Underrepresented Minorities Law Scholarships

Underrepresented Minorities Law Scholarships

The persistent issue of minority underrepresentation in the legal field has been a longstanding and significant challenge within our nation. Consequently, law schools are actively seeking out and encouraging applications from individuals belonging to underrepresented and disadvantaged groups. They have implemented policies to ensure that well-qualified candidates from these backgrounds are afforded the opportunity to pursue a legal education.

To facilitate this outreach, it is advised that you indicate your minority group affiliation during LSAT registration and when utilizing the Credential Assembly Service (CAS). By doing so, interested law schools can reach out to you through the Candidate Referral Service.

Additionally, the Law School Admissions Council sponsors numerous “Diversity Matters” events and programs aimed at inspiring students from underrepresented backgrounds to consider a career in law. Many of these programs are offered free of charge, promoting equal access to justice for all. Detailed information about these programs can be found through the provided links.

Underrepresented Minorities Law Scholarships

The AAJ Richard D. Hailey Law Student Scholarships:

The AAJ Richard D. Hailey Law Student Scholarships are available to first- and second-year law students who identify as African-American, Hispanic, Asian-American, Native American, or Bi-Racial and are members of the American Association for Justice (AAJ).

To apply, candidates must submit a 500-word essay addressing how they fulfill the specified criteria, along with up to three recommendations from a faculty adviser, trial advocacy professor, dean, AAJ member, or trial lawyer.

The scholarships, totaling up to six and each valued at $1,000, will be granted to individuals who excel in areas such as trial advocacy skills, express a commitment to representing victims, actively engage in AAJ student chapter and Minority Caucus activities, and demonstrate financial need. Interested applicants can access the application on the AAJ website.

The ABA Diversity Fellowships in Environmental Law

The American Bar Association is providing fellowships focused on environmental law during the summer of 2012. These fellowships are open to law students from underrepresented backgrounds, encompassing factors such as age, disability, sexual orientation, and cultural diversity. Successful applicants will receive a $5,000 stipend for an internship lasting 8-10 weeks at a government agency or public interest organization. Additionally, fellows will have the opportunity to participate in relevant ABA meetings and will be paired with a mentor from either the ABA or California Bar Association.

Prize: $5,000

The ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship:

The ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund aims to offer financial support to ethnic and racial minority individuals seeking admission to law school, ensuring they have the means to attend for the entire three-year program. Eligible candidates are prospective first-year law students who are either U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Interested individuals can access the application online, and successful applicants may receive a renewable award of $5,000.

The Sidney B. Williams Jr. Scholarship:

The Sidney B. Williams Jr. Scholarship, provided by the American Intellectual Property Law Education Foundation, aims to boost the representation of minority intellectual property attorneys. Sponsored with the goal of bringing talented individuals to the forefront for potential employment opportunities in law firms and corporations, this scholarship offers $10,000 to minority students aspiring to pursue a career in intellectual property law.

Administered by the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, the application and selection process is in collaboration with the Foundation, and successful candidates may receive renewable awards of $10,000 for up to three years.

The Diversity Scholarship Program by Arent Fox LLP:

The Diversity Scholarship Program by Arent Fox LLP provides a $15,000 scholarship to three first-year law students from underrepresented populations in the legal field. Recipients also secure a spot in Arent Fox’s summer associate program after completing their first year of law school. Applicants are allowed to apply to a single office, and inquiries should be directed to the relevant contact. The program awards three scholarships, each valued at $15,000.

The Baker Donelson Diversity Scholarship:

The Baker Donelson Diversity Scholarship is set to grant three scholarships to law students from diverse backgrounds this year. Each selected recipient will receive a $10,000 award during their third year of law school, aimed at assisting with the expenses of tuition and other related costs. Furthermore, the recipients will have the opportunity to undertake a 2L Summer Associate position at one of the firm’s offices nationwide.

Scholarships Offered By The Bar Association Of San Francisco:

Scholarships offered by the Bar Association of San Francisco Bay Area for Minority Law Students aim to offer financial support to eligible students belonging to minority groups that are underrepresented in Bay Area law schools.

These scholarships are open to minority students who have been admitted to and are entering an ABA-accredited law school in the Bay Area for the current academic term. Both incoming law students and current law students are eligible to apply for these scholarships, and the awards are variable, typically amounting to $10,000 and renewable.

