Memphis Law is proud to launch a new program and partnership with the law firm of Bass, Berry & Sims PLC. The Diversity Scholarship Program is designed to encourage diverse students to consider careers as attorneys with scholarship, mentorship and leadership resources for high school and college students and help prepare them for success in the legal industry. 

Memphis Law students recruited and attending law school as part of the Diversity Scholarship Program will receive access to exclusive scholarships, mentorship and career opportunities. The partnership also establishes the Bass, Berry & Sims Summer Trial Institute to give high school students a hands-on introduction to careers in the legal field and training for valuable skills for college and law school.

"We are excited to partner with Memphis Law to support and improve access and opportunity for talented, diverse students interested in a career in law," said Todd Rolapp, managing partner of Bass, Berry & Sims. "It is no secret the legal industry suffers from a lack of diverse representation, and we believe it is our role to advance diversity, equity and inclusion within the industry. This program will help forge the path for greater opportunities, starting at the collegiate and high school levels, by providing resources, professional guidance and connections to support entrance into the legal profession."

The Diversity Scholarship Program will serve as one of the college's premier scholarship programs, helping attract diverse students from Tennessee and across the nation to study at Memphis Law. The partnership also establishes a Diversity Fellow funding program allowing the law school's director of diversity & inclusion relief from teaching to focus on developing diversity and inclusion programs at the law school and to allow the director to continue outreach into the community to identify students interested in a legal career.

"We are committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive law school environment by pursuing initiatives to increase the access, admission, retention and graduation of diverse students at our campus," said Memphis Law Dean Katharine Schaffzin. "We are grateful for this partnership with Bass, Berry & Sims to help provide prospective students from historically underrepresented populations with information and financial support for attending our school, as well as professional development guidance to ensure success upon earning their law degrees."

Creating more opportunities for students to consider legal careers, the partnership also establishes the Summer Trial Institute wherein Bass, Berry & Sims attorneys will serve as instructors and mentors to high school students who participate in this innovative, two-week program. The training will focus on developing the skills necessary to become strong college and law school candidates. Bass, Berry & Sims attorneys will participate as instructors, mentors and advisors to the high school students in a curriculum aimed at promoting critical thinking, public speaking and student confidence.

Additional initiatives under the Diversity Scholarship Program include Bass, Berry & Sims' participation in Memphis Law's Diversity Day program, Admitted Students Day, and ongoing programs and events with the school's other partners to address diversity and inclusion. Bass, Berry & Sims attorneys will also serve as resources to diverse, admitted students for ongoing assistance as needed.