Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund

"We can best serve society if members of the legal profession come from all segments of the population, reflecting the diversity of the United States - and financial aid during law school must be a vital component of any effort to increase diversity in the profession."

- William G. Paul
Former ABA President and founder of the ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund


Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund

The ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship grants 20 incoming diverse law students with $15,000 of financial assistance over the course of their three years in law school.  During his term as ABA President, William G. Paul initiated the scholarship to encourage racially and ethnically diverse students to apply to and attend law school. 

Since its inception, 200 students from across the country have received the ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship.  These exceptional recipients have overcome adversity, proven themselves through academic success and public service, and demonstrated the tenacity to excel within the profession.

 

If you have any questions or would like to contribute additional materials, please email legalosf@americanbar.org.

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CY PRES AWARDS Diversifying the Legal Profession

When class action lawsuits result in an award or settlement for the plaintiff class, in almost every case funds go unclaimed by class members. The unclaimed funds become a residual fund that is available for another use. Broadly speaking, Cy Pres is the term for finding another appropriate use for the funds that aids in accomplishing the remedial aspects of the purpose of the litigation. How those funds are used is usually determined by counsel and the court. Cy Pres awards are an ideal way to advance the goal of keeping the doors of a legal education open to diverse law students.

The effort to increase diversity in the profession is an appropriate use of Cy Pres funds. A Cy Pres award of $95,000 from a 2011 class action law suit made it possible for 19 diverse law students to receive much-needed scholarships that helped cover the costs of their textbooks and other critical expenses.

We respectfully ask you to give the ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund special consideration for Cy Pres awards because:

  • Financial aid during law school is a vital component of any effort to increase diversity in the profession.
  • The ABA Legal Scholarship Fund responds to this need by selecting diverse law students from over 1,000 applicants to receive $5,000 per year for the three years of law school.
  • Since the Fund’s inception, more than 300 deserving students from across the country have received a Legal Opportunity Scholarship.  These students have overcome many challenges to entering and graduating from ABA-accredited law schools and have proven themselves through academic success and public service.

Please contact the ABA Fund for Justice and Education, the 501(c)3 component of the ABA,  at (312) 988-5927 for more information about how a Cy Pres award can make a visible difference in our nation’s law schools, in the legal profession and, ultimately, in the communities we serve.

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