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The 14% Club brings Black pre-law students together

The 14% Club is a pre-law student organization created this semester primarily to help Black students prepare for law school, the club’s executive board said.

The 14% mentioned in the club’s name refers to the fact that Black people make up only 14% of all law professionals.

The club’s mission is to create a supportive space for aspiring Black lawyers to improve career development, participate in networking events, and practice for the LSATs.

Dia Bolton, a senior diplomacy major, is the founder and president of the organization. 

Bolton said not having lawyers in her family or connections to any lawyers were two of her biggest motivations for starting the club.

“I didn’t know the process and the needs that come with applying for law school,” Bolton said. “Creating a safe space to learn and share resources was extremely important.”

Bolton, who is Black, discussed how her race created obstacles.

“So many of the law clubs focused on white males or white prospective law students,” Bolton said. “Many of the resources needed by a Black prospective law student were not addressed in these clubs.”

Although the 14% Club is a Black organization, the club is for anyone interested in developing themselves, exploring the field of law and wanting to make connections.

“The 14% Club wants to cultivate networking, professional development, and social opportunities for our members and those who align with the advancement of the Black community,” Bolton said.

Jasmine Ortega, a senior political science major and the club’s vice president, said the 14% Club is centered on providing a community for students pursuing law school.

“It is refreshing knowing we all share that common identity,” Ortega said. 

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Fatimah Toure, a junior political science and Africana studies double major, is the club’s public relations chair and said the club brings students together to uplift one another during their law journeys. 

“There was a lot of motivation behind pushing to have this club at Seton Hall,” Toure said. “It was not easy for Black students to get onto Seton Hall’s campus. And it is not easy for Black students and Black people in general to reach any type of high position. That is reflected here on Seton Hall’s campus, similarly to how it is reflected into the professional and law world.”

Megan Clement, a junior political science major and secretary of the club, said she decided to join to give other students a helping hand.

“Looking for a law track with this being a predominantly white institution, I was on a lonely track,” Clement said. “It was hard finding my place on campus, and I personally hadn’t had really great experiences looking for advice from advisors or other clubs.”

Clement added that joining the 14% Club led her down a good path and taught her a lot of things that advisors, teachers, and other clubs did not offer for Black students.

The LSATs, law school aptitude tests, are one of the primary focuses of the club.All prospective law students must pass them in order to be admitted into any law school. The 14% Club educates its members on the LSATs while also conducting meetings for members to take practice LSATs.

“People who aren’t going to law school don’t entirely understand the difficulty of the LSATs,” Ortega said. “Understanding that we are on a weekly basis studying and helping each other is important to recognize and take advantage of.”

The club also helps its members in internship searches, full-time job searchers, as well as connecting students to programs and events occurring on campus that relate to their specific fields of study.

“As a junior, I didn’t even know that it was that important to start looking into law schools because, personally, I have been scared,” Clement said. “Having no one to reach out to, I was thinking of taking a year off to figure it out on my own. But The 14% really pushes you to be driven, have a focused mindset, and stay task oriented.”

Jessica Lamerias can be reached at jessica.lamerias@student.shu.edu.

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