Legal Education Opportunity (LEO) Program
About the LEO Program
Since 1977, the Legal Education Opportunities (LEO) program at Seton Hall Law has provided unique opportunities for law school students to secure an equal legal education and see academic success with the support of preparatory programs, financial assistance and professional development resources. LEO students from nontraditional backgrounds have gone on to become State and Federal judges; Partners and Associates at major law firms; high ranking governmental officials and advisors; and leaders in business and industry. Seton Hall is committed to supporting students throughout their law school journey, and recognizes that traditional admissions criteria (such as Law School Admission Test [LSAT]) scores and undergraduate grade point average (UGPA) can limit students’ ability to showcase their academic, professional and personal talents and potential. The LEO program provides an inclusive platform to set aspiring legal professionals up for success early on in their careers.
Preparing for Law School
The LEO Program consists of a full-time, two-week summer program during which participants attend both classes covering material from regular first-year core courses, and workshops on critical skill development and adjusting to law school. These classes and workshops are taught by law school faculty, administrators and other professionals. The Institute is designed to give you a running start on developing skills and techniques for approaching the study of law. The program typically runs from August 1 through August 15, after regular classes begin. Note: The Institute will require your full-time commitment. Students who will be relocating to the New York – New Jersey area for attendance in the Institute are encouraged to contact our Student Services Department for assistance with your housing search.
Upon fulfillment of LEO program requirements, students join the Law School as full-time students with a reduced course load.
Your First Year
During the first year, LEO students take a one-credit course, Introduction to Legal Analysis and Methods. Through this course, students learn the fundamentals of legal analysis to better prepare them to understand and apply doctrine and craft legal arguments. You’ll learn how to synthesize legal principles and discussions and be exposed to tools and strategies for effective learning and practice as a lawyer. After completing this course, you can continue to take advantage of offerings through the Academic Success Program.
Seton Hall’s Academic Success Program helps you continue your skills development, where instructors assist you in outline preparation and further guidance as you approach exams. The structure of the program is based upon many years of experience in helping students succeed in law school and pass the bar exam. Once regular classes begin, you (along with other students selected for this program) will be enrolled on a full-time, reduced load basis. This enrollment, in conjunction with mandatory participation in Skills & Methods I and II during the fall and spring semesters, will enhance your educational experience and prospects for success.
Meeting Your Financial Needs
Seton Hall offers the LEO summer program and the Academic Success Program at no cost. Students with demonstrated financial need are awarded an annually-renewable $10,000 grant towards tuition and fees through The LEO Scholarship, Kaplen Foundation Scholarship, LeClairRyan LEO Scholarship, ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund or The LEO Alumni Scholarship. Students enrolled through LEO are also eligible for additional financial support through various other grants, loans and scholarships, such as the Clyde Ferguson Minority Law Scholarship, the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) Grant administered by Professor Saunders, and the Thurgood Marshall Fellowship Program, funded through the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.