NJ Law and Education Empowerment Project
NJ LEEP was founded 2006, in Partnership with Seton Hall Law, by Craig Livermore, J.D. and Legal Outreach Founder and Executive Director, James O’Neal, J.D. Since 2014, the Executive Director of NJ LEEP has been Matthew Feinstein, '09.
As the center of our early education Pipeline Program, NJ LEEP is a multifaceted program that exposes inner-city youth to careers in the law and facilitates four-year college and university admission. NJ LEEP empowers urban youth from underserved neighborhoods in northern New Jersey to perform at high academic levels by building skills through law-related, mathematic, and other educational programs; developing the habits necessary for lasting success and community leadership; and offering exposure to role models who have achieved academic and professional success. NJ LEEP staff and instructors are trained extensively in a high expectations student-centered pedagogical approach. NJ LEEP is an integral part of the Seton Hall Law pipeline diversity effort, dedicated to increasing diversity in the legal profession by exposing minority youth to legal study and skill building at a young age. There is no cost to NJ LEEP participants.
The Summer Law Institute
The Summer Law Institute runs five weeks at Seton Hall Law during the summer (9:00am-4:00pm, five days a week). Students are taught criminal law and criminal trial process by NJ LEEP staff members. They also learn about the legal profession from practicing attorneys and law professors who serve as guest speakers. Students also take part in skills workshops and skills assessment exams, field trips to various courthouses and legal offices, and a mock trial competition overseen by sitting judges.
The Summer Law Institute program culminates in a three-day mock trial competition at the federal Martin Luther King, Jr. courthouse in Newark.
Students that successfully complete the Summer Law Institute are invited to enroll in the NJ LEEP College Bound Program. On average, 40 students per year are accepted into the College Bound Program.
The College Bound Program
The College Bound Program consists of numerous programs geared towards preparing students to gain admission to competitive colleges and to succeed in college. Students in the program make a serious commitment to their future. The workload is arduous and expectations are high, but the support is commensurate, and, as program history has shown, so are the rewards.