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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.
What: Log on to and click on "Request More Information" to receive the CLEO Edge, a magazine for pre-law students. College freshman, sophomores, and juniors may also receive the College Scholars Road to Law School Calendar upon request.
When: At your convenience.

CLEO/Thurgood Marshall College Scholars Program

Who Is Eligible: Freshmen, sophomores or juniors interested in attending law school.
What: The Road to Law School, Sophomore Super Saturdays, Juniors Jumpstart the LSAT and Achieving Success in the Application Process pre-law seminars designed especially for undergraduate students.
Where: Various locations across the country.
When: Throughout the year.
Deadline: Varies (Log on to for deadline dates).
Cost: Free.

Sophomore Summer Institute (SSI)

Who Is Eligible: College students who have earned between 45 and 72 credit hours.
What: A four-week residential pre-law program designed to prepare students to become more competitive law school applicants.
Where: Various law schools.
When: June.
Deadline: April 1st
Cost: Free.

CLEO Ambassadors

Who Is Eligible: Juniors who have participated in CLEO College Scholars programs or the Sophomore Summer Institute.
What: CLEO Ambassadors will distribute information on their campus and receive a stipend.
Where: CLEO seeks representatives from as many campuses as possible.
When: Rising juniors may apply at the end of their sophomore year.
How: Contact the CLEO Pre-Law Coordinator at 240.582.8600.

The CLEO Six-Week Summer Institute

Who Is Eligible: Graduating seniors or graduates who plan to attend law school in the fall.
What: A six-week residential program designed to prepare participants to be more competitive law school students. Those who successfully complete the program become CLEO Fellows and may be eligible for scholarship grants during law school.
Where: Various law schools.
When: June - July.
Deadline: November 30th (early deadline) and February 1st (regular deadline).
Cost: $2,000 (includes room, board and instructional materials) (some financial assistance may be available).

Achieving Success In The Application Process (ASAP)

Who Is Eligible: College juniors, seniors and post-graduates who plan to apply to law school.
What: Intensive weekend to help participants develop the tools they need to understand the application process and become competitive law school applicants.
When: July.
Where: TBD.
Deadline: April.
Cost: Free.

Attitude Is Essential (AIE)

Who Is Eligible: College graduates who have been accepted into an ABA-accredited law school.
What: Intensive pre-law weekend designed to introduce and prepare students for the rigors of law school. Those who successfully complete the seminar become CLEO Associates.
When: July.
Where: TBD.
Deadline: May.
Cost: Free.

CLEO News Releases

Visit our other site for CLEO Fellows, Law Students & Alumni: | CLEO Blog

Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO) 1101 Mercantile Lane * Suite 294 * Largo, Maryland 20774
| ph: 240.582.8600 | fax: 240.582.8605 | email:

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