LLI is offered free of charge to students from targeted underrepresented populations. While some of the programming will be offered through ISBA volunteers, the program needs your help to defray the costs of housing, food, and transportation for the students. Please consider joining our partnership at one of the sponsorship levels outlined in the following brochures.
Application Deadline - Rolling Admission until filled
The Law & Leadership Institute (“the LLI”) is a legal immersion program, with a curriculum that includes fun and educational activities and exercises centered on the legal profession. The two current programs in Illinois were spearheaded by the ISBA Diversity Pipeline committee and will be hosted by the Southern Illinois University School of Law in Carbondale and the John Marshall Law School in Chicago. The downstate program is a one week residential program running from Sunday, June 23 through Saturday, June 29. The Chicago commuter program will be held from Monday, July 22-Friday, August 9. Both programs will conclude with closing activities in which the participant’s family is welcome to attend. The LLI involves a combination of classroom lectures, logic and critical thinking exercises, writing and oral advocacy instruction, guest speakers, and field trips to area law firms, government offices and courthouses. Many ISBA members participate as program speakers and activity sponsors. Students who participate in the LLI will:
Recognizing that the involvement of adult role models is critical to a student’s educational success, each program’s closing activities will include a component teaching parents/guardians/mentors the steps involved in helping students navigate the process of taking standardized tests, applying to college, exploring financial aid and working toward the ultimate goal of attending law school.
The ISBA/JTBF Law & Leadership Institute (LLI) is a statewide initiative to assist students from minority, ethnic, and other groups who are currently underrepresented in the legal professions achieve academic success and aspire to a career in the law. Open to students entering the 9th or 10th grades, the program seeks to increase academic achievements by exposing students to interesting aspects of the law and a variety of legal careers. Delivered in a highly interactive environment, the program also seeks to help participants sharpen the critical reading, writing, oral advocacy, and leadership skills necessary for success in high school, college and beyond.
LLI is a collaborative partnership between Just The Beginning Foundation (JTBF) and the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA), two organizations long committed to increasing diversity in the legal profession. Founded in the early 1990s, JTBF’s mission is to inspire interest in legal careers among young people from various socioeconomic, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds that are currently underrepresented in the legal profession. Similarly, the ISBA views diversity as an integral part of its longstanding commitment to improving the profession and expanding access to justice. JTBF has hosted a Summer Legal Institute as part of its programming in Chicago for many years, and the ISBA launched LLI as a pilot program in June 2011 to make similar programming available to additional participants. By combining their efforts, JTBF and the ISBA hope to make LLI a permanent fixture offering its benefits to a wider community.
"I think this program is great, not just for future lawyers but many others who may have an interest in another field.The Law and Leadership program was such a great experience and I loved having extra fun activities to do."
"Visiting various firms was an eye-opening experience and my favorite part of the program."
"I truly enjoyed this entire program and felt honored to be a part of it."
Initially offered as a three-week commuter program at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, LLI will expand to the Southern Illinois University School of Law as an overnight residential program in 2012, giving downstate students the opportunity to taste the full flavor of living and learning on a college campus. LLI’s academic schedule will introduce students to topics ranging from the profession of law, leadership, problem solving, writing, oral advocacy and citizenship. By assigning students “homework” in the dorms and taking advantage of SIU’s “Team Building” course and other campus amenities, the residential program will also help students develop effective study habits, build their social skills, gain leadership skills, and promote a strong sense of confidence in their own ability to thrive in a university setting.
Diversity Pipeline programs like LLI provide a truly life-changing experience for students who may not otherwise be exposed to these opportunities. The program helps them envision a rewarding legal career on their horizon and traverse the educational pipeline into that career – or a host of other careers – through which they can enrich their own lives, communities and the lives of others
LLI is offered free of charge to students from targeted underrepresented populations. While some of the programming will be offered through ISBA volunteers, the program needs your help to defray the costs of housing, food, and transportation for the students. Please consider joining our partnership at one of the sponsorship levels.