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Sidley Prelaw Scholars Initiative

A lack of resources to attend costly LSAT preparation classes and to fund expensive admissions applications is a significant factor in hindering the application to law school by diverse students. The Sidley Prelaw Scholars Initiative is designed to help address this threshold issue by meeting the specific needs of racially-diverse students seeking to attend law school. Sidley Prelaw Scholars, chosen from college juniors and seniors who demonstrate academic promise and financial need, will receive a $2,500 stipend to cover both tuition in a commercial LSAT preparation course, as well as application fees for as many as seven accredited law schools. Over twenty colleges and universities are slated to participate in the program nationwide.

“Sidley has a significant commitment to achieving greater ethnic and racial diversity within the legal profession and the firm. We wanted to develop a program that would widen the pipeline by helping to eliminate barriers at an earlier stage in a student’s career,” said Carter Phillips, chairman of the firm’s Executive Committee. “Our diversity committee and staff are to be congratulated for developing this creative approach.”

Other critical components of the program include:

  • coaching on how to complete a successful law school application;
  • an additional $2,500 in scholarship assistance for the senior year of college; and
  • pre-law school seminar instruction on the structure of the American legal system, as well as an introduction to the substance of the required common law first-year courses.

“From my personal experience as a graduate of a historically black university, I know that there is a need for more financial assistance for students from historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) who are hopeful of obtaining professional degrees. We believe that the Sidley Prelaw Scholars Initiative will create opportunities for graduates at HBCUs and for financially needy students from other institutions,” said Stanley Stallworth. Stallworth is the firmwide co-chair of the firm’s Diversity Committee, which is responsible for implementing the firm’s policies and initiatives relating to diversity and inclusion.

Download a copy of the 2014 Sidley Scholars Brochure.

2014 Sidley Scholars

Seated (L to R): Sha’na Harris, Jade Jenkins, Sandra Lopez, Cindy Dinh, Morgan Tapp, Alicia Niaves, Jasmin Morris, Cha’Mira Keener, Liz Wangu and Latena Hazard.

Standing (L to R): Kerriann Mills, Stanley Stallworth, Sally Olson, Angelo Villarreal, Jameson Miller, Taj Tucker, Byron Taylor, Maria Melendez, Larry Barden, Michele Ruiz, Carter Phillips, Leland Shelton, Daveante Jones, Julian Fowler, Matthew Irwin, Christopher Maduforo, Ashley Williams, Johnny Taylor, Jr., Teri Cotton Santos and Hui Min Cao.