The ABA Law Student Division Grant Program provides support to student organizations to establish first-time programs and other activities that emphasize diversity, ethics, professionalism training, mental health and public interest/service activities.
- Emphasize public interest/service, professionalism training, diversity, ethics or mental health programming;
- Be a first-time event, completely new to the school; and
- Be affiliated with an ABA approved law school.
Criteria considered in awarding funds to eligible programs are:
- Benefit to the community, law students, and the profession;
- Emphasis on public interest/service, professionalism training, diversity, ethics or mental health programming;
- Efforts to acquire additional funding (e.g. fundraisers, SBA, etc.);
- Likelihood that the program will continue next year; and
- Level of detail and content of the application.
Maximum possible award allowed is $1000.00
To apply and receive funding, the applicant must:
Submit a complete application at least four weeks prior to the intended use of the funds (the date you plan to spend the funds, not the date of the actual event); and
Submit a final report within 30 days of the program’s completion, including a summary of the program, detailed budget and receipts.
All completed applications, including budgets, will be reviewed by the Division upon submission. Generally, notification is sent via email to the appropriate contact within two weeks of receiving the grant, provided no additional information is requested by the committee.
Limitations and Additional Requirements
Prohibited uses of funds include:
Speakers, Gifts for Speakers, Travel/Lodging, Alcohol, Staff/Attorney Time, Fundraising, Donations, and Professional Skills Competitions Sponsored By an ABA Approved Law School
All materials, including letters and brochures that promote your Program/Event must mention that funding has been provided by the ABA Law Student Division. In addition, a final report, not to exceed three pages, must be submitted to the Law Student Division within 30 days of the Program/Event completion date but no later than June 1. This report should include a thorough evaluation and summary of the project, number of attendees, feedback about the program, the actual costs incurred, actual revenues received, and copies of all mailings and materials produced.
In order to receive reimbursement, you must satisfactorily comply with all reporting requirements and submit a detailed final budget including all expenses and revenues and submit original receipts for all authorized expenses. Please note that expenses for staff time, attorney time or the purchase of alcohol are not authorized.
Law Student Member Contact
Ernesto Villaseñor, Law Student Division Delegate of Diversity & Inclusion
ABA Staff Contact
Anita White, ABA Administrative Assistant
Definitions for Completing Your Application
“First-Time” – An event or program that is completely new to the school and has never been put on at the school. In extraordinary circumstances, a program that has been reinstated after being dormant for a minimum of four years may be considered for the grant fund.
Mental Health Programming – A substantive program that addresses depression, anxiety, chemical dependency, substance abuse, other mental health conditions and impairments among law students, or a combination of these. Programs for funding consideration must include at least one of the following:
- a school or bar association Legal Assistance Program (LAP) component;
- assistance and prevention resources;
- information about any impact on the bar examination and/or character and fitness, etc.
Note: While laudable, programs focused on wellness, nutrition, and exercise do not fall under this definition of mental health programming for purposes of consideration of a Division grant.
Student Organizations of ABA Approved Law Schools – A group that is tied to an institution of legal education that is approved to educate students in the area of law. (Note: Regional conglomerations of these organizations are not in themselves tied to a specific law school that would allow them to be eligible for funding.)
Notice Against Fraudulent or Misleading Applications
Submission of an application with false or misleading information is subject to the following actions:
- 1st offense – Refusal of reimbursement
- 2nd offense – 6 month probation period where the entire school is barred from receiving Grant Program funds*
- 3rd offense – 2 year probation period where the entire school is barred from receiving Grant Program funds*
*Offenses are not cumulative between individual years. The counting of offenses begins each year on August 1 and continues until July 31. Each school starts with zero (0) offenses every August.
Submission of an application that violates the conditions for reimbursement will be subject to the following actions. These apply to the law school as a whole.
- Asking for reimbursement not in the submitted budget – refusal of reimbursement
- Using funds for a donation to another organization – 6-month probation
- Using funds as a source of travel or honorarium – 6-month probation
- Using award for staff time, attorney time, or alcohol – 1-year probation.
All votes to punish an applicant must be made by majority vote of the committee.
Before any punishment is levied, the applicant will be allowed to present a case on why there should be no punishment.