CLEO, Inc.

August, 2022 – Issue 6

Welcome to The Council on Legal Education Opportunity, Inc. (CLEO) JD Report. We will share tips on how to prepare for and succeed in law school, get legal profession insights from our CLEO alumni, and get to know our Partners-In-Law: law schools that are making a commitment to diversity and inclusion.

CLEO Staff

The Council on Legal Education Opportunity, Inc. (CLEO): is a 501(c)(3) national non-profit organization that was founded in 1968 to expand opportunities for minority and low-income students to attend law school. Since its inception, more than 30,000 students have participated in CLEO’s programs and joined the legal profession.

Read Secrets of a Law Student’s success & how CLEO can help YOU!

Nadia Diaz-Minor

University of Illinois-Chicago
Chicago, IL

Q1. What was your course of study in college?

I attended Southern Connecticut State University in CT, and I majored in Political Science.

Q2. How did you become interested in pursuing law?

First, I knew I wanted to get the highest possible LSAT score, so I enrolled in an LSAT prep program. I started with Khan Academy. Then, once I was admitted to law school, I enrolled in the CLEO Pre-Law Summer Institute. It was by far the most important decision I made prior to coming to law school.

Q3. What steps did you take to prepare for law school?

I rested! A lot. I quit my job a month before law school and enjoyed my time with my loved ones. I also read some books on U.S. law during my free time, but they were not too heavy; they gave me basic foundational knowledge. I also did CLEO’s 1L-Prep Attitude is Essential.

Q4. How did you find out about CLEO?

Through another student who did the two-day 1L-Prep Attitude is Essential program.

Q5. What benefits did you receive by participating in the CLEO Pre-Law Summer Institute or 1L-Prep Attitude is Essential?

CLEO Pre-Law Institute really prepared me for the rigors of law school. Because the schedule and readings are typical of a 1L student’s schedule, I really had the 1L experience before coming to law school. It was hard because I was not used to putting in 12-hour workdays, but CLEO showed me that if I wanted to do well, I had to put in the work.

Q6. What helped you cope with the stress of law school?

Disconnecting on Sunday afternoons and taking my three-year-old for long walks.

Q7. After law school, what are your legal career plans?

After law school, I want to work in transactional law. I came to law school wanting to become an immigration attorney, but then I took my first contracts class and just fell in love with the material.

Q8. Do you volunteer or intern with any legal organizations?

I currently serve as the Litigation Vice-Chair of the Litigation Committee at the Chicago Bar Association and Young Lawyer Section.

Q9. Do you have any advice for future lawyers?

I came to law school wanting to become an immigration attorney, but while on this path, I discovered that I wanted to go in a different direction but hesitated to take the plunge because I felt that I was older. My advice is to keep your options open and don’t be afraid to try something new. Don’t become committed to an area too early on; and explore as much as you can to really figure out what your true passion is.

Q10. What motivates you to be part of the legal profession?

Being a woman in the legal profession is not easy. The hours are long, the work is demanding, and it’s very difficult to balance everything, especially with a family. It’s especially hard for women of color like myself because we make up such a small percentage of the legal field. What keeps me going is that I want to be part of the change and be able to open more doors for women in the legal field.

One sunny afternoon, the Watsons decide to take their five children — Dante, Ethan, Francis, Gina, and Helen — downtown to get them treats from five food trucks – a churro truck, an ice cream truck, a popcorn truck, a smoothie truck, and a yogurt truck. Each truck is visited exactly once, one at a time and each child chooses a treat from only one truck. No two children choose treats from the same truck.

From the clues listed below, can you determine which truck each child orders a treat from?

    1. The Watsons visit the popcorn truck at some time before the smoothie truck but at some time after the churro truck.

    2. Dante does not get a treat from the ice cream truck, which is visited immediately after the popcorn truck.

    3. Ethan gets a treat from the yogurt truck, which is visited at some time before the truck where Dante gets a treat.

    4. The truck where Dante gets a treat is visited either immediately before or else immediately after the truck where Francis gets a treat.

