Since the 1960s, the student populations of American law schools have become increasingly diverse. Most law schools have active recruitment programs for students of color, to help ensure greater diversity in their student body and in the legal profession. Many (including SCU) waive application fees, and it is to your advantage to include information on your racial or ethnic identity (even if not requested on the application), as such information helps to present a complete picture of you. Similarly, interesting life experiences and past employment experiences also count. Be sure to let the law schools know if you are interested in their programs for minority applicants. Be aware that law schools will vary in the resources they invest in both attracting and retaining diverse groups of students.
Programs, Scholarships, and Grants
- American Bar Association (ABA) Opportunity Scholarship Fund - provides financial aid and scholarships that ensure that minority students applying to law school have the opportunity to attend for three years by giving $5,000 annually to each scholarship recipient attending an ABA-accredited law school.
- Council on Legal Education (CLEO) - provides pre-law seminars, career fairs, scholarship and internship opportunities, as well as a six-week summer learning institute designed to elevate the student's capacity for learning the law while simultaneously acclimating them to the law school process. All curriculum is taught by full-time law professors and the summer institute simulates the vigors of the first year of law school.
- Hispanic National Bar Foundation (HNBF) - The HNBF has several scholarships intended to benefit young Hispanic leaders who are interested in attending law school and for applicants who demonstrate active involvement in an undergraduate Hispanic/Latinx organization.
- Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) Law Scholarship Program - Every year MALDEF offers scholarships to first, second and third year law students, in an effort to increase the number of Latinx legal professionals. Students win up to $7,000 each.
- Minority Corporate Counsel Association - The Lloyd M. Johnson, Jr. Scholarship Program awards ten renewable $10,000 scholarships to entering law students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
- National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Legal Defense and Educational Fund - The Herbert Lehman Education Fund makes annual, renewable, $2,000 awards to outstanding students who meet rigorous eligibility criteria. The Earl Warren Program offers two scholarship programs, offering renewable awards between $3,000 and $15,000.
- National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) - Offers various scholarships, awarding between $2,500 and $7,500 in assistance to students who demonstrate a commitment to serve or contribute to the Asian Pacific American community as future leaders.
- National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA) - The NBLSA awards the Nelson Mandela Scholarship, for $1,000 toward law school expenses.
- Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (PRLDEF) - Offers preparation courses and scholarships to Latinx students.
- Salvadoran American Leadership and Educational Fund (SALEF) - The Fulfilling Our Dreams Scholarship Fund offers many different opportunities for financial assistance and support to undergraduate, graduate and professional students.
- San Francisco La Raza Lawyers Association - Offers scholarship awards for Latinx students up to $15,000.
- Santa Clara County La Raza Lawyers Association - Offers scholarship awards for Latinx students up to $2,500.
- American Bar Association (ABA) Center for Racial and Ethnic Diversity
- Asian American Justice Center
- Law School Entrance Guide for People of Color
- National Association of Women Lawyers
- National Bar Association (NBA)
- National Latino/a Law Student Association (NLLSA)
- National LGBT Bar Association
- National Native American Bar Association
- National Native American Law Students Association
- Native American Rights Fund