Diversity & Inclusion

OSB and D&I Mission & Values


The mission of the Oregon State Bar is to serve justice by promoting respect for the rule of law, by improving the quality of legal services, and by increasing access to justice. The bar is committed to serving and valuing its diverse community, to advancing equality in the justice system, and to removing barriers to that system.

The Diversity & Inclusion Department serves the OSB's mission by striving to increase the diversity of the Oregon bench and bar to reflect the diversity of the people of Oregon, by educating attorneys about the cultural richness and diversity of the clients they serve, and by removing barriers to justice.



What is Diversity and Inclusion?
Why is it important?

Diversity and inclusion mean acknowledging, embracing and valuing the unique contributions our individual backgrounds make to strengthen our legal community, increase access to justice, and promote laws and creative solutions that better serve clients and communities. Diversity includes, but is not limited to: age; culture; disability; ethnicity; gender and gender identity or expression; geographic location; national origin; race; religion; sex; sexual orientation; and socio-economic status. A diverse and inclusive bar is necessary to attract and retain talented employees and leaders; effectively serve diverse clients with diverse needs; understand and adapt to increasingly diverse local and global markets; devise creative solutions to complex problems; and improve access to justice, respect for the rule of law, and credibility of the legal profession.




Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Programs


D&I programs are open to individuals who can help advance the department’s mission. As such, students whose applications support an intent to practice law in Oregon will be given preference. However, the D&I Department encourages all law students who can advance the mission of the department and who might consider practicing law in Oregon to apply. Eligible students include those who 1) can contribute to the bar’s historically or currently underrepresented membership; 2) have experienced economic, social, or other barriers; 3) have experienced discrimination or oppression; 4) have a demonstrated commitment to increasing access to justice or can otherwise demonstrate a commitment to advancing the D&I Department’s mission.

Our department is working to evaluate the efficacy of our programs on an ongoing basis. As such, programing may change in order to address current student needs, improve efficiency, or better meet the D&I mission. The program descriptions below reflect 2017 programming, and may be subject to change in 2018.

The Oregon State Bar is subject to the State Public Records Law. Public records are generally subject to public inspection through the Public Records Law which contains a number of exemptions including one for personal information. Should anyone seek to examine your application under the Public Records Law, the bar will invoke the personal privacy exemption except for the following information: your name, and your list of references and contacts as listed on the bottom of Page “i” of the application. The State Attorney General has authority to review the decisions of the state bar in this area and public records disputes can reach the courts. The bar reserves the right to respond as it deems appropriate to any requests to inspect D&I Department records, including your application. The state bar will abide by all final court decisions concerning the public records status of D&I records.



OJD/D&I JUDICIAL MENTORSHIP PROGRAM
Deadline – October 22


Judges: download the Judicial Mentor Application

Students: download the Student Application

Mentorship Program Student Info

The Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Department, administers a yearly Judicial Mentorship Program in collaboration with the Oregon Judicial Department (OJD).  The program provides support, advice, and connection to the legal community for diverse law students in Oregon. The program is open to all law students who can advance the department’s mission, as outlined above. Accordingly, while ethnic minority students are specifically encouraged to apply, the Judicial Mentorship Program is open to students of any race or ethnicity.




SCHOLARSHIPS
The deadline for the D&I Scholarship was April 1 2017.
Information regarding 2018 scholarships will be posted when available.


The D&I Department annually distributes ten scholarships ($2,000 per scholarship) for which entering and current Oregon law school students who intend to practice in Oregon are eligible. A subcommittee reviews all applications within the pool and determines awards according to evidence of the greatest financial need, the students’ qualifications to help further the program’s mission, and other considerations. The D&I Department distributes funds to successful applicants’ law school’s financial aid offices by semester - $1,000 per semester – and the funds do not extend beyond the award year. Interested students must re-apply every year and provide an annually updated Financial Assessment Record.

Eligibility and Specific Component Criteria
All law students are eligible to apply. Applicants must demonstrate financial need (complete Financial Assessment Record annually) and provide a Personal Statement and Oregon State Bar Statement which support their qualifications to advance the D&I Department mission. A resume including community activities is also required.




BAR EXAM GRANTS
The deadlines for D&I Bar Exam Grants for 2017 have passed.
Information regarding 2018 grants will be posted when available.



July 2017 Diversity & Inclusion Bar Exam Grant Application


This program is available to any graduating law student or graduate who can assist the D&I Department in advancing its mission.

