The Pipeline to Justice program is an innovative pre-law initiative that advances our commitment to diversifying the legal profession by preparing underrepresented students to earn a Juris Doctorate.

Pipeline offers a second look at students who are public interest-focused and need additional preparation for law school. The program is designed to help students better prepare for the LSAT and the rigors of law school.

Launched in 2006, the Pipeline to Justice program, one of the City University of New York’s Black Male Initiatives, enriches our student body by attracting students who are deeply motivated to excel, have historically been underrepresented in law, and whose personal and professional accomplishments resonate with our mission. The program has also helped cement our ranking as one of the most diverse law schools in the country.

How to Apply to Pipeline to Justice

The 2024 application period for the Pipeline to Justice program is from May 1 through 11:59 PM on July 25.

There are two ways to apply to the Pipeline to Justice program:

If you applied to CUNY Law for matriculation in 2023 or 2024 and were denied you need only;

  1. Complete and submit the 2024  Pipeline Application Questionnaire and upload your video by July 25, 2024. (Please email our team to obtain the Questionnaire which includes the video instructions and upload link.)


  1. Complete the “Pipeline Only Application” via the LSAC Application Portal, which requires:
    • a non-refundable $60 (U.S.) application fee;
    • a personal statement;
    • a resume;
    • an active and complete CAS subscription, including a recent LSAT score and LSAT Writing Sample (Please note that to be considered for the Fall 2023 Pipeline cohort, the last accepted LSAT scores will be the June 2023 LSAT);
    • two letters of recommendation
    • Upload the video as instructed on the application

Frequently Asked Questions

The online application is available on from May 1st through July 25th, 2024. We accept the formal electronic application and questionnaire through LSAC or, if you were denied admission to CUNY law in the past, the Questionnaire PDF via email.

The deadline to apply to join a Pipeline cohort is posted along with the application and typically falls within the last week of July.

All offers will be extended by August 31, 2024. Applicants will be contacted via email.

There is a one-time, non-refundable $850 fee, which covers the cost of the entire program (Parts 1 and 2). Additionally, upon successful completion of Part 2, the student’s seat deposit fee for matriculating with the incoming 1L class will be deducted from the program fee.

Note: The fee does not include the cost of taking both the January and February LSATs*, which is a requirement of the program. The fee also does not include the required up-to-date subscription to LSAC Prep Plus.

*Applicants are strongly encouraged to verify in advance their eligibility to register to take both the January and February LSAT directly with LSAC.

While we cannot offer scholarships or aid for the $850 Pipeline Program cost, LSAC may. We encourage applicants to apply directly to LSAC for an LSAT and CAS report fee waiver to determine eligibility.

We also recommend Access Lex as an important resource for exploring the ways you might finance your legal education.

We look for candidates who demonstrate a serious commitment to a social justice legal career. We also look for candidates whose personal integrity, attention to detail, diligence, and commitment shine through in their program application and candidates whose application demonstrates perseverance in the face of past academic challenges. Of critical importance is also the ability to dedicate the time needed to do the program’s work. We are looking for students who will be a good fit for Pipeline/CUNY Law School Community. 

Pipeline Part 1 begins in the fall and consists entirely of LSAT prep. Admitted students are required to attend weeknight classes and complete weekend at-home Diagnostic Tests in preparation for taking two LSATs during this section of the program. The dates of the two LSATs will be determined before the start of class but are usually the January and February LSAT exams.

With engaged, active participation in Part 1, AND a competitive LSAT score at the conclusion of Part 1, a student may be admitted to Part 2, which focuses on professional writing, analytical reasoning, and verbal communication skills. Part 2 runs for 8 weeks in the Spring and meets on Monday and Thursday evenings.

The exact March start date will be determined by the beginning of 2024.

We do not have a summer program now. Our program takes place during the fall and spring semesters as described above.

Classes in the Pipeline to Justice program take place at CUNY School of Law. Classes are held in-person only. No virtual option is available.

How it Works

To be eligible to apply to the Pipeline to Justice program you must apply to CUNY Law School for the current academic year, or the preceding academic year, and receive a denial determination OR apply directly via CUNY Law’s Pipeline-Only application which can be found at With either option, a completed application includes a Pipeline Questionnaire (included as part of the Pipeline only application or sent via email to those denied admission to CUNY Law) and a video response.

The program consists of a two-part course designed to help students better prepare for the LSAT exam and for the rigors of law school.

Part I consists of intensive, individualized preparation for the LSAT exam itself. It meets twice a week in the evenings from October to February. In addition, there are weekend at-home diagnostic testing sessions each week. Students receive coaching on test anxiety, self-efficacy skills, and individualized study planning.

Part II is devoted to professionalism and professional skill development including analytic reasoning, professional writing and public speaking. It meets twice a week from 6:30–9:30 p.m. from March to May. Students receive written and oral feedback on weekly assignments and are expected to revise their written work until they demonstrate graduate-level writing ability.

Students who successfully complete both Part I and Part II of the program, and successfully pass a final examination, are invited to join CUNY Law’s 1L class in August.

The Results

As students, Pipeline participants are leaders on campus. Our students have served as the presidents of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) and Latin American Law Students Association (LALSA), as well as editorial board members of CUNY Law Review and president of the Public Interest Law Association. They have also been selected by their graduating classes to speak at commencement.

During the summer, our students have held legal internships at places such as The Legal Aid Society, the Center for Popular Democracy, the New York State Bar Association Minority Health Law Program, Queens Legal Services, Outten & Golden LLP, the NYC Department of Buildings, the Federal Community Defender Office, and through the American Bar Association Judicial Intern Opportunity Program. Matriculated Pipeline students receive guidance, encouragement, and support (including mentoring, academic, and socio-emotional support as well as assistance with the acquisition of professional skills) throughout their course of study and through the bar examination.

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