A Law School That Reflects the World
Rutgers Law School is proud to be one of the nation’s most inclusive and diverse law schools in terms of our students’ race and ethnicity – over a third of our students are people of color – as well as their life experiences and life aspirations.
MSP is a nationally acclaimed and highly successful post-admissions program that serves students of any race or ethnicity who are members of groups that are underrepresented in the legal profession, and who have faced discrimination or overcome social and economic hardships. The program takes a proactive approach to help students to succeed in law school by offering legal skills development, academic support, alumni mentoring and networking, internships and other opportunities.
This program has been a leading force in diversifying both legal education and the legal profession. Originally geared toward students of color, it is now open to any student who can demonstrate a history of socioeconomic or educational disadvantage.
To make a donation to the Rutgers Law School Minority Student Program, click on this Donation Link. In the box marked "Other" write in: Minority Student Program Alumni Endowment Fund, Account 600000.
MSP provides its students with various academic and professional programs designed to enhance the law school experience, create employment and internship opportunities, and establish relationships with alumni.
Our locations in two metropolitan areas also play an essential role in helping our students understand the issues confronting a wide range of individuals in need of legal services through our extensive clinical and pro bono programs.
- Summer Orientation Program
- Legal Skills Study Group
- Summer Internship Program
- Our Accomplished Graduates
This two-week program in August is designed to provide entering MSP students with a foundation for the study of law. Students are exposed to fundamental lawyering skills, such as the Socratic method of teaching (case analysis), briefing cases, and legal research and writing. Upper-class students and alumni participate during the orientation program in workshops and discussion groups on how to prepare successfully for the first year of law school.
First-year MSP students develop their analytical and exam-writing skills through mandatory collaborative study. Each MSP student participates in a study group facilitated by an upper-class student assigned as a Teaching Fellow. Teaching Fellows work under the supervision of the faculty and the MSP Dean.
Real-world exposure to advocacy is gained through paid stipends with participating employers that include major New Jersey law firms, government agencies, and public interest organizations. Summer internship positions can lead to school-year, summer, and permanent jobs. Positions are earned through an application process based on transcripts, references, writing samples, interviews, and employer review.
Prompted by the unrest in Newark and other major U.S. cities in the summer of 1967, the law school undertook a searching examination of its roles and responsibilities as a legal institution within a declining urban community. As a consequence, the faculty voted to create the Minority Student Program (MSP), with the goal of enrolling substantial numbers of students from historically underrepresented groups in the expectation that they would enrich the educational experience and become lawyers who would help provide legal representation and leadership in their communities. In 2016, Camden will welcome its first MSP class.
“MSP alums are a testament to how successful the program has been in helping diverse students enter into the practice of law. After having interned at a major New Jersey firm, I now see the difficulties a minority may face, not only getting his/her foot in the door, but to remain there, and thrive in this competitive environment. MSP was my key to opening this door, and I am so thankful for the opportunity. I hope to follow in the footsteps of all the successful alums, and continue the program's legacy by extending a helping hand to the next generation of MSP students.” Sophie Vo ‘18
“When you consider that many of us would not be where we are today without the support that we received from the MSP, I feel that it is nothing short of our duty to give back to the current MSP students. My hope is that the students we help will, in turn, come to help other students behind them. To me, that’s what MSP is all about.” Conway Ekpo ’07, Hogan Lovells LLP
" Law school was a life-changing experience. It meant everything to me. The supportive environment of the MSP gave me the confidence and the skills to make a difference. I am forever grateful to the MSP and to the faculty who created it." Zulima Farber '74, Partner, Lowenstein Sandler PC
"By looking beyond traditional indicators of success, the MSP gave me the opportunity to study law under leading scholars who were also committed to social justice. I am indebted to this visionary group of faculty members and administrators who had the courage and conviction to make this program a reality." Hon. Jose. L. Fuentes '82, Appellate Division, New Jersey Superior Court
Rutgers Law School graduates who participated in the MSP represent every spectrum of the profession. MSP graduates have been and are judges, members of the U.S. Congress and the New Jersey Legislature, presidential and gubernatorial appointees, law professors and administrators, mayors of towns and cities, agency commissioners, and prominent members of the bar in public and private practice. Geographically, their locations include New Jersey, New York, Washington, D.C., Florida, and California, among many other places.
Alumni regularly participate in MSP events and activities, and continue to support the law school community to ensure that Rutgers remains an extraordinary environment for producing lawyers dedicated to social justice and excellence in the profession.
In reflecting on their careers, many prominent graduates readily credit the MSP for their professional achievements.