In an effort to address the underrepresentation of attorneys among people of color across the country, officials with the N.C. Central University School of Law announced on Wednesday that the school has been awarded a grant to help prepare disadvantaged applicants for admission to their program.

The law school has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Law School Admission Council with the aim of providing “historically underrepresented aspiring lawyers the tools needed to navigate the law school admission process and for continued success as law students,” officials said in a press release.

The goal of the initiative, known as Preparing Aspiring Law Students (PALS) Program, is to assist first-generation college students and students who are economically disadvantaged with successfully gaining admission into law school, according to the release.

“We’re excited and grateful to the Law School Admission Council for the opportunity to offer a Pre-Law Undergraduate Program at NC Central University,” NCCU School of Law Dean Browne C. Lewis said in the release. “This is a chance for the Law School to contribute to the lives of aspiring law students and a way for those students to enrich the life of our Law School.”

Law school officials at the historically Black university point to a recent American Bar Foundation study that found that for the country’s law school student population in 2019, Black Americans accounted for nearly eight percent. Hispanics comprised just under 13 percent and Asians, just over six percent.

NCCU will work closely with the state’s 10 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, the only state-designated historically American Indian university. 

PALS will target 30 selected students, who will be assisted with “key information to complete the law school admission process successfully,” according to the release.

The students “will also learn essential strategies to become financially, psychologically and academically prepared for law school,” law school officials stated in the release.

For more information about the program and to apply, visit the N.C. Central law school’s website

Support independent local journalism. Join the INDY Press Club to help us keep fearless watchdog reporting and essential arts and culture coverage viable in the Triangle. 

Follow Durham Staff Writer Thomasi McDonald on Twitter or send an email to