It is times like this that force us to pause and reflect . . .
on what matters most to us, on how we can do better, how we can be better.
The entire TestMax team kneels in support of the fight for justice, equality, equal opportunity, and righteousness.
We were founded to provide equal access to quality test preparation courses. We exist to break down financial and geographic barriers so all students can open the same doors I was able to open for myself.
I am the son of immigrant parents from Iran who moved to the United States when I was one year old. I went on to attend Harvard Law School, but it was not without struggles along the way.
In light of recent events, I can’t help but reflect on a personal experience that deeply impacted me during my undergraduate studies at UCLA.
One week prior to September 11, 2001, I was falsely accused of, arrested for, and charged with burglary, attempted grand theft auto, and tampering with a vehicle. These false accusations, combined with my Middle Eastern ancestry, and the tragic events of 9/11 made for a recipe that taught me that no one’s rights are truly guaranteed.
Unable to afford a private attorney and unwilling to rely on a public defender to clear my name, I reluctantly accepted a plea bargain.
And I was lucky . . . not only did I survive my encounter with LAPD, but the consequences were limited to some community service and having to explain this on my law school applications.
Compare that with the story of Jonathan Flemming, who served 24 years 8 months after his public defender overlooked a receipt that would have exonerated him.
Or Kalief Browder who spent 3 years (2 in solitary confinement) on Rikers Island awaiting a trial that never happened, for allegedly stealing a backpack, because his family was unable to make bail.
Or Tameeka Baker who was wrongfully accused and sentenced to four years in prison after being framed by a New York City detective.
These stories are just a few examples among so many that illustrate the need for every one of us to be advocates and to fight for the rights of the underrepresented.
For the past seven years, we have offered the LSATMax Fee Waiver Scholarship to assure that no student is denied access to high-quality LSAT prep because of an inability to pay.
We are also the pioneers of the Public Interest Scholarship which exists to provide discounted access to bar review resources for those pursuing careers in public interest law.
But that is not enough. We need more lawyers from underrepresented populations, urgently.
TestMax is proud to announce our commitment to sponsor 1,000 future lawyers over the course of the next 5 years through our comprehensive Justice In Action program that will help the next generation of lawyers from underrepresented populations as they pursue legal careers.
This program is a start to finish program (visual representation below) which will help future lawyers throughout their educational careers and beyond. We will also develop a community of the these 1,000 TestMax Advocates, so that their strength can be networked and multiplied.
This program is one concrete form of action that TestMax can take to address systemic racism and inequality in the legal profession.
To learn more about this program, or to apply, please keep an eye out for a follow-up message with full details over the next couple of weeks or follow our blog.
We particularly want to support those students who are committed to a legal education with the goal of using the legal system and advocacy to create a more just world.
Society needs these committed attorneys now more than ever so we will do our part by continuing to break down all barriers to the legal profession.
We look forward to playing an important role in setting up these 1,000 TestMax Advocates for success so they can get out there and do their part to change our world for the better.