Academic Enhancement Program (AEP)

From its beginnings as a night school in Portland, Oregon, Lewis & Clark Law School has valued diversity. We firmly believe that our community must reflect the diversity in society to best provide for participants’ intellectual and professional growth. The earliest student bodies included plumbers and corporate executives, teachers and homemakers, recent college graduates and students working on second or third careers. Ethnic diversity adds to this mix, providing a more complete setting for students and faculty to study law.

We have historically worked hard to spread the word among the nation’s future ethnic minority law students that Lewis & Clark Law School offers a welcoming academic atmosphere. In the 1970s the law school decided to take a more active role in diversifying the student body and the legal field. At that time the school began a program now known as the Academic Enhancement Program (AEP). The program was established in order to bridge cultural differences that may exist between ethnic minority law students and the legal academic and professional communities, and to address academic issues before and during law school. AEP has since evolved to include students who are not members of an ethnic minority but who may have experienced cultural or socioeconomic barriers to education.

Although statistical indicators are a powerful tool in sorting through the pool of law school applicants, statistics alone do not always predict the potential for success in law school. Factors such as writing ability, life experience, cultural background, and a track record of dealing successfully with life’s challenges may also combine to indicate the potential to succeed in legal studies. Each year the law school invites all admitted students to apply for the Academic Enhancement Program. Space in the program is limited. To help us identify students who would best benefit from participating in the program, AEP applicants may want to address factors mentioned above in your personal statement and in your AEP application. You may also include economic hardship and financial pressures that have influenced life decisions and events.

The Academic Enhancement Program offers various support to participants, including:

  • Summer Institute (eight-day program offered in mid-August to incoming first-year students as an introduction and orientation to law school)
  • Skill-building & centering sessions offered throughout the first year
  • Student teaching assistants in first-year courses
  • Bar Passage program (eight-week program offered to graduates)

For further information you may contact:

Office of Admissions
Lewis & Clark Law School
10015 S.W. Terwilliger Blvd.
Portland, Oregon 97219-7799
Phone: 503-768-6613
Fax: 503-768-6793