With the aid of a generous $10,000 diversity grant from The Shook Foundation, the UMKC School of Law will be able to extend their support for diverse students who are preparing for the LSAT and the Bar Examination. The law school will now be able to further assist diverse students with their study and career development. UMKC School of Law and Get Smarter Prep are partnering to offering LSAT preparation courses and the grant will also fund scholarships for the UMKC Bar Prep Program.

The LSAT Preparation Course is a uniquely designed collaborative effort between the UMKC School of Law and Get Smarter Prep, a Kansas City based test preparation service. This program takes the format of a six-week session, leading up to the individual test date and offers two full-length practice tests. It has been proven that LSAT scores are significant for student admissions, scholarship support and mindset. These prep class scholarships are intended to support students from diverse backgrounds who are underrepresented in the field of law with the aim to diversify the Kansas City legal community.

Starting this year, UMKC School of Law, in partnership with Get Smarter Prep, is able to offer several scholarships for upcoming LSAT preparatory courses, thanks to the generous grant from The Shook Foundation. This scholarship is available for courses corresponding to the February LSAT and the June LSAT exams. Anyone can apply, but in addition, the law school will be identifying previously unsuccessful law applicants (who otherwise qualified) whom would benefit significantly from an improved LSAT score. The law school will also initiate interaction with qualifying students from the region by extending invitations to apply for the scholarship.

From now until December 11, 2017, students can apply for support on the February LSAT prep class. Applications for the June LSAT prep class is open until April 9, 2017.

These offerings are not new for the School of Law, but the programs are only continuing due to The Shook Foundation’s generosity. For many years, the School of Law has provided support for students from diverse backgrounds for the LSAT and the bar examination. For these students, exam preparation support is even more critical than for most students. Yet, the enrollment cost of these programs are not covered by financial aid and it is beyond the law school’s capability to cover the cost. The grant will allow scholarships to cover the exam preparation course expenses.

Since 2003, Professor Wanda Temm, author of Clearing the Last Hurdle: Mapping Success on the Bar Exam, has taught the UMKC Bar Prep Program that prepares students for the bar exam; they consistently out-perform their incoming academic predictors. In addition to funding scholarships for the LSAT preparation courses, part of the grant will be used to fund scholarships for participants in the UMKC Bar Prep Program. The bar examination is critical for professional success and costs can run high (most well over $1,000). The Shook Foundation Scholarship for the UMKC Bar Prep Program will encourage more diverse students to enroll and participate in bar preparation and result in more diverse students passing the exam.

The School of Law appreciates its strong partnership with The Shook Foundation and looks forward to continued collaborations. Diversity and inclusion are core values of the School of Law and a central part of its mission, and the law school knows that these scholarships will make an immense difference in students’ lives.