The NextGen Fund directly benefits early-career and aspiring attorneys with roots in communities that are overrepresented in the criminal justice system and underrepresented in the legal profession. At California ChangeLawyers, we believe that every one of us deserves the advocacy of lawyers, legislators, policy makers and judges who understand our struggles, speak our language, and respect our values. Yet today, while 60% of Californians identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color, only 22% of our lawyers do.
The NextGen Fund is designed to address this disparity, which is driven by systemic barriers at every step of the journey to becoming a lawyer. The legal profession can seem off-limits to young people who do not see lawyers who look like them, so we fund pipeline programs for high school and college students. Low-income students must often make difficult sacrifices in order to pursue an education, so we fund scholarships. We address racial disparities in law school acceptance and bar passage rates through policy advocacy at the State and Federal levels. To address high levels of attrition among women and people of color in the legal profession, we created a leadership and professional development program and offer opportunities for allies to learn how to support their BIPOC and LGBT colleagues.
Your contribution to the NextGen Fund helps pave the way for the next generation of lawyers: diverse, brilliant, trailblazing young attorneys drawn from communities across California.