In June 2011, the Managing Partners of 12 medium and large law offices in Grand Rapids, Michigan, along with a representative of the Grand Rapids Bar Association, signed The Managing Partners Diversity Collaborative Agreement. In that agreement, we shared our common commitment to increasing the diversity and inclusiveness of our individual organizations and our profession. Each of the Signatories expressed his or her commitment to working with others to achieve diversity and inclusion in the education, hiring, retention, and promotion of attorneys and in the elevation of attorneys to leadership positions within our organizations, the judiciary, and the profession.
We share a belief that diversity encompasses, among other things, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, nationality, language, age, disability, marital and parental status, geographic origin, and socioeconomic background.
Through our discussions, the Managing Partners concluded that we can accomplish much more together than we can individually. We desire to collaborate to bring about change in our organizations and in the Greater Grand Rapids legal community, change that will increase our diversity and ensure that our firms and the Bar Association are open and inclusive. To this end, we agreed to develop a five-year Action Plan to address three pressing challenges facing our organizations and the Bar Association:
Increasing the number attorneys of color in our organizations within five years;
Improving the rate of retention and advancement of female attorneys and attorneys of color in our organizations;
Expanding the pipeline of persons of color who enter law school and the profession.
In an effort to meet the third goal of the Action Plan, the Managing Partners Diversity Collaborative (MPDC) has funded an LSAT Scholarship to assist college students and other members of the Grand Rapids community who desire to enter law school with the cost of preparing for and taking the LSAT admission test.
The LSAT Scholarship funds may be used for the following:
LSAT test fee
Law School Admissions Counsel Credential Assembly Service fees for providing LSAT reports to law schools
Some or all of the cost of an LSAT prep course provided by an approved test preparation service (e.g. Kaplan)
To be eligible for a scholarship, applicants must meet the following criteria:
Meet one or more of the categories of diversity as outlined by the MPDC:
“Race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, nationality, language, age, disability, marital and parental status, geographic origin, and socioeconomic background.”
Demonstrate financial need
Demonstrate a commitment to West Michigan
Applicants should submit the following materials to be considered for a 2014 LSAT Scholarship:
Completed 2014 Scholarship Application
A copy of the most recent official transcript of your college grades
Your most recently submitted FAFSA Financial Information Form, if applicable; if not applicable, other recent evidence of financial need; e.g., most recent tax return, W-2, Income Statement, Medicaid or other form(s) for medical or financial assistance, or letter(s) from employer(s); and up to three letters of recommendation
Applications are being coordinated by the Grand Rapids Bar Association and should be sent via email to Kim Coleman at email@example.com with reference in the Subject Line to “LSAT Scholarship Program.”
Applicants must also be available for a short follow-up interview with MPDC committee members. These interviews may be conducted by telephone or other electronic means (i.e. Skype) if applicants are not in the West Michigan area at the time of the interviews.
2014 Deadlines and Timeline:
2014 Scholarship Application
(Deadline has passed)
Applications must be submitted by June 27, 2014 to be considered for scholarships for the September 2014 LSAT.
Applicants will be notified by July 28, 2014 whether they have been awarded a scholarship.
Questions? Contact Kim Coleman at the Grand Rapids Bar Association at firstname.lastname@example.org