    5. The truck where Helen gets her treat is visited at some time before the truck where Francis gets a treat, but is not visited immediately before nor immediately after the truck where Ethan gets his treat.

Solution: Ethan gets a treat from the yogurt truck. Gina gets a treat from the churro truck. Helen gets a treat from the popcorn truck. Francis gets a treat from the ice cream truck. Dante gets a treat from the smoothie truck.

Read Secrets of a Pre-Law Student’s success & how CLEO can help YOU!

Ezenna Emuka

Pre-Law Student
Juniata College
Huntingdon, PA

Q1. How did you find out about CLEO?

Through my brother who was an aspiring lawyer as well and had attended another CLEO Pre-Law program, Juniors Jumpstart the LSAT.

Q2. When did you realize you wanted to attend law school?

I actually realized I wanted to attend law school a few months into this past school semester. I took a course at my college, called Legal Regulations of Business which was taught by an attorney. He organized the course exactly like a law class. Though it was definitely tough at first, soon, I got on track and progressed rather quickly. From then on, I fell in love with the material, my professor’s short stories of his own personal cases, as well as the class discussions on legal situations.

Q3. What did you learn during the various CLEO programs?

During the CLEO programs, I learned about the application process for law school, how to choose the best law school, and even how to excel on the LSAT and as a future attorney.

Q4. How has the CLEO programs influenced your preparation for law school?

The programs have made me even more motivated to attend law school and even given some tips and tricks on how to make my application stand out [in a good way].

Q5. Select one of the CLEO programs (ASAP, JJ LSAT or CLEO Connection) you attended. What portion of that program was most beneficial to you and why?

For ASAP, the most beneficial part for me was the application process session. Law school is still a very new idea to me, but that session provided me with great insight, honesty, information, and even key tips on applying to law school.

Q6. Do you plan to attend any future CLEO events?


Q7. Do you have any advice for other aspiring lawyers?

Connect! Connect with professors, connect with law professors, connect with law students, and especially connect with practicing attorneys. These connections will definitely go a long way!

Q8. Do you have any additional comments about CLEO?

ASAP was a great program and I believe it sticks to its mission of helping future attorneys – like me – succeed.

Meet a dynamic young Scholar & listen to his secrets of success!

Chad Thomas – Mentee
Montclair, NJ – Union Catholic High School Graduate, Class of 2022 – Incoming Freshman this Fall (August 2022) at Hampton University

Mike Wilson – Mentor
CLICKS Program: Eta Pi Chapter, An unincorporated chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. –

Candelario Saldana - CLEO Alumnus (2016)

The CLEO “Alumni Spotlight” showcases CLEO alumni and the experience and success they’ve had in the legal profession. It also represents a space to highlight community involvement, volunteer service, and the impact CLEO alumni are making in society. If interested in being considered for an upcoming “Alumni Spotlight,” please send an email to

Your Law School Investment

By Teria M. Thornton, J.D., AFC®, CDP®

If you’ve ever bought a car, computer or other pricey purchase, you’re familiar with the term Return on Investment or ROI. Whenever we make a big purchase, we want to get the biggest bang for our buck. And it’s no different when it comes to law school.

Recently, nonprofit AccessLex Institute® partnered with the American Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division to explore the impact of debt on young lawyers in Student Debt: The Holistic Impact on Today’s Young Lawyer. As you can see from the results, you are encouraged to take additional steps to ensure you get the best ROI from your law school experience.

