January 30, 2023

CLSJ Awarded $535,000 For A Landmark Pre-Law Program Through Allocation Secured By Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke

January 30, 2023

Contact: Imani Dawson | TCC Media | 646-389-9520 | idawson@clsj.org


CLSJ Awarded $535,000 For A Landmark Pre-Law Program Through Allocation Secured By Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke

New York, NY —Today, the Center for Law and Social Justice at Medgar Evers College (CLSJ) and Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09) announced that the center has received $534,981 to launch the Esmeralda Simmons Pre-Law Program.  

Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke secured the historic funding as part of an appropriations package that passed the House of Representatives with bipartisan support. CLSJ is one of several Brooklyn institutions in the 9th Congressional District that collectively received $17.8 million dollars due to her efforts. The money has been earmarked for the Esmeralda Simmons Pre-Law Program, which will provide legal services and offer mentorship and guidance to Medgar Evers College students seeking careers in the legal field.

“CLSJ is honored to receive this incredible award for the Esmeralda Simmons Pre-Law Program,” says Lurie Daniel Favors, Esq, Executive Director, Center for Law and Social Justice at Medgar Evers College. “It allows us to pay tribute to the legacy of our pioneering founding director and civil rights attorney Esmeralda Simmons by nurturing our community’s next generation of legal scholars and advocates. This program will set the gold standard for preparing students from our communities for the rigors of law school and the legal profession while employing a racial justice legal framework so that they can work to advance equity and justice in New York and our nation.”

“We are all aware of the transformative history behind Medgar Evers College, along with the vital role the dedicated individuals who define it have long played in the growth and betterment of Brooklyn. I was honored to fight for this funding to support its profoundly innovative Esmeralda Simmons Pre-Law Program, which is certain to build on that storied legacy. Moreover, it will ensure our community’s brightest, most promising legal minds receive a truly revolutionary education,” said Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke.

The newly established pre-law program will work closely with select Medgar Evers College juniors for one year, engaging students in policy and legislative research and launching community education campaigns. The pre-law program plans to provide access to LSAT training and other law school preparations and hands-on experience applying the law to meet the community’s needs. 

“This award to establish the Esmeralda Simmons Pre-Law Program at Medgar Evers College’s Center for Law and Social Justice, is a testament to the work of the founder of the Center, Esmeralda Simmons, Esq,” said Medgar Evers College President Dr. Patricia Ramsey.  “ Our hope is that this program will put our students on the path of social justice and civil rights that Esmeralda Simmons, Esq. carved out throughout her career and will be a way for our students to stand on the shoulders of a true legal giant from our very own Central Brooklyn community.”

The program will include a speaker series, workshops, conferences, and a full slate of opportunities for MEC students to strengthen their academic experience and prepare them to advocate for their communities. It will also give students the opportunity to learn and practice critical skills that are key to the practice of law and to advocacy in general.   


About The Center For Law And Social Justice At Medgar Evers College
CLSJ’s mission is to address racial justice issues by providing quality legal advocacy, conducting community education campaigns, facilitating research, and building organizing capacity on behalf of New Yorkers of African descent and the disenfranchised. To learn more about CLSJ, visit www.CLSJ.org.

About Rep.Yvette Clarke

Yvette D. Clarke has been in Congress since 2007. She represents New York’s Ninth Congressional District, which includes Central and South Brooklyn. Clarke is a Senior Member of both the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Committee on Homeland Security, where she serves as Chair of the Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Innovation Subcommittee.

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