According to “the National Association for Law Placement published in 2016, African-American lawyers make up only 4 per cent of associates and 1.4 per cent of partners in New York City law firms.” In an effort to improve these statistics, a number of law schools are offering scholarships and mentoring programs targeted at low income blacks.
At the University of Minnesota Law School, programs are offered to under represented groups to help with law school admissions and LSAT preparation at no cost. In addition, at “New York’s Columbia Law School, a programme established by Baker & McKenzie in 2015 offers a $50,000 scholarship to Masters of Laws students from outside the US and western Europe who can demonstrate academic achievement and a need for financial support.”
This initiative isn’t just in the United States either. For example, “Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, one of London’s elite Magic Circle law firms,” offers the Stephen Lawrence Scholarship Scheme. The scholarship “is named after a young black British man murdered in a racially motivated attack in 1993, and is open only to black men from low-income households.” The Scheme not only offers financial assistance, but also “includes everything from an in-house development course and mentoring to an interview for a training contract, the final stage of a legal education.”
Lastly, in terms of financial aid, schools such as “Durham and York universities and the London School of Economics have been granting bursaries to undergraduate law students from underprivileged backgrounds through a scheme funded by law firm Hogan Lovells.”
It seems he international community has recognized a need for more diversity in law and a commitment has begun to increase it.