Some of the primary benefits of virtual advisement for our students include:

  1. Start with the end in mind – You may enter law school with a clear understanding of what you hope to achieve professionally and financially. However, debt can create a fork in the road and lead you further away from your initial plans. Ensure you stay on track through the following:
  • Research the cost of law school – Understanding the cost of law school shouldn’t be an afterthought. As you are going through the application process, you can find accurate cost information on law school websites, the AccessLex Student Loan Calculator and the ABA standard 509 Disclosures.
  • Research future earnings – Your ability to repay what you borrow may be contingent on your future earning potential, so the time to do salary research is before you walk through the law school doors. A great place to start is the National Association for Law Placement (NALP).
  • Write down future goals – Remember, law school is just a pit stop on the way to your professional and financial future. Research shows that we’re more likely to achieve our goals if we write them down. Keep your short and long-term goals in mind every step of the way.
  1. Prioritize your future wellness – It’s no secret that law school is challenging. And not all those challenges are experienced in the classroom. While there is no magic wand to remove every stressor, there are things you can do that will help you lessen the financial stress. Some strategies that you can use to help improve your overall well-being while in law school include the following:
  • Don’t overborrow – Just because you can borrow the maximum – up to your full cost of attendance – doesn’t mean you should. Take the time to create a budget and only borrow what you need. The goal is to live like a student while in law school, so you can live like a professional after graduation. For more information on creating a budget, attend one of our upcoming Building Your Law School Budget
  • Speak to an advisor – As a future lawyer, you’ll realize how important it is to use your resources. And people are resources too! Reach out to experts at CLEO, AccessLex Institute® and other trusted partners to help you create a strategy for success.

Good luck to you as you look to maximize your ROI!

Brooklyn Law School

What Is in the public interest?

BLS knows only too well as it is ranked “among the country’s top law schools in supporting public interest law,” according to preLaw Magazine, a National Jurist publication. Since 1901, Brooklyn Law has welcomed minorities, women, and immigrants as students.  Today, BLS is composed of 60% women, 40% men. Approximately 30% are students of color.  For more than 17 years, Brooklyn Law has been one of CLEO’s big supporters through the Consortium on Diversity in Legal Education.


Visit Brooklyn Law School

Case Western Reserve University School of Law

In a class of its own

Case Western Law is one of the first law schools accredited by the American Bar Association.  Approximately 59% of the Class of 2021 are women; 21%, students of color.  The law school has an historic commitment to racial and social justice as evidenced by some of its alumni such as Fred Gray who won some of the civil rights era’s key legal cases.  CWR Law “continue[s] to evolve their program of legal education to integrate racial justice more comprehensively more effectively into the curriculum, advocate for law reform at local and national levels and foster a more equitable, inclusive and welcoming environment in both the law school and our community.”

Visit Case Western Reserve University

Quinnipiac University School of Law

The “original,” the first

Named in honor of the Native American tribe that once populated Greater New Haven, Connecticut, Quinnipiac Law proudly stands with CLEO to work toward diversity in the legal profession and an equitable world for all.  Small, dynamic, and inclusive, Quinnipiac Law’s students benefit from academic and experiential opportunities, faculty and student mentoring, and deep connections to colleagues and the legal community. With diversity-based scholarships, highly engaged student organizations, and staff dedicated to inclusive outreach, the law school places a premium on building a diverse student population and stellar experience.

Visit Quinnipiac University School of Law

UConn School of Law

More than the sum of its parts

This 100+ year old law school offers “support through a caring community, excellence through diversity and success through dynamic teaching and practical experience.” From Diversity Month to its Diversity, Equity and Belonging Committee to its more than 12 affinity groups, UConn Law strives to be a more inclusive community. Through its clinics and programs, the law school works assiduously to provide access to justice for “immigrantslow-income taxpayerscriminal defendants,  fledgling entrepreneursveterans, children and the elderly.”

Visit UConn School of Law

CLEO, Inc. is proud to include many of the nation's premier law schools in our Consortium on Diversity in Legal Education.

Loyola University New Orleans College of Law
Penn State Dickinson Law
Quinnipiac University School of Law
UConn School of Law
University of Idaho College of Law
The University of Mississippi School of Law
University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law
University of Houston Law Center
Vermont Law School
Washburn University School of Law

Brooklyn Law School
Case Western Reserve University School of Law
Golden Gate University School of Law
New York Law School
South Texas College of Law Houston
University of North Carolina School of Law

Florida International University College of Law
Mercer University School of Law
Michigan State University College of Law
Southern Illinois University School of Law
The University of Chicago Law School
University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School