The annual Bradley Arant Boult Cummings (BABC) Diversity Scholarship:

The annual Bradley Arant Boult Cummings (BABC) Diversity Scholarship is granted to two students. A $10,000 scholarship is bestowed upon a second-year law student, while a $5,000 scholarship is awarded to a first-year law student. Successful applicants are expected to serve as clerks in one of BABC’s seven offices during the summer following the scholarship award.

Scholarship amounts: $10,000 for second-year students, $5,000 for first-year students.

The Defense Research Institute Diversity Scholarship:

The Defense Research Institute Diversity Scholarship is a program provided by DRI for law students. It is specifically designed for incoming second and third-year students belonging to diverse backgrounds, including African American, Hispanic, Asian, Pan Asian, Native American, and female students.

However, female law students in their second and third years can apply irrespective of their race or ethnicity. It’s important to note that students who are members of the American Association for Justice (AAJ) or have affiliations with AAJ are not eligible for DRI scholarships. The recipients of these scholarships, valued at $10,000 each, are announced during the DRI Diversity for Success Seminar in June.

Scholarship By The Faegre & Benson Diversity School:

The Faegre & Benson Diversity Scholarship Program, provided by Faegre & Benson LLP, seeks to promote diversity within the legal profession. This program grants an annual scholarship of $12,000 to each recipient, intended to assist in covering expenses during the final years of their law school education.

Eligible candidates must be first-year law students enrolled in an accredited U.S. law school. Successful applicants will serve as summer associates at one of the firm’s four U.S. offices during the period between their first and second years of law school.

Selection criteria include a short essay discussing the influence of diversity on their lives and its impact on the legal field. The scholarship is distributed in two installments of $6,000 each for the second and third years of law school.

The Diversity Scholarship offered by Farella Braun + Martel LLP:

The Diversity Scholarship offered by Farella Braun + Martel LLP aims to assist exceptional law students from diverse backgrounds in the Bay Area who are currently in their first year of law school.

Eligible candidates include individuals of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, those with disabilities, and those whose unique backgrounds would enhance the diversity of the legal field. The scholarship awards a total of $25,000, distributed among three to five deserving recipients.

The Franchise Law Diversity Scholarship:

The Franchise Law Diversity Scholarship is granted annually by the International Franchise Association in collaboration with DLA Piper US LLP. This scholarship aims to acknowledge the academic accomplishments of minority law students and to inspire their interest in the field of franchise and distribution law.

Eligible applicants must be in their second or third year of law school and enrolled in at least one course focused on franchise law. The application for the 2011 scholarship will be released later this year, and the selected recipient will receive a $4,000 award.

The Foley & Lardner Diversity Scholarship:

The Foley & Lardner Diversity Scholarship Program aims to grant a $5,000 scholarship to a first-year student at Boalt who belongs to a racial/ethnic group identified by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance programs (including American Indian/Alaskan Native, Asian/Pacific Islander, Black, or Hispanic) or identifies as LGBT.

The selection process considers active participation in community activities, involvement in diversity-related student organizations, notable personal or academic achievements, and undergraduate records. The total scholarship amount is $5,000.

The Frederickson & Byron Foundation Minority Scholarship:

The Frederickson & Byron Foundation Minority Scholarship offers financial assistance for tuition to eligible minority candidates. Successful applicants will be selected exclusively from the pool of first-year law students. The Foundation is specifically looking for students with a keen interest in pursuing a career in private practice, particularly in the Upper Midwest, upon completion of their legal studies.

Scholarship Amount: $10,000

The George A. Strait Minority Scholarship Endowment:

The George A. Strait Minority Scholarship Endowment grants a $3,500 stipend to individuals who have completed their college education, possess law library background, belong to a minority group according to the latest U.S. government criteria, and are pursuing degrees in accredited library or law schools. Interested candidates can access the application online.


Despite increased efforts to emphasize diversity and inclusivity within the legal profession in recent times, it continues to be one of the least diverse fields. The 2018 report from the American Bar Association reveals that 85% of lawyers in the United States are of white ethnicity, with only 36% being female. Additionally, there are significant regional differences in the inclusion of LGBTQ+ lawyers, and the percentage of African American lawyers has shown minimal improvement since 2009.


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