The Law Fellows Program at UCLA School of Law and its founding executive director, Leo Trujillo-Cox, have received the ChangeLawyer Award for 2018 in honor of their decades of work promoting increased diversity in the legal profession and championing underrepresented college students who are interested in pursuing careers in the law.
The award will be presented at the Scholarships for Justice celebration in Los Angeles on Oct. 4 by California ChangeLawyers, the statewide nonprofit organization formerly called the California Bar Foundation. Other honorees on the night will include Eric Holder, the former U.S. Attorney General, and Nina Shaw, a founding member of the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund.
California ChangeLawyers cited Trujillo-Cox, who graduated from UCLA Law in 1997, and the Law Fellows Program for “empowering law students of color. Leo has mentored and inspired hundreds of diverse students to become lawyers.”
The 21-year-old Law Fellows Program introduces promising undergraduates from diverse backgrounds to the legal profession and the rigors of law school through a robust slate of lectures, mentorships and networking opportunities at UCLA and UC Merced. Trujillo-Cox runs the program out of the Academic Outreach Resource Center with fellow UCLA Law alum Monica Mar, who is also a former law fellow.
Since its inception in 1997, the program has hosted more than 1,700 students from a wide array of undergraduate schools. Nearly 750 of those fellows have gone on to law school, including more than 160 at UCLA Law.
The program has also enjoyed a longstanding partnership with California ChangeLawyers, which has, over six years, contributed more than $100,000 in grants to UCLA Law’s outreach efforts in California’s Central Valley.