Pipeline Program’s First Cohort Begins Journey

A class of 30 undergraduate students and recent college graduates met for the first time in Townes Hall on June 4 to begin a year-long law school admissions journey together. Together they are the premier Cohort Program class of Texas Law’s new Pipeline Program.

Cohort students are current-cycle law school applicants who will benefit from admissions support and LSAT preparation. In their orientation weekend, they got to know one another, met attorneys from our generous founding sponsor Vinson & Elkins, and learned about topics like LSAT preparation, growth mindset, and networking.

“We are so proud to introduce these exceptional leaders, scholars, advocates, and community members,” said Nicole Simmons, Director of Pipeline Outreach and Development. “I am thrilled that they have decided to pursue a career in law, and I look forward to welcoming them into the profession in a few short years.”

Meet the Cohort Program Class of 2023:

Gbemisola Akala, Esha Ali, Dariel Arostegui, Precious Azagba, Yuri Gissel Barragan, Sandy Estefania Romero Capetillo, Rebecca Gutierrez, Daisy Hernandez, Phoebe James, Daisy Lopez, Viviana Luna, Leslie Medina, Ximena Mondragon, Sondos Moursy, Juan Negrete, Cheyenne Perez-Bailey, Angelina Ramirez, Daniela Ramos, Juana Anaya Rico, Salahudeen Robinson, Sumaya Siddiqui, Kolby Tate, Mariana Tejada, Laura Tenorio, Ashley Thompson, Sabrina Tsegai, Jacquelyne Valladares, Talina Vasquez, Jenifer Velazquez, and D’Andre Watson.

Cohort members shared a variety of reasons behind their law school goals.

“As a first-generation immigrant, I was blessed to attend a school with legal resources for underprivileged families,” shared Precious Azagba. “Unfortunately, this is not the norm. I want to be in the perfect position to help my community like those before me did.”

Portrait of Azagba
Portrait of Ramirez

Angelina Ramírez said, “I decided to pursue a legal education because I can advocate for others by helping them navigate the complex legal system that shapes their lives. Inspired by the advocates before me, I wish to acquire the necessary tools to ask questions, seek answers, and make precedents on critical human rights issues.”

According to Salahudeen Robinson, “It is what I was born to do. My grandfather gave me the nickname “The Judge,” as a newborn because he felt I resembled the legendary Thurgood Marshall. Whether or not that was actually the case, my infatuation with the law has continued to grow since that moment.”

Portrait of Robinson
Portrait of Tsegai

Sabrine Tsegai is motivated by a personal experience. “When I was nine years old, I witnessed my uncles being imprisoned in Eritrea due to believing in a faith the government did not believe in. It shocked me as an American that rights we believe to be inalienable can be infringed upon in other countries. It is through that experience that opened my eyes to the amount of injustice present in the world and I would like to be an advocate to uplift the voices of those that have been silenced.”

Cohort members will attend three additional in-person academies that will be held over the next 10 months that will provide admissions coaching, opportunities for cohort members to reflect on the admissions cycle, and time to develop relationships with one another. In addition, members will participate in an online LSAT preparation course.

The Pipeline Program is a long-term initiative which was designed to create a support network of aspiring lawyers from underrepresented backgrounds in the legal profession, in order to make the law school and the legal profession more inclusive. The program was made possible in part thanks to its founding sponsor Vinson & Elkins law firm, and its first partner sponsor, law firm Greenberg Traurig.

Law firms looking to support aspiring lawyers in the Pipeline Program can contact Elizabeth Hundt at elizabeth.hundt@law.utexas.edu.

View Photos from the Orientation:

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Category: Law School News