YLD Scholarship Program


The YLD Scholarship Program is designed to encourage the participation of minority, solo/small firm, government, private sector, and military service attorneys in the Young Lawyers Division. Priority will be given to those applicants who express a desire to become actively involved with the Division and require financial assistance.

 The program consists of:

  • Per the Division's financial policy, scholars will receive partial funding to attend the Fall Conference, and Spring Conference: round-trip airfare up to $350; $20 ground transportation; and $100 per diem (for two days)
  • Appointment to and active participation in one of the YLD boards or teams
  • Mentoring
  • All scholars are required to: Attend the YLD Fall Conference, the YLD Spring Conference and participate in scheduled programming on Friday and Saturday of each meeting
  • Produce a written piece (i.e. 101/201 article, resolution for consideration at the YLD Assembly)
  • Assist on projects as assigned

Scholarship Categories

  • General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Practitioners
  • Government, Military and Public Sector Lawyers
  • Minorities in the Profession

Program Length

One Bar Year (September 1 - August 31)


To be eligible, a scholar must be a "young lawyer," which is defined as any licensed attorney who is under the age of thirty-six or who has been licensed for no more than five years at the start of the scholarship year (September 1). Applicants for this scholarship program should be ABA YLD-eligible lawyers who fall within at least one of the scholarship areas. There is no requirement that applicants be presently involved with a local ABA YLD affiliate. Although applications will be accepted from non-ABA members, any person chosen as a scholarship recipient must be an ABA member before receiving assistance. In addition, anyone receiving a scholarship must be present at all three funded conferences.

Application Process

An online application must be submitted; preview a PDF of online application. The application includes:

  • A completed application form
  • An letter outlining why you would like to become involved in the YLD
  • A biography
  • A resume
  • Two to four letters of recommendation. Examples include letters from current or former employers and fellow practitioners.
  • Deadline has been extended to Friday, April 15

Selection Process

The Review Committee is made up of ABA Young Lawyers Division members. Scholarships will be awarded to applicants who demonstrate financial need and clearly express a strong desire to remain actively involved. Successful applicants will demonstrate a history of bar involvement, public service, and professional excellence.
The Review Committee will also consider the following based on the applicant’s letter of intent:

  • Initiative – Has the applicant displayed initiative in the past or currently in community and professional activities? Does the applicant possess leadership potential?
  • Financial Need – Does the applicant demonstrate a need for financial assistance in order to attend ABA YLD Conferences?
  • Attendance – Does the applicant affirmatively state he/she will attend the three YLD Conferences?
  • Communication – Are the ideas expressed in the letter of intent communicated clearly?
  • Special Circumstances – Has the applicant overcome any unusual challenges or obstacles?

*Special consideration may be given to applicants with multiple years of eligibility left in the YLD.