Bernadette with students.

Vice Dean for Student Affairs Bernadette Gargano (center) with our 2018 Discover Law Scholars.

About the Program

The Discover Law Undergraduate Scholars Program at the University at Buffalo School of Law is a four-week residential summer program for 20 academically promising college students who have completed their freshman or sophomore year, but who will not begin their junior year before the end of the program. Preference is given to students of color and first-generation college students.

As a regional program, primary consideration will be given to western and central New York residents as well as students in northeastern Pennsylvania and eastern New York. However, if you do not live in these areas, your application will still be considered and you are encouraged to apply.

Academically promising students have a GPA of 3.0 or above. However, the selection committee will give favorable consideration to students who can demonstrate a record of academic achievement despite economic challenges, social or cultural disadvantages, linguistic barriers, or extraordinary family or personal responsibilities. Selection will also take into account exceptional personal talents, interesting or demanding work or service experience, rigorousness of undergraduate course of study, leadership potential and the ability to communicate effectively.

Application Instructions

Students must submit a completed application package, which will include:

  1. Background information,
  2. A personal statement of their interest in the Discover Law Scholars Program,
  3. An official transcript,
  4. One letter of recommendation (up to 3 letters accepted, only one is required)
  5. A resume.

Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Completed applications will be reviewed for selection immediately after the application deadline.

Learning Outcomes

Through the program, participating students will:

  1. Enhance their critical thinking, reading and analytical skills in core academic classes specifically designed for those purposes.
  2. Develop their writing and oral advocacy skills in classes and feedback in Legal Analysis, Writing and Research, and Fundamentals of Writing. They will also complete the program with a greater understanding of the rigors and discipline required to succeed in law school, through daily class attendance, assignments, and feedback from faculty and instructors.
  3. Cultivate test taking skills that will help them prepare for the LSAT through program classes addressing these issues. They will also learn to navigate the law school admissions process through classes designed to teach them how to strengthen their candidacy for law school and manage the application process.
  4. Become aware of the value of a legal education, the traditional and non-traditional career paths available, and the vital contributions they can make to society with a law degree, through speakers events and distinguished faculty lectures.
  5. Become aware of how their sense of identity and subjectivity is affected by and has an effect on access and participation in a new and unfamiliar discourse community through their critically reflective work in the ethnography seminar.