General Policies Governing Events Subsidized by LSAC
Purpose of Grants
LSAC's Board of Trustees has made available funds to support cooperative outreach and applicant-pool expansion events. These grants are designed to encourage law schools to work together to promote legal education.
At least three LSAC-member schools must work together on each event. Law schools may also work in cooperation with undergraduate prelaw advising offices, bar associations, and others in arranging events. The grant application process can be initiated by either a law school representative or a prelaw advisor in cooperation with one or more law school representatives.
Types of Events
Examples of eligible events: law fairs, conferences, workshops, or other events that are a combination of these types.
An example of an event might include a keynote address, speaker panels, and small-group workshops dedicated to providing information on legal education and/or the profession. Each school takes on part of the responsibility for organizing the event; for example, one law school makes site arrangements, another contacts panelists and obtains a keynote speaker, still another collects and prepares materials, and another arranges publicity.
If a regional program is planned, the region can be as small as a city or as large as a state or group of states. In addition to regional groupings, schools may hold events by affinity groups, such as:
- schools having evening or part-time programs;
- schools sharing religious affiliation;
- schools offering particular specialties (International Law, Environmental Law, etc.); or
- other groups as they may arise.
Schools located in the geographical area of the event that have not been included in the group holding the event are to be notified about the program in advance.
General: The program should be general in nature and not promote one school over another. If a law fair or event where prospective students may talk with individual schools is featured, only a portion of the total program should be devoted to this activity. Program speakers should represent the highest standards of the legal community.
- Identifies and serves an underserved region (an area with a substantial number of potential applicants to member schools as measured by test registration or other data not currently served by an LSAC forum). Grant applicants should include data about the region including the nearest LSAC forum, other prelaw events typically hosted in the area, and other relevant data.
- Events must be free to candidates and open to the public.
- Events must provide a direct service to candidates (it must be intended to be an event for candidates).
- Events must not be intended nor designed to generate revenue for any school or other organization.
- Events must include an invitation for participation of at least 30 schools.
- If the number of member schools that can participate is limited in any way, a grant application must clearly state the policy that will be used to determine which schools will be invited and/or allowed to participate.
- Non-LSAC-member schools are not eligible to apply for, nor participate in, the event.
Recommended Elements (factors which may be considered, but are not required)
- Events that include both a law fair component AND an educational component to enhance candidates overall knowledge of the law school application process and/or the benefits of a legal education.
- Events that have some plan for the involvement of prelaw advisors.
- Events that are open to member schools to the greatest extent that is reasonable or possible.
- Events that minimize the participation costs to law school participants. (Grant applicants should indicate the anticipated or historical number of law schools participating and whether they plan to charge a participation fee for other schools and what that fee would be.)
Application and Review Timeline
Grant applications may be submitted at any time; however, there is a priority grant application deadline of April 1. Applications should be received by April 1 for any event scheduled to take place during the following fiscal year (July 1–June 30). Complete applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until funds are exhausted.
Proposals should be received at least three months in advance of the event.
Decisions on grant proposals will be made by the LSAC Chair, the LSAC Executive Director, and the Chair of LSAC's Services and Programs Committee.
An application must describe the program purpose and content, date, time, site, speakers, and budget for your event. You must submit your application via the LSAC Outreach Grant Application Form. Before you begin, LSAC strongly recommends that you gather the information required (PDF) to complete your application.
Grants up to $10,000 per event are available to cover some of the expenses of the event.
In general, an event approved for $10,000 would likely allow 90+ member schools to participate in some way (e.g., hold a large law fair). An event that supported the participation of 60–90 schools might qualify for funding of approximately $5,000, and an event of 30–60 member schools might qualify for funding of $3,000. (These guidelines are not absolute; rather, they are intended to give those applying for the grant a general sense of reasonable expectations for funding requests.)
A budget for the program and for the funds requested (advertising, transportation, telephone outreach, materials, etc.) must be provided.
The following are examples of acceptable expenses: space/venue rental, tables, food and nonalcoholic beverages, support for the participation of prelaw advisors (such as covering their parking), advertising, transportation for students, Internet in the event room if required for programming, and promotional expenses.
Promotional expenses are included because costs for publicizing the event in local media often fall outside of the range of funds available, and the success of such events will depend on attracting an audience large enough to justify the effort.
The following will NEVER be covered by an LSAC Outreach Grant: alcohol, law school representative travel expenses (hotels, airfare, etc.), salaries, or compensation for law school personnel.
Distribution of Grant Funds
Upon approval of the grant application, LSAC will provide 50 percent of the grant award to assist with planning costs (e.g., space rental, deposits, etc.). The second 50 percent of the grant will be distributed upon receipt of the required Evaluation Form and documentation (receipts, etc.). If the event costs less than anticipated, the amount distributed in the second payment will not exceed actual documented event expenses. For example, a group of schools requests and is approved for a $5,000 Outreach Grant. LSAC provides $2,500 in advance of the event. The schools then submit the required Postevent Evaluation Form and documentation. The event actually costs only $4,800. LSAC will provide the additional $2,300 in Outreach Grant funds.
For the purposes of grant distributions, it is necessary for one school to be the designee and receive the grant funding.
The Postevent Evaluation Form and related documentation is required and must be submitted before the second half of the grant funding will be distributed.
A copy of the program materials must be filed with LSAC, and LSAC retains the right to reproduce the materials.
Events for which LSAC provides an Outreach Grant should include the following statement on their electronic, print, and other publicity-related materials: "Support for this event provided by an LSAC Outreach Grant."
If names of attendees are collected, they should be protected from use for any commercial purposes.
For further information about LSAC Outreach Grants, please contact:
Executive Director for Education, Prelaw Programs, and Member Support Services