Legal Education Opportunity

About the Legal Education Opportunity Program

Since 1977, the Legal Education Opportunity (LEO) program at Seton Hall Law has provided a pathway and transition to law school for students, including those from historically underrepresented communities, who have overcome hardships and show great promise as future lawyers. To be eligible for admission to the LEO Program, students must demonstrate resiliency and perseverance in the face of social, economic, or educational challenges, or other hardships. LEO Fellows bring talent, determination, compassion, and leadership skills to the Seton Hall Law School community.

The program provides LEO Fellows with mentoring opportunities, academic enrichment, and a support network of students, faculty, administrators, and alumni for personal and professional growth.

LEO alumni have pursued successful careers throughout the legal profession, making their mark as state and federal judges, partners and associates at major law firms, high ranking governmental officials and advisors, leaders in business and industry and advocates in the non-profit and public interest sectors. 

The LEO Fellow Experience

Preparing for Law School

Fellows admitted to the LEO program are required to attend the LEO Summer Institute, a two-week, skills-building program that provides Fellows with an opportunity to jump start their transition to law school.

The pre-orientation institute introduces LEO Fellows to legal doctrine, analysis, and skills. Students also address ways to overcome stereotype threat, implicit bias, and other potential obstacles to success.  The summer program exposes students to professional paths and provides an early opportunity to build community in the law school.

Classes and workshops during the Summer Institute are taught by Law School faculty, administrators and other professionals. The Institute typically runs from August 1 through August 15, before classes begin, and is full-time. LEO Fellows 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.

Your First Year

During the first year, LEO Fellows take a one-credit course, Introduction to Legal Analysis and Methods. Fellows learn the fundamentals of legal analysis to better prepare them to understand and apply doctrine and craft legal arguments. This includes learning how to synthesize legal principles and gaining facility with the tools and strategies for effective learning and practice as a lawyer. After completing this course, Fellows can continue to take advantage of offerings through the Academic Success Program. Additionally, the LEO Director provides informal mentorship and support.

2L Year through the Bar Exam

LEO Fellows are offered ongoing support through Seton Hall Law’s Academic Success Program. This non-credit program helps Fellows continue to hone skills development through a series of workshops. Instructors provide guidance on preparing effective outlines and the best approaches to exam preparation.  These resources aim to help upper level students achieve their academic goals and best position students for success throughout law school and beyond.

Meeting Your Financial Needs

There is no additional fee to become a LEO Fellow. Seton Hall Law offers the Legal Education Opportunity Summer Institute and the Academic Success Program at no cost.

Scholarships. Fellows with demonstrated financial need are awarded an annually-renewable grant towards tuition and fees in the amount of $15,000 for full-time students and $11,000 for weekend students. Scholarships are renewed based on the achievement of satisfactory academic progress and continued financial need.

Financial Aid. Fellows will need to meet all JD program payment obligations in accordance with standard payment and financial aid requirements.  In order for a determination of financial need to be made, LEO applicants must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) no later than April 1st.

Find out if you meet the LEO Program eligibility requirements.