Law School Announces New Social Justice Scholarship for Students Committed to Public Interest Law

A new full-tuition scholarship will be available at Seattle University School of Law to outstanding law students committed to social justice and to working in public interest law upon graduation.

The Scholars for Justice Award is a three-year, full-tuition scholarship supporting students committed to public interest law, service and leadership, academic excellence, community and global awareness. It will be awarded starting with the entering class of 2006 and is one more example of Seattle University School of Law’s commitment to educating outstanding lawyers who distinguish themselves through their dedication to law in the service of justice.

“Our mission is to give aspiring lawyers the professional skills and ethical compass they need to become leaders who will work for a just and humane world,” Dean Kellye Testy said. “Seattle University School of Law seeks students with integrity and compassion, wise judgment, ethical behavior and a charitable spirit and helps them develop into outstanding lawyers. This will help address the need to have well-trained, ethical lawyers working for the less fortunate and on behalf of the community.”

The scholarship will allow two of the most promising students who have proven their dedication to this important but traditionally lower-paying field of law to earn their degrees without incurring the debt that is often an obstacle in choosing such a career. Scholars will make a moral commitment to devote much of their careers to public interest law or to donate to the law school’s scholarship fund an amount at least equal to the scholarship should their career path change.

The award advances Seattle University School of Law’s dedication to social justice. The law school’s Public Interest Law Foundation makes available summer grants for law students to work in areas of public interest law that have traditionally been underfunded. Grants have allowed students to work with programs ranging from the Unemployment Law Project and Northwest Defenders Association in Seattle to the Society for Protecting the Rights of the Child in Iran.
The law school also has a program in which graduates working in public interest law can apply for loans to repay debts. The loans are forgiven if they stay in the profession.

Additionally, the law school’s Access to Justice Institute is a center of legal activism that places more than 300 students in legal service programs, providing pro bono services to low-income communities. Among other achievements, ATJI oversees Community Justice Centers providing legal services in underserved areas and started the nation’s first language bank, making interpreters in 24 languages available to pro bono lawyers.

Students’ preparation for public interest law is exemplified by the fact that for the fourth year in a row, a Seattle University School of Law student has received the Goldmark Equal Access to Justice Internship. One intern is chosen each year from applicants across the country. Erin Glass, a second year student, will be place at LAW Advocates in Bellingham next summer. Ernest Radillo, a third-year student, recently completed his internship at Kitsap Legal Services.

For more information about the scholarship or the application process, contact Assistant Dean for Admission Carol Cochran, at ccochran@seattleu.edu or (206) 398.4206.