Berle Center Scholarship Program

The Adolf A. Berle, Jr. Center on Corporations, Law and Society annually provides a full tuition scholarship and other support to nurture leaders in the mold of Adolf A. Berle.

Adolf A. Berle, Jr. was a practicing lawyer, a teacher, a scholar, and a public servant extraordinaire. He was an exceptional student, and excelled at everything he undertook. He had a passion for social justice. His life is an example of the very best that a lawyer can hope to achieve over a lifetime of service.

As a public servant, Berle is remembered as one of the original members of Franklin D. Roosevelt's "brain trust." He was influential in shaping New Deal legislation to reform banking, the stock market, the bankruptcy system, and railroading. He became an expert on Latin-American affairs, serving as ambassador to Brazil, Assistant Secretary of State for Latin American Affairs under Roosevelt, and Chair of President Kennedy's Advisory Task Force on Latin American Affairs.

As a scholar, Berle is most remembered for The Modern Corporation and Private Property (1932), co-authored with Gardiner Means. In that work, Berle set out a compelling critique of the profound changes wrought by the modern business corporation. Berle saw that corporations would become the dominant institution in society. Moreover, he foresaw that corporations would be loosely united by common goals and interests into a force that would compete with the modern state for influence and power. Berle spent the rest of his career as a scholar working out these understandings as the corporate system continued to evolve and change.

The Adolf A. Berle, Jr. Scholarship

The Adolf A. Berle, Jr. Scholarship is awarded annually to a student who: (1) has a keen intellectual interest in understanding the nature of modern society, and particularly, the nature of the modern corporation, and its intersection with law and society; (2) exhibits a passion for using his or her legal education to the fullest, whether as private lawyer, public servant, teacher, or scholar; and (3) has excelled in life prior to law school. The Berle Scholar receives a grant (without regard to financial need) in the amount of full tuition. The grant is awarded for one year, but is renewed annually based on satisfactory participation in program activities. The Director of the Berle Center will serve as an advisor/mentor to the Berle Scholars.

Obligations of Berle Scholars

Berle scholars are expected to participate with enthusiasm in the intellectual life of the Berle Center, including attendance at designated programs, lunches and events.

How to Apply

In addition to completing all of the sections of the J.D. application and returning it with the items requested, Berle scholarship applicants must:

  • Submit a typewritten autobiographical essay discussing the factors that have most significantly influenced your life, your goals, your passions, your successes and failures, and any other aspects you consider germane to your qualification for the Berle scholarship(s).
  • Please date and sign the essay and attach it to the J.D Application. This essay is in addition to the personal statement required for admission. Please clearly identify your essay as "Application for Berle Scholarship." If you are admitted to the Law School, your entire admissions application will be considered by the Selection Committee.
  • Complete an application for admission with the school of law by February 1st. Those who are selected for interviews will be notified by March 15th. Interviews will be conducted either by phone or in person. A scholarship offer will be made shortly after the interviews. If you are offered the Berle Scholarship, you will be expected to respond to the offer by April 1st or within three business day, which ever is later. Applicants therefore should plan to attend other schools' admitted students' days, and gather whatever other information they need, in order to make a decision about the scholarship within the prescribed time limits.

How to Accept

Acceptance of the Berle Scholarship must be in writing, via a form that will be provided to you.