Who are we?
Kappa Alpha Pi (KAPi) is a tightly-knit, success-oriented pre-professional legal fraternity here at UC Berkeley, founded with the goal of fostering professional development and a supportive academic community. We pride ourselves on our unique Leadership Development (LD) Semester, a semester-long program undertaken by all new members with a group of their peers.
While KAPi's resources and network are invaluable, one of the most important aspects is community support within a large campus. The LD semester is largely based on teamwork, leading to lifelong friendships. New members are welcomed and nurtured by more experienced members, who serve as role-models and mentors. Lessons learned by older members are graciously passed on to the new, allowing them to thrive academically, socially, and professionally. It makes our large, intimidating campus that much smaller and the daunting goal of pursuing a legal career feel within reach!
Throughout the semester, students are given the chance to perfect a number of professional, interpersonal, and legal skills through weekly meetings, events and workshops. They are given personalized feedback on areas for improvement by accomplished and deeply passionate LD chairs and exposed to a plethora of opportunities to gain professional and legal experiences. They receive guidance on how to navigate their pre-law journeys on campus, and are walked through the complicated application processes for internships, fellowships and more.
Our organization has the unique opportunity to expand access to the development of a broad polished skillset, which is particularly important in breaking generational barriers. For first-generation and underrepresented students in particular, the community and confidence built through the Leadership Development semester and beyond are invaluable for members to unleash their potential, overcome imposter syndrome, and stand strong as leaders on our campus.
Upsilon Class Professional Headshot Day
Why does our work matter?
There are several barriers deterring students of color and lower socioeconomic status from joining or feeling included within certain pre-professional organizations, particularly within Berkeley’s competitive club culture. Many clubs require previous experiences such as internships, connections, and polished skillsets inaccessible to many members underrepresented groups because of a lack of resources and opportunities.
Organizations like ours have the potential to transform the lives of underrepresented, underresourced students instead of perpetuating their exclusion. We seek to support and bolster students that have not seen themselves represented in the legal field demographically or within their own personal life experiences. Within the legal field, which has historically been discriminatory to many of the demographics making up our student body, it is vital to bridge these gaps with community building and access to success.
When considering socioeconomic diversity within these organizations, it is important to consider the sheer number of responsibilities and time commitment required to get involved in organizations. This involvement often comes at the additional cost of club entry fees. Lower-income students often need to juggle jobs (sometimes more than one) while simultaneously ensuring they continue to qualify for financial aid and scholarships. This serves as a barrier to entry to not only professional organizations, but any unpaid professional opportunities.
- The creation of scholarship opportunities within clubs
- Availability of stipends compensating for immense amounts of unpaid time and effort required for participation in professional development opportunities
- Funds to waive club dues
These initiatives will help to attract and retain members from a wide range of socioeconomic and racial backgrounds, and provide them with support in accomplishing their dreams!
Our space and initiatives fostering growth and providing crucial experiences for future success are worth investing in!
What will we do with the funds raised?
Every member seeking to join the fraternity is required to pay semesterly dues of over $100, which can be insurmountable for many students, particularly those who would most benefit from our fraternity. With your support, we will be able to waive those fees to allow everyone access to the life-changing Leadership Development semester at the core of Kappa Alpha Pi (KAPi).
Additionally, many students within our fraternity lack the financial freedom to take on internships which are generally unpaid and require a full-time commitment. With your funding, we will be able to provide members with stipends to alleviate financial burden and ensure that their access to opportunities for professional development is not hindered by their circumstances.
Many students within KAPi are balancing overwhelming amounts of commitments in order to reach their goal of law school. It is because of this that we want to create scholarships for members, in order to provide them with the financial freedom to continue focusing on their professional development. The more people contribute, the more members we can support. Additionally, we have sought to provide funds for members to be able to acquire professional attire, and with your donation, we could make this a reality!
In donating to KAPi, you will be a part of furthering our goals of expanding access and diversity within the legal field as a whole. If we exceed our donation goal we will be able to increase the number of members supported through scholarships and students and expand the resources offered! Any donation towards this goal will be profoundly appreciated and have a life-changing impact on our members' professional lives.
You can play a role in our members’ success and make the legal field more equitable!
Intended funding breakdown
$600 Waiving dues and potentially purchasing professional wear for members who cannot afford it
$1200 Create two $600 scholarships for members showing financial need who have shown a dedication to furthering the mission of KAPi and displayed a passion for community involvement
$1200 Award 2 $600 stipends to members displaying financial need taking on unpaid internships, going toward their living expenses and minimizing the amount of paid hours worked in other jobs