The D&I Department awards three bar exam grants for the February exam, and six grants for the July exam, to those applicants whose personal experiences, accomplishments, commitment to practice law in Oregon, and financial need demonstrate that they will help the department achieve its mission.

Each grant award consists of a supplemental MBE review course (a $699 value), as well as a reimbursement of $600 of the Admissions application fee.

Each grant includes a one-time committee-approved bar preparation course focusing on Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) testing. Payment for the course will be issued directly to the course provider in the grant recipient's name. A grant recipient who chooses not to participate in the course, or who previously received this portion of the grant, may retain the application fee reimbursement but must forego the eligibility for the course.

The reimbursement portion of the grant award will be paid after the bar exam, once D&I staff has confirmed the grant recipient sat for the exam. The bar applicant is responsible for reimbursing a sponsor, if applicable, as well as any taxes associated with the award.

Eligibility and Specific Component Criteria
All graduating law students/graduates are eligible are encouraged to apply. Applicants must submit the Bar Exam Grant Application, Personal Statement, Law School Transcripts, and Legal Writing Sample.




CLERKSHIP STIPEND
The deadline for this stipend was February 1 2017.
Information regarding stipends for 2018 will be posted when available.


This program is available to any law student who can assist the D&I Department in advancing its mission.

D&I awards up to 14 Clerkship Stipends to provide legal employment opportunities for those law students who intend to practice law in Oregon and who will help the D&I Department advance its mission. Applicants are not required to be enrolled in an Oregon law school. The D&I Department will rank applications according to economic disadvantage, the potential that the clerkships will advance the student’s practical experience and networking in Oregon’s legal community, and other considerations. The students selected for stipends are responsible for finding employment under the program. The employment must be in Oregon. If the student does not find a law-related position by the deadline, the student must arrange for an extension or forfeit the stipend to a student-alternate. The stipend period does not extend into the academic year.

Each stipend is $7.00 per hour and each employer must agree to match at least $7.00 per hour. The stipend recipient must inform the D&I Department if the total of the stipend and employer portion exceed the hourly rate of a comparable clerk’s position in the same office. The employer must be in the legal field and the student’s supervisor must be an attorney.

Eligibility and Specific Component Criteria
All law students are eligible to apply. Applicants must demonstrate financial need (complete Financial Assessment Record annually) and provide a Personal Statement and Oregon State Bar Statement. Applicants must also submit a resume which includes community activities.




PUBLIC HONORS FELLOWSHIP
The Public Honors Fellowship deadline was February 1 2017.
Information regarding 2018 fellowships will be posted when available.


The Public Honors Fellowship Program allows continuing law students to explore summer legal opportunities with public employers and non-profit organizations in the state of Oregon. D&I awards a total of ten Public Honors Fellowships to law students who can contribute to the bar’s historically or currently underrepresented membership; who have experienced economic, social, or other barriers; who have a demonstrated commitment to increasing access to justice; or who have personally experienced discrimination or oppression. Two Public Honors Fellowships are initially reserved for each of the three Oregon law schools, while the remaining four Public Honors fellowships are open to all continuing Oregon or out-of-state law students. D&I will award the greatest preference consideration to those law students whose OSB statement can support their intention to practice law in Oregon.

The Public Honors Fellowship award is $5,000, paid in three installments over the summer months. Students must work for a public employer or 501(c)3 organization; fellowship employment must be in Oregon and the application of this award may not extend into the academic year. The students selected for fellowships are responsible for securing employment under the program.

Eligibility and Specific Component Criteria
All law students who will continue to be enrolled in law school in the fall term are eligible. Applicants must demonstrate financial need and provide a Personal Statement, Oregon State Bar Statement, and a resume which includes community activities.




RURAL OPPORTUNITY FELLOWSHIP
The Rural Opportunity Fellowship deadline was February 1 2017.
Information regarding 2018 fellowships will be posted when available.


The Rural Opportunity Fellowship Program allows continuing law students to explore summer legal opportunities with public employers and non-profit organizations in rural Oregon. Public Honors Fellowship applicants may choose to also apply for one of an additional two Rural Opportunity Fellowship to add to their Public Honors Fellowship award. Applicants for a Rural Opportunity Fellowship must demonstrate an interest in working in rural Oregon within their OSB Statement, and secure a summer clerk position in rural Oregon. (In general, “rural Oregon” is considered as being anywhere along the Oregon coast, anywhere east of the Cascade Mountains, or anywhere south of Roseburg. Other areas of Oregon may be considered on a case-by-case basis, and are not guaranteed.) D&I will award the greatest preference consideration to those law students whose OSB statement can support their intention to practice law in Oregon.

