Here are the most commonly asked questions about our Summer Law Institute.


What Is The Law Institute?

The Future Latino Leaders Summer Law Institute is a 9-day program that provides up to 40 high-school students with the opportunity to learn more about the legal profession. Students will travel to Washington, DC* and stay on a University campus. Together with their Law Institute Counselors, students will visit various government buildings and offices and meet with lawyers, judges, and officials of the United States government. They will also have the opportunity to attend sessions on the legal profession and participate in a Mock Trial Competition, in which different students will play the part of an attorney as part of a legal team.

*The 2020 Law Institute will be held online.

When And Where Is The Law Institute?

Due to COVID-19, the 2020 Law Institute will be held online from July 14-16.

What Do Law Institute Students Do?

Below is a list of sample activities from the previous Law Institutes. (Not all sites and activities are offered every year.)

  • Visit the Supreme Court, Department of State, U.S. Capitol, Department of Justice, DEA Museum, and other government agencies;
  • Tour the monuments and visit the National Archives and view the US Constitution and Declaration of Independence;
  • Visit foreign embassies to learn about international law;
  • Take courses taught by current law professors, to learn more about what a law school class is like;
  • Be part of a Mock Trial legal team;
  • Learn from experienced attorneys about how they approach a case and prepare for oral argument and cross-examination;
  • Attend workshops on college and law school admissions, financial aid, scholarships and internship programs; and
  • Attend the HNBF Annual Awards Dinner and Ceremony with lawyers from around the country.

*The 2020 Law Institute will be held online.

Who Is Eligible To Apply?

In order to apply and participate, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a high school student in the United States entering your sophomore, junior, or senior year, or be a recent graduate;
  • Have an interest in learning about law school and becoming a lawyer;
  • Be a U.S. citizen, legal permanent resident, or be in the United States with valid authorization; and
  • Have a demonstrated interest in helping your community and building your leadership skills.
Is There A Minimum GPA Requirement?

Yes. In order to apply and participate, you must have a GPA of at least 2.5. If your GPA is lower than a 2.5, you may submit your application with an explanation outlining your academic performance. We will consider all applications received.

My Parents Aren’t U.S. Citizens. Can I Apply?

Yes. Each participant, however, must be a U.S. citizen, legal permanent resident, or have a valid U.S. Visa or other form of valid immigration authorization to be in the United States.

I Am In Eighth Grade But Will Be In High School This Summer. Can I Apply?

No. The Law Institute is open to high school students who at the time of participation will be entering their sophomore, junior, or senior years or have just graduated high school. In our experience, students who are sophomores or above get the most out of the Law Institute experience. Eighth graders, we hope you’ll apply in the future!

I Am Really Interested In Learning More About The Law Institute, But I’m Not 100% Sure I Want To Be A Lawyer. Should I Apply?

The Law Institute is especially designed for high school students or recent graduates who have an interest in learning more about the legal profession and meeting influential Latinos. We also understand that deciding on a career is a long, ever-developing process. Past Law Institute participants, however, have typically had an interest in justice, the U.S. legal system, or becoming a lawyer. We look for some level of interest in the above; however, you do not have to be 100% committed to becoming a lawyer in order to attend the Law Institute.

Why Should I Consider Applying?

Has anyone ever told you that you are great at arguing or that you are a good story-teller? Do you like to learn about new things? Have you ever wanted to know more about what lawyers do, besides what you see on TV? If you are curious about becoming a lawyer, the Law Institute might be right for you. The Law Institute is an excellent opportunity to travel to Washington, DC*, learn more about the legal profession, and meet influential and successful Latinos.

*The 2020 Law Institute will be held online

What Do You Look For In An Applicant? What Makes Someone An Outstanding Applicant?

The HNBF does not use a one-size-fits-all formula in deciding to accept an applicant. We will consider your application as a whole — including your academic background, essays, personal background, interest in the legal profession, and any leadership experiences you have. We look for your potential as a future Latino leader and demonstrated an interest in the content of our program.

Who Should I Ask To Write Me A Letter Of Recommendation?

The best letters of recommendation come from teachers, supervisors, or others who know you well and can attest to the quality of the work that you do. This might mean, for example, a teacher whose class you earned an ‘A’ in, or it could mean a supervisor from a part-time job. (On the other hand, teachers/supervisors who do not know you well, close friends, and family members are almost always a poor choice for a letter of recommendation).

What Is The Cost?

Due to the generosity of our sponsors and donors, there is no cost to students to participate in the Law Institute. However, applicants must pay a non-refundable $50 application fee, unless a fee waiver is requested and granted. Students are also responsible for arranging transportation to Washington, DC*. Transportation scholarships are available based on financial need. Do not let the cost of transportation to DC deter you from applying! Upon your acceptance to the program, we are committed to working with you and your family to ensure your ability to attend.

*The 2020 Law Institute will be held online and the application fee has been waived. If you previously applied for the program and submitted a payment for the application fee, you will receive a refund.

Who Can I Contact For More Information?

For more information about the Law Institute, email us at More information is also available on the HNBF website.

I’m Ready To Fill Out An Application. How Do I Apply?

The 2020 Future Latino Leaders Summer Law Institute student application is available here and can be completed online. While we strongly encourage you to submit your application online, you may choose to complete and mail a paper version.

When Is The Application Deadline? When Will You Notify Me Of Your Decision?

The deadline to apply for the 2020 Law Institute is Monday, June 15, 2020. Your complete application and supplemental materials must be RECEIVED by the HNBF (not just postmarked) by the deadline date. If you would like any of your materials returned to you please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope with your materials. We will notify applicants of acceptance on a rolling basis.

Where Do I Send My Application Materials?

Upload your high school transcripts, signed rules and regulations form, and two letters of recommendation via the application form.

Pay your $50 application fee* online, or mail your $50 check made payable to The Hispanic National Bar Foundation (include student’s name on the notes line of the check) to:

Hispanic National Bar Foundation
Attn: Maribel Torres
8401 Connecticut Ave | Suite 1202 | Chevy Chase, MD 20815

If you are unable to apply online, please call us at (786) 310-2749 for instructions on how to mail your application.

*The 2020 Law Institute will be held online and the application fee has been waived. If you previously applied for the program and submitted a payment for the application fee, you will receive a refund.

2020 Future Latino Leaders Summer Law Institute

July 14-16, 2020 | Online Program

Hispanic National Bar Foundation

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