Yutsil Hernandez C’23 graduated from Salem College in May 2023. Her formal education, however, is far from over. The highly competitive Yale Law School Launchpad Scholars Program selected Yutsil as one of only 25 undergraduate students nationwide to be part of its inaugural cohort.
Yutsil gives her mentors at Salem much of the credit for preparing her for the Launchpad Scholars Program. “There was a great small network of people at Salem’s Martha H. Fleer Center for Adult Education, and we all leaned on each other for support,” she said. “I am forever indebted to the Salem faculty for the rigorous education and also their focus on all the Fleer Center students as human beings at the same time. They truly cared about us as whole people and not just students.”
Yutsil began studying at Salem College in 2021 and graduated with a political science major and a history minor. She is now employed at the college as the assistant director of transfer, Fleer, and graduate admissions and will continue her job while attending the Launchpad Scholars Program largely remotely.
“I’ve known for quite some time that I wanted to attend law school. The coursework at Salem fully prepared me for what lies ahead,” she added. “I’m interested in civil rights law as well as intellectual property. I’m an academic at heart and would love to ultimately be a law professor.”
The Launchpad Scholars Program, in partnership with Latham & Watkins, is focused on increasing opportunity and equity in education and the legal profession. The highly innovative program aims to ensure that excellent applicants from all backgrounds can maximize their potential as law students and legal professionals, empowering them to become leaders in their future careers.
As part of the Launchpad Scholars Program, participants receive tools and resources—including one-on-one mentorship, LSAT preparation, and step-by-step guidance—so they can successfully apply to the law schools of their choosing. The goal of the program is to further diversify the legal profession and ensure that excellent applicants from all backgrounds can maximize their potential as law students, legal professionals, and future leaders.