B-CU Partners with Arizona Summit Law
Arizona Summit Law School (Summit) and Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) will work together to address the lack of diversity in the legal profession. The partnership will focus initially on increasing the number of HBCU graduates who attend and successfully complete the law school process and are prepared for admission to the practice of law. To launch the partnership, Summit and B-CU will invest an unprecedented $12.5M in full scholarships and provide living assistance for qualified students from B-CU and other HBCUs. Summit will accept its first class of students this fall from B-CU.
“Summit is an ideal partner because of its complementary mission and commitment to addressing important but unmet social needs. Summit offers students a strong practical legal education, which readies them for the practice of law,” says President Edison Jackson. “B-CU is honored to participate in a partnership that will afford its graduates, and students who have long desired to attend law school, this wonderful opportunity.” Even as the nation’s population becomes increasingly more diverse, diversity in legal education and the legal profession has not kept pace with changing demographics. With an expected 100 scholarships annually, the magnitude of the schools’ investment evidences a seriousness of purpose for disrupting a history of exclusion that persists. It also aims to reduce the cost of a legal education that otherwise is a significant deterrent for many who desire to pursue a law degree.
Summit President Donald Lively stated, “We have long admired B-CU for its historic legacy as established through the visionary work of its founder, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune. B-CU has set itself apart on the basis of innovation, forward thinking, financial strength, and capacity for developing leaders who will shape the direction of their communities, our nation, and the world.” To support the success of the jointly administered scholarship program for graduates of B-CU and other HBCU’s, Summit and B-CU will establish a pre-law institute that will prepare undergraduate students for success in law school, develop an intensive program that readies students for the LSAT, create a Three-Three Accelerated Legal Scholars Program that will enable qualified students to earn their undergraduate and law degrees in six rather than seven years, and work toward creating joint graduate degree programs.
As the success of these programs unfold, the parties will explore other areas through which the two institutions can collaborate. “We are particularly excited to be a part of expanding B-CUs presence into a region of the country previously unoccupied by an HBCU,” says President Lively.
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About Bethune Cookman University:
Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement. B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000. For more information, visit www.cookman.edu.