ETS and the University of Arizona Launch 2021 JD-Next™ Program in Latest Commitment to Diversity in Law School
December 8, 2021
PRINCETON, N.J. (July 8, 2021) – ETS announced its sponsorship of the 2021 JD-Next Program, an online, eight-week course designed by the University of Arizona to help aspiring lawyers preview and prepare for the rigor of law school as well as to provide law programs with an additional window on participants’ potential to succeed. With JD-Next, potential is measured based on a sample of the type of work expected of students in law school.
This latest collaboration by the Global Higher Ed division at ETS demonstrates its commitment to investing in efforts to reimagine and improve the experience of all learners across their entire educational journey, particularly as the organization continues to develop and introduce new innovative learning and assessment tools.
This program specifically seeks to enhance the quality, accessibility and diversity of legal education — and ultimately the quality and diversity of the legal profession, a shared mission of ETS, the University of Arizona and the many partner schools. Nearly half of this year’s enrolled students are from underrepresented backgrounds.
“ETS has long been committed to helping improve diversity in higher education, and specifically in law schools,” said Alberto Acereda, Executive Director of Global Higher Ed at ETS. “As a mission-driven organization, we’re thrilled to sponsor the JD-Next Program and support this effort to provide a free online course designed to prepare law students who may not have had the same preparation or access as others.”
The 2021 cohort of students will be the third since the program’s inception in 2019, growing significantly to reach 24 participating law schools, including Southern University Law Center, University of Pittsburgh, University of Nebraska and UC Davis, and more than 1,900 aspiring lawyers. All students were invited through the law programs and will participate free of charge.
Through the JD-Next program, students develop skills reading cases, analyzing case law, spotting issues and writing clearly. Students learn through modeling, coaching and instant feedback best suited for skill development, while practicing the self-assessment skills and deliberate practice necessary to excel in law school. New to this year’s cohort, students will learn about diverse perspectives within the legal profession to provide guidance on how they fit into the legal community.
“We created this program to help prepare students for success in JD programs in an accessible format, particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds,” said Marc L. Miller, Dean of the University of Arizona Law School. “As we enter our third cohort and expand the number of enrolled students, we’re reaching an unprecedented number of matriculating students as they embark on their law school journey and as we seek to better understand the reliability and validity of the course for admissions upon its conclusion.”
To learn more about the JD-Next Program, please visit https://jd-next.org/.
At ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research. ETS serves individuals, educational institutions and government agencies by providing customized solutions for teacher certification, English language learning, and elementary, secondary and postsecondary education, and by conducting education research, analysis and policy studies. Founded as a nonprofit in 1947, ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually — including the TOEFL® and TOEIC ® tests, the GRE ® tests and The Praxis Series ® assessments — in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide.
About the University of Arizona
The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law is one of the nation’s top public law schools and a leader in innovating legal education. Having launched groundbreaking initiatives such as the country’s first undergraduate (BA) law degree and the first US law school to accept the GRE in JD admissions, University of Arizona Law has earned a reputation for creating and advancing collaborative, interdisciplinary solutions that expand access to legal education. Leveraging an online BA in Law course developed by Professor Rob Williams, a leading scholar in indigenous peoples law and policy, University of Arizona Law created the JD-Next program in 2019 to create a pipeline for underrepresented students to careers in law.