Scholarship Requirements

DRI announces its annual Law Student Diversity Scholarship program, open to rising (2021–2022) second- and third-year African American, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, LGBTQ, and multiracial students. Incoming second- and third-year female law students are also eligible, regardless of race or ethnicity. Incoming second- and third-year law students who also come from backgrounds that would add to the cause of diversity, regardless of race or gender are eligible to apply. Students who are members of the American Association for Justice (AAJ), Law School or Law Student members of AAJ or students otherwise affiliated with or employed by AAJ are not eligible for DRI Law Student Diversity Scholarships. To qualify for this scholarship, candidate must be a full-time student. Evening students also qualify for consideration who have completed one-third or more of the total credit hours required for a degree by the applicant’s law school. The goal of these scholarships is to provide financial assistance to two worthy law students from ABA accredited law schools in order to promote, in a tangible way, the DRI Diversity Statement in Principle. Two (2) scholarships in the amount of $10,000 each will be awarded to successful applicants. Recipients’ of the scholarships will be announced at the DRI Annual Meeting in October.

Two scholarships will be awarded to applicants who best meet the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated academic excellence
  • Service to the profession
  • Service to the community
  • Service to the cause of diversity

Applications must include three recommendations, one each from the following individuals:*

  1. The dean or an associate dean of the student’s law school;
  2. A current or past law professor; and
  3. An individual who is personally acquainted with the applicant, but who is not related by blood line or adoption

Additionally, each applicant must include a cover letter with his or her application. In that cover letter, each applicant should identify his or her academic, personal, and professional accomplishments and how those accomplishments qualify him or her for a DRI Law Student Diversity Scholarship.

* Letters of recommendation may be submitted directly by the applicant.

Essay Requirements

In addition to submitting the attached application and required recommendations, applicants must complete an essay of no more than 1,000 words based upon the following question:

How do we increase diversity within law firms?

One of the biggest challenges facing law firms in the United States is diversity. Even though many firms have taken steps to change their practices to make their environments more hospitable to diverse groups, there has been little impact on the overall disparity of diverse partners within law firms across the country. Reports have shown that organizations that are diverse tend to be more financially successful. Nevertheless, the potential for financial gain has not resulted in more diverse law firms.

DRI is interested in hearing your ideas on how to improve diversity in law firms so we can provide informed recommendations that will help to move the needle. We are looking for proposals on how we can help address diversity within the legal space. Please be sure to address the following questions in your recommendations.

  1. A common occurrence is when partners within an established law firm are not convinced that diversity is a priority for the firm: How would you go about convincing managing partners and other partners that improving diversity within their firms is in their best interest?
  2. Surveys have shown that many diverse attorneys do not feel supported within their firms: What do you believe a law firm would need to do to build trust with diverse young lawyers and demonstrate that they are supported by their colleagues?

Submission Deadline

Applications and all other requested materials must be received by June 30, 2021. Scholarship winners will be notified in advance and officially announced at the DRI Annual Meeting, October 13–16, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

All applications, essays, and required materials** may be submitted in PDF format to scholarship@dri.org, or hard copy format to:

Denise Eichhorn, Director of Committees and Education
DRI
222 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 1870
Chicago, IL 60606

** Letters of recommendation may be submitted directly by the applicant

 

Apply for the Diversity Scholarship (PDF)