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Grant Programs Helps Fund New Initiatives


Vol. 40 No. 1
ByMatthew Gorney

Matthew Gorney, a 2L at the University of Kansas School of Law, is student editor of Student Lawyer.
Generating ideas for new and interesting law school programming is often the easy part. The dilemma frequently arises when funds do not exist to implement those ideas.

The ABA Law Student Division’s grant program offers a solution to this problem. Through the program, law school organizations or individual law students may apply for a grant of up to $500 to fund a first-time event.

“Think of it as a venture capital fund,” says AnnMichelle Hart, former secretary-treasurer of the Law Student Division and 2011 graduate of the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law. “We get you off the ground, but it’s up to you to fly the plane.”

Last year, the Law Student Division awarded 26 grants. There is no restriction on the number of grants that may be awarded to an organization or an individual as long as the requirements for the grant are met.

To qualify for a grant, a program or activity must be a first-time program and must emphasize professionalism training, public interest/service, ethics, or diversity. The full list of requirements and the application can be found at the Law Student Division’s website

Money for the grants comes solely from dues paid by Division members. “We really don’t have a very big pool [of money],” Hart said, “which is why we can’t fund continuing programs.”

With the limited source of income, applications must be complete and thorough before grants can be approved. A lack of sufficient information is one of the most common issues that prevents grants from being awarded, Hart says.

Current secretary-treasurer Will Binkley says contacting the Division before submitting a grant application is better than guessing and hoping for the best.

“It’s better to call because we’re the person who has the answer,” Binkley says. “The Law Student Division wants to provide funding. We want qualified programs to have these programs at your law school.”

“We’re here to answer your questions. If you have a question or need a clarification, it is our duty to help you.”


Top Tips: Filling Out a Law Student Division Grant Application

1.          Read all of the requirements. If you don’t understand the requirements, contact the Law Student Division secretary-treasurer.

2.          Provide full and complete information to help the Division in its
decision-making process.

3.          Make sure your grant program is a first-time event that emphasizes one of the following:

·         Professionalism

·         Public interest/service

·         Ethics

·         Diversity

Student Lawyer Student Lawyer magazine provides guidance on educational, career, and related issues for ABA Law Student Division members and other subscribers. It is published four times a year by the Law Student Division of the American Bar Association. Student Lawyer is available online to members of the ABA Law Student Division and to print subscribers.

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