What is CLEO
In 1968, the Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO) was founded as a non-profit project of the ABA Fund for Justice and Education to expand opportunities for minority and low-income students to attend law school. In 1998, Congress passed the Higher Education Amendments Act, creating the Thurgood Marshall Legal Educational Opportunity Program, which they deemed be administered by CLEO.
CLEO is committed to diversifying the legal profession by expanding legal education opportunities to minority, low-income and disadvantaged groups. Since its inception, more than 8,000 students have participated in CLEO's pre-law and law school academic support programs, successfully matriculated through law school, passed the bar exam and joined the legal profession. CLEO alumni, many who had less than traditional academic indicators of success, yet were given an opportunity to attend law school, are represented in every area of society, including: private law firms and corporations, law schools, federal and state judiciaries, and legislatures across the country. The influence of CLEO alumni in the legal profession, in particular and throughout the country in general, is an indication of the important role CLEO has played in helping to provide a voice to underrepresented groups.
The CLEO Governing Council is comprised of representatives from national bar associations and law school professional organizations, including the: American Bar Association, Hispanic National Bar Association, Law School Admission Council, National Asian and Pacific American Bar Association, National Bar Association, National Native American Bar Association, Association of American Law Schools and Society of American Law Teachers. In addition, more than 140 ABA-accredited law schools are members of the annual CLEO Consortium on Diversity in Legal Education.
To ensure the success of students who participate in the CLEO Program as well as accomplish its mission to diversify the legal profession, CLEO provides placement assistance, academic support and counseling, financial assistance, bar prep orientation, online tutoring programs and weekend seminars and workshops. The seminars and workshops generally address the continuing need for legal services to under-served and low-income communities, and stress the importance of the students' commitment to serve those communities upon graduation. In addition, as a means of extending the legal education pipeline, CLEO also provides training and workshops to college students who are interested in attending law school and pursuing a career in the legal profession.
Interested Pre-law Students
Who Is Eligible: College students or graduates interested in attending law school.
CLEO/Thurgood Marshall College Scholars Program
Who Is Eligible: Freshmen, sophomores or juniors interested in attending law school.
Sophomore Summer Institute (SSI)
Who Is Eligible: College students who have earned between 45 and 72 credit hours.
Who Is Eligible: Juniors who have participated in CLEO College Scholars programs or the Sophomore Summer Institute.
The CLEO Six-Week Summer Institute
Who Is Eligible: Graduating seniors or graduates who plan to attend law school in the fall.
Achieving Success In The Application Process (ASAP)
Who Is Eligible: College juniors, seniors and post-graduates who plan to apply to law school.
Attitude Is Essential (AIE)
Who Is Eligible: College graduates who have been accepted into an ABA-accredited law school.