Chamberlain Law, Lowenstein Sandler, Womble Carlyle, Federal State and local Judges, and Federal and State agencies, and local Hispanic Bar Associations among many others.
“The HNBA-LEF LEAP is established to assure advancement for minority students through higher education. The LEAP program guides students to understand that there are key players and have the capacity to serve as leaders trained in law in our nation's governance, judicial and legal systems. LEAP also educates students on how our nation’s halls of government are governed by the rule of law,” said Benny Agosto, President of The HNBA-LEF. “The HNBA-LEF is honored to bring this pipeline program to life thanks to the generous backing of our underwriters and sponsors, as well as leaders from our nation’s legal community to accomplish our goals for LEAP,” added Mr. Agosto.
This HNBA-LEF LEAP summer education opportunity has been an annual legal education- immersion program since 2013 hosted in various metropolitan areas across the United States including Los Angeles, California and Hartford, Connecticut. This year the program is hosted at the Rice University Law School. LEAP provides students the opportunity to meet with national and international business leaders, lawyers in private practice, government lawyers, government agency officials, and state and federal judges, and law professors. LEAP participants learn of the many careers they may pursue with a law degree or other graduate degree, by interacting with leaders who resemble their diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Annually, participating law professors, lawyers, elected and appointed officials, and judges inspire LEAP participants by sharing their personal success stories and help them set attainable goals to achieve a successful legal career. LEAP students also are exposed to the legal side of the business world and enhance their understanding the rule of law. The one-week HNBA-LEF LEAP culminates with students competing in a mock trial with the support of legal advocacy coaches including law school professors and judges. It is the hope of the HNBA-LEF that LEAP equips students to set their sights on becoming leaders within their communities.
The HNBA-LEF LEAP also provides mentor teaching opportunities for law students, who serve as LEAP student-guides during the one-week summer program. LEAP law student- guides accompany and support LEAP participants throughout week. “This immersion program fills a major void in legal education by strengthening diversity in the legal profession through early recruitment of students who represent our Hispanic community,” said Mark Gallegos, HNBA-LEF Executive Board Member, and LEAP Committee Chair.
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About the HNBA Legal Education Fund
The HNBA Legal Education Fund (the "Fund"), incorporated in April 2010, is an IRS Section 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, charitable and educational organization dedicated to promoting and facilitating educational programs, exposing underrepresented students and professional to the benefits and opportunities in the legal profession, providing scholarship and financial support to individuals from underrepresented communities to pursue legal careers, and supporting the charitable and education mission of the Hispanic National Bar Association. The Fund is based in Washington, DC, and is the only foundation affiliated with the Hispanic National Bar Association. For information about The Fund, please visit its website: www.hnbafund.com.