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.