Legal Prep Charter Academy began in 2009 with the vision of two young lawyers who were surprised and confused by the lack of diversity in the legal profession. Sam Finkelstein and Rather Stanton were working for Just the Beginning Foundation, a non-for-profit organization dedicated to developing and improving pipeline programs to inspire young people and increase the diversity of the legal profession and judiciary. Both gentlemen came to the realization that the lack of diverse lawyers began with education. There simply was not equal access to the outstanding educational opportunities which lawyers required for success. Stanton and Finkelstein made a commitment to rectify the problem.
After three years of work and research, and Illinois legislation increasing the allowance for charter high schools, their dream became a reality. In the fall of 2012, Stanton and Finkelstein opened the doors of Legal Prep Charter Academy to its first class of high school freshman.
In 2022, Legal Prep graduated its seventh senior class. As these students join our alumni ranks and head off to college and beyond, they will use their Legal Prep education to advocate for themselves and others and to be leaders in their communities. And, while we do not expect all of our students to pursue careers in the law, we do want our students to develop the skills that great lawyers posses: excellent communication skills, critical thinking, problem solving, and advocacy.
The school continues to grow and is starting its second decade educating the next generation of lawyers and leaders. Through our rigorous legal-themed curriculum, our enrichment programs - including our new colloquium offerings, our extended school day, and our dedicated instructors and community partners, our students receive an excellent education that distinguishes them in college and beyond.