Students or community members interested in LEAP Center events may find answers below.
Is the LEAP Center a student organization?
No. The LEAP Center is a department within Academic Affairs. The LEAP Center does, however, have a group of student Ambassadors and it does administer a Pre-Law Society and a Moot Court team.
Are LEAP Center events open to all students?
The LEAP Center offers events of all sorts to students and the public. Some events, such as the 10th Court of Appeals Oral Arguments are open to the public (subject to available seating). Other events are available by registration, with registration open to all (again, subject to availability). Other programs, however, such as the internship programs, professional conferences, or other extremely-space sensitive opportunities are available by application or other selection processes. Students are encouraged to contact the Director (Mike Yawn) about becoming more involved in the Center and its activities. LEAP Center Ambassadors, Moot Court Team members, and Pre-Law Society Members are given priority for seating.
How are students selected for internships, conferences, or other space-sensitive opportunities? Internships involve a competitive application process, and students are selected on the basis of academic performance, reliability, professionalism, and participation in previous LEAP Center or other closely-related events. The selection process typically involves the Director, a selection committee, and the intern agency. For conference and other space-sensitive opportunities, LEAP Center Advisory Board members are given preference. Additional spots will be allocated on the basis of participation in prior LEAP Center events, demonstrated professionalism, reliability, and academic performance. Applications may be required.
Is the LEAP Center a pre-law organization? The LEAP Center is not an organization, but it does oversee numerous pre-law activities, including a Moot Court Team and a Pre-Law Society.
Is the LEAP Center a political organization? The LEAP Center is not an organization, but it does facilitate student attendance at many political events--both Democratic and Republican. LEAP Center students have met Presidents of both parties, had internships with both parties, and, most of all, participated in many bi-partisan and non-partisan events.
What kind of public service activities is the LEAP Center engaged in? The LEAP Center is proud of its public service and emphasizes meaningful service. Most service opportunities involve hands-on activities that involve initiating and implementing projects. Examples include the LEAP Center's annual Spring Citizenship Preparatory Course, in which students assist local immigrants in earning their citizenship. In addition, the LEAP Center assists local non-profits and government offices on existing programs. Students who participate in public-service activities are expected to not only competently perform public service while enhancing and developing skills, but also to learn the principles, processes, and structures of public service organizations.
Why do some LEAP Center programs cost money? While almost all LEAP Center events are free, some of the field trips or conferences require fees by the students. For a field trip to Houston, for example, students may be required to purchase their own meals. For conference trips, students may be asked to pay their own meals, conference t-shirts, admission costs, or other travel-associated costs. While the LEAP Center subsidizes opportunities, the philosophy of the LEAP Center is that students gain most from opportunities when they invest their own resources (financial resources or "sweat equity") in their efforts.
What are former LEAP Center students now doing? The LEAP Center grew out of the Political Science Junior Fellows organization, and both Junior Fellows and LEAP Center students have been very successful. Alumni are currently working for major law firms (e.g., Kilburn Law Firm), at top law schools (e.g., Loyola, SMU), top graduate schools (University of Missouri, Cornell), and in diverse jobs in the non-profit field, business fields, and in all levels of government.
How many students are selected for the Austin Internship Program? The Austin Internship Program selects 6-10 students per legislative session.
How many students are selected each semester for the Political Science Internship Program? The Political Science Internship Program selects 5-8 interns per semester.