Boyd Law School Welcomes Pre-Law Fellows to Campus
LAS VEGAS – The William S. Boyd School of Law at UNLV will host a group of 22 fellows as part of the Justice Michael L. Douglas Prelaw Fellowship Program from June 11-16. The program introduces students from underrepresented communities to the benefits of pursuing a career in law and insights on law school.
According to the American Bar Association’s 2020 Profile of the Legal Profession, the numbers of lawyers of color grew less than 3% in the past ten years, from 11.4% of all lawyers in 2010 to 14.1% of all lawyers in 2020.
Gracie Escamilla, a rising senior studying political science at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles, is one of the participants of this year’s Prelaw Fellowship Program. Escamilla grew up in Las Vegas and said she is looking forward to networking opportunities.
“Because I attend college outside of Las Vegas, I feel disconnected from the community,” she said. “One of my big goals through the program is to network with people who work in Las Vegas and students from Boyd because I want to work and go to law school here.”
The Justice Douglas Prelaw Fellowship Program, currently in its third year and welcoming its fourth cohort, offers undergraduate students a week-long immersive educational experience on the UNLV campus with simulated law school classes, networking opportunities with legal professionals and peer-to-peer advice from current law school students. The agenda will also include practical training, such as how to save money for law school, how to apply for scholarships and financial aid, how to prepare for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and what college courses to take to best prepare for law school.
Sarah Llausas, a participant of the 2022 fellowship program, is currently working for the Clark County Public Defender’s office and is studying to take the LSAT exam this fall. Llausas, a graduate of Nevada State College, said the program allowed her to see what a career in law would like.
“The fellowship secured my passion into studying the law,” she said. “It made me want to go to law school even more.”
The program is named after the Hon. Michael L. Douglas, the state’s first African-American Supreme Court Justice, who was appointed to the Nevada Supreme Court in March 2004, and was then elected to the state’s highest court three times. He served as chief justice in 2011 and 2018, and retired earlier this year. Justice Douglas, a native of Los Angeles, came to Las Vegas in 1982 from Philadelphia, where he had been working as a private attorney. His Nevada career began as an attorney with Nevada Legal Services in 1982. Two years later he was hired by the Clark County District Attorney’s Office and served in the Civil Division until 1995. In 1996, he was appointed to the Eighth Judicial District Court. He took this office and was retained in an election later that year, serving until his appointment to the Supreme Court.