Justice & Diversity Center Law Student Scholarship Committee Tackles Increasing Tuition One Scholarship at a Time

For nearly 30 years, law school tuition has skyrocketed. According to the American Bar Association, in 1985 the average tuition for private law school was $7,526. In 2012, it was $40,634. From 2012 to 2013, law student enrollment was 150,113 while minority law students represented only 35,914 of the total.

Established in 1998, the Bay Area Minority Law Student Scholarship provides financial support to underrepresented Bay Area law students. More than $1.7 million in scholarships have been awarded to 92 students to date.


The scholarship committee includes Ronnie Caplane, Workers Compensation Appeals Board; Yolanda Jackson, BASF; Associate Justice Martin Jenkins, California Court of Appeal; Aaron Kaufmann, Leonard Carder; Amarra Lee, San Mateo District Attorney’s Office; Stuart Plunkett, Morrison & Foerster, Nicole Britton-Snyder, BASF/JDC; and Richard Zitrin, Zitrin Law Office.

“We have been deprived of wonderful young men and women who will make fine lawyers, and who will if they get enough money to avoid oppressive debt give something back to their community one day” said committee Chair and longtime scholarship donor Richard Zitrin.

Committee member and former scholarship recipient Amarra Lee adds, “As a former scholarship recipient, I know the impact this scholarship has on students’ lives. As a member of this profession, I know the positive impact this organization has on diversity in this field. As a scholarship committee member, I hope that individuals will recognize the value of investing in diversity and continue to contribute.”

“The committee serves an important function in ensuring that scholarship funds are directed to deserving students who will eventually serve our community as practicing lawyers. As a committee member and a donor, I encourage other attorneys and firms to consider sponsoring scholarships to get involved in this important process.” said Stuart Plunkett.

The 2015 scholarship application is currently available online: www.sfbar.org/scholarships.

You can also contribute to our scholarship program: www.sfbar.org/donate.