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About Us

Leadership — Building a diverse leadership pathway for the law and for our communities, providing critical thinking skills that will benefit students along the law pathway and beyond.

Access — Opening the doors to the legal profession and law-related careers for groups underrepresented in the legal profession.

Workforce — Building a diverse leadership pathway into the law leading to a more diverse and representative workforce — not only in law, but in all segments of society where lawyers and others in law-related careers contribute to the workforce.

The legal profession in California, and indeed throughout the United States,  and specifically in California, fails to reflect the state’s diversity in all areas of the population. It is our belief that this lack of diversity negatively impacts the administration of justice and the principle of “equal access under the law.” A legal system made up of lawyers who do not reflect the people they serve in gender, ethnicity, race, LGBTQ, disability and age erodes public trust and confidence in the courts and justice system, endangers fairness and equality, and opens doors to bias (both implicit and explicit). We believe it is the responsibility, and opportunity, of everyone in the legal profession to help build a profession that looks like California to ensure a justice system where all are equal under the law.

California Leadership-Access-Workforce (Cal LAW) was established under the leadership of the State Bar of California’s Council on Access and Fairness (COAF) and with support from the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) to provide a clear educational pathway for diverse students from high schools, community colleges, and four-year institutions into law schools or law-related careers. In support of this goal, Cal LAW provides the foundational structure that connects, communicates, collaborates, and coordinates the programs essential to the educational pathway for the students we serve.

Member schools of Cal LAW include the Community College Pathway to Law School (formerly the 2+2+3) initiative with 35 California community colleges. Additionally, we serve 23 high school law academies created under the California Partnership Academy model in a unique partnership between the State Bar of California and the California Department of Education (CDE). Started in 2011, high school law academies provide a 3-year curriculum starting in 10th grade with a focus on law and/or law-related careers and supported by the local legal community through advisory councils, mentoring, internships, classroom presentations, field trips, and other law-related activities. To round out the full academic journey, Cal LAW also includes 16 undergraduate universities and 15 ABA-accredited California law schools, resulting in an impactful educational pathway into the legal profession.

Our Mission

To establish a pathway of diverse students from high schools, community colleges, four-year institutions, and law schools into law or law-related careers so that the legal profession reflects the diverse population of the State of California.