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ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund

The American Bar Association’s Fund for Legal Education sponsors the Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund.  This is a scholarship intended to encourage racial and ethnic minorities to apply to law school, and awards $5,000 of financial assistance annually to each recipient.  Additional information and the application can be found on the ABA website.

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In celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday

The Rev. Dr. King has always been a source of inspiration for me as an attorney and as a person.  I hope you all can celebrate his birthday by reading from some of his works, available at the King Papers Project.  Here is one passage that is as compelling today as it must have been when it was originally delivered, over 40 years ago.

I refuse to accept the idea that man is mere flotsam and jetsam in the river of life, unable to influence the unfolding events which surround him.I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.I refuse to accept the cynical notion that nation after nation must spiral down a militaristic stairway into the hell of nuclear... read more »

New Scholarship for Hearing Impaired Law Students

The George H. Nofer Scholarship for Law and Public Policy has been established by the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell). One scholarship of $5,000 is available for the 2006-2007 academic year. Scholarship applicants must be accepted to an accredited law school as a full-time student; be diagnosed with a moderate to profound hearing loss prior to acquiring spoken language; use spoken communication as the primary mode of communication; and have an undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 3.0. Nofer Scholarship recipients may apply for a renewed scholarship in their second and third years of study. The application deadline is April 15, 2006. To apply, complete and submit a College and University Scholarship Award Application available online at www.agbell.org in the Financial Aid and Scholarships section under Awards/College Scholarships.

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Law-related AmeriCorps Program for college grads

The Southeastern Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corp. (SMLAC) is sponsoring 25 annual AmeriCorps positions for college graduates interested in helping provide necessary legal help to poor people, while gaining experience working in law offices.  The positions are distributed throughout Massachusetts, and carry a $15,000 stipend, health benefits, and $4,725 toward the payment of eligible educational loans.  For more information, go to SMLAC’s website.As a former legal services attorney myself, let me add that the kind of experience you can gain from this program is unique.  It gives you an unparalleled opportunity to work on actual cases with real clients in a law office.  And, you’ll be helping people too!  I strongly recommend checking it out.

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Gaming the rankings

Every year, law school applicants spend an inordinate amount of time obsessing about US News & World Report’s law school rankings. The Pre-Law website discusses generally why you shouldn’t care about the rankings.  This summer, the New York Times published an article giving a new set of reasons: the rankings, even on their own merits, are unreliable, because law schools game the system as much as possible.  From creative accounting techniques that inflate the amount of money they allegedly spend per student, to admissions processes that artificially eleveate their median LSAT and GPA rankings, law schools are engaged in any number of practices that—intentionally or not—affect their rankings in US News & World Report.  The full article is here.

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