Have you ever pondered a career in law? Does the thought of working a crowded courtroom get your blood pumping? If you are a sophomore first generation college student, or come from an economically disadvantaged background, the UC Davis School of Law’s King Hall Outreach Program may be for you.
Now entering its ninth year, KHOP is seeking to recruit and assist sophomores with dreams of a career in law into an all-expenses-paid program.
KHOP offers students a series of classes geared toward preparing for the LSAT, presentations by law school professors and lawyers, a mentorship program, and various field trips to court rooms, law forums, schools and firms. Participants will take part in a Mock Trial their junior year, and oral arguments in Moot Court as seniors.
“I first heard about KHOP through my pre-law fraternity at University of the Pacific. A KHOP coordinator came and spoke to us about the program,” said Vietnam Nguyen, a first-year law student at the UC Davis School of Law and KHOP alum.
Admitted students will receive all of the program’s services at no financial cost to them, Nguyen said.
“We got our dorms for free, free food and a scholarship or stipend of $1400,” Nguyen said. “We also were able to apply to most law schools for free, and didn’t have to pay for the LSATs.”
Nguyen is a first generation college student, fulfilling part of the qualifications to apply for the program. An applicant is defined as “first generation” if both parents and siblings do not possess a bachelor’s degree. If the student is not a first generation college student, they must come from an economically disadvantaged background as defined by the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
Other requirements include having a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA, being of sophomore standing and having intent to apply to law school.
KHOP includes a rigorous summer program that requires participants to live at UC Davis the summers following their sophomore and junior years.
“It’s a really intense program. We had classes starting in the morning and going until 8 sometimes,” Nguyen said. “We had class from Monday through Friday and took the LSAT on Saturdays.”
While the program is intensive, KHOP offers pre-law students hands-on experience in what law school entails.
Nguyen said he finds his experience in the outreach program to be invaluable.
“I don’t know how I would have applied to law school without applying to the program,” he said. “I took away a better work ethic and very good time management skills.“
First-year law student Anel Carrasco is a UC Davis economics graduate and another alumna of the outreach program. She credits her preparation for the UC Davis School of Law to the lessons she learned at KHOP.
“The most important thing about the program is that it’s an opportunity to get the tools you need for applying,” Carrasco said.
The program is currently accepting applications to fill 20 spots for its ninth run. While many students in the program are UC Davis undergraduates, KHOP welcomes eligible applicants from any Northern California college or university.
Half of the 20 potential returning KHOP participants for the 2009-2010 school year are UC Davis students. Sixteen of these students attended KHOP last summer, said Cristina Gapasin, associate director of admissions and outreach at the UC Davis School of Law.
While many KHOP alumni go on to attend the UC Davis School of Law, some have also gone on to the UCLA School of Law, UC Berkeley School of Law, UC Hastings School of Law, Boston College School of Law and the Chapman University School of Law among others.
“Once you have the opportunity to attend the program, you should value it. Take it seriously, and ask as many questions as you can,” Carrasco said. “Appreciate every class because you will find them valuable later.“
The King Hall Outreach Program now has over 100 alumni; those interested in becoming future alum of this program should apply online by Apr. 15 at law.ucdavis.edu/prospective/outreach.
AMANDA HARDWICK can be reached at email@example.com.