ABA 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

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

ABA 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.


  Snapshot of ABA Scholars:

  • In 2009-10, nearly 1,000 applicants competed for 20 scholarships.   The applicant pool consisted of 40% African Americans; 26% Hispanics; 12% Asians; 3% Native American; 12% other and no response 8%; 32% male and 68% female.
  • More than 50 law schools from across the country are represented among the Scholarship recipients.
  • Former ABA Scholars have practiced at some of the most prestigious firms and organizations across the country.  
  • All of the Scholars have committed themselves to public service either prior to, during, or after law school.   From volunteering with at-risk youth to participating in their firm’s pro bono projects, these Scholars are serving the needs of those within their community.