The Rural Opportunity Fellowship award is an additional $3,360, paid together with the Public Honors Fellowship in three installments over the summer months. Students must work for a public employer or 501(c)3 organization; fellowship employment must be in Oregon and the application of this award may not extend into the academic year. The students selected for fellowships are responsible for securing employment under the program.

Eligibility and Specific Component Criteria
All law students who will continue to be enrolled in law school in the fall term are eligible. Applicants must demonstrate financial need and provide a Personal Statement, Oregon State Bar Statement, and a resume which includes community activities. If a Rural Opportunity Fellowship recipient is unable to secure a qualifying position in rural Oregon, they may still utilize their $5,000 Public Honors Fellowship by securing a position elsewhere in Oregon.




OPPORTUNITIES FOR LAW IN OREGON (OLIO)


The deadline for OLIO Orientation 2017 applications was June 16. Information regarding OLIO Orientation 2018 will be posted when available.

OLIO is the Oregon State Bar’s recruitment and retention program for law students who can contribute to the bar’s historically or currently underrepresented membership; who have experienced economic, social, or other barriers; who have a demonstrated interest in increasing access to justice; or who have personally experienced discrimination or oppression.

This D&I program begins with a multi-day orientation during the first weekend of August (August 4-6) that provides a diverse group of Oregon’s first-year law students with the opportunity to interact with each other, and with upper division students, judges and leaders who will serve as their mentors and role models. The orientation curriculum focuses on sharpening existing skills and providing new skills to help ensure success in law school and beyond. Students receive valuable information on networking, study skills and Oregon bar exam preparation.

The orientation is free for all participating students. Bus transportation to and from the law schools, hotel accommodations, and major meals will be provided. Students should expect to pay only for incidental charges they, themselves, incur during the weekend.

OLIO participants and other interested students also have opportunities to reconnect at several events throughout the year, including a bowling networking event (BOWLIO), an employment retreat and a spring social.

Upper division law students (known as “THUDS,” or The Helpful Upper Division Students) committed to the OLIO objectives and the D&I Department mission are invited to apply to be student mentors, and help OSB with the workshops and activities of the OLIO orientation. These students reside with the entering law students during the orientation, and often continue their mentor relationships throughout the academic year.


Eligibility and Specific Component Criteria
ENTERING STUDENTS:
Entering law students who can contribute to the bar’s historically or currently underrepresented membership; who have experienced economic, social, or other barriers; who have a demonstrated interest in increasing access to justice; or who have personally experienced discrimination or oppression, may apply. Completed Interest Forms should be submitted to D&I staff by email or fax.

UPPER DIVISION STUDENTS:
Upper division law students who are committed to advancing OLIO objectives and the D&I Department mission may submit an application to be an upper division mentor. Completed “THUD” (the helpful upper division) Applications should be submitted to D&I staff by email or fax.




LSAT SCHOLARSHIP
The LSAT Scholarship deadline was March 15 2017.
Information regarding 2018 LSAT Scholarships will be posted when available.



Download the LSAT Scholarship Application


D&I is pleased to offer up to a maximum of six scholarships for LSAT preparation courses, one of which is being funded in part by the Oregon State Lottery and will go to an undergraduate student from a public Oregon university, to any law school applicant attending college in the state of Oregon, or with significant ties to the state of Oregon, who can assist D&I with advancing its mission.

Applicants must be able to commit to a rigorous study schedule.  The LSAT course is an 81-hour full-length live online course, offered by PowerScore.  The course includes 36 hours of live online lecture taught by a 99th percentile instructor. Also included are 45 hours of online teaching sessions, official practice LSAT exam questions, an extensive online resource center, and personal student support.  Generally, classes will span 6-8 weeks, 3 hours per lesson, 2 times per week.

Eligibility and Specific Component Criteria
Any law school applicant attending college in the state of Oregon, or any law school applicant with significant ties to the state of Oregon, who can help the D&I Department advance its mission is eligible to apply.  Applicants must demonstrate financial need and provide a Personal Statement and an Oregon State Bar Statement with their completed application materials.