Diversity & Inclusion

OSB's 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.



D&I Mission


The mission of the Diversity & Inclusion Department of the Oregon State Bar is to support the mission of the Oregon State Bar: by promoting respect for the rule of law, by improving the quality of legal services, and by increasing access to justice. The Program serves this 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.


OSB Diversity & Inclusion Department History Timeline


Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Programs


All programs are open to anyone who can help the D&I Department advance its mission. Thus, the Oregon State Bar Statement, as described in the D&I Department registration packet, is required for most of the programs components and is a critical piece of the registration process. The D&I Department will award the greatest preference consideration for those students whose statements can support an intention to practice law in Oregon. However, the D&I Department hopes that all law students who may help to advance the programs mission and who might consider practicing in Oregon to apply.



OJD/D&I JUDICIAL MENTORSHIP PROGRAM
Deadline – October 1


Judges: download the Judicial Mentor Application

Students: download the Student Application

The Oregon Judicial Department has developed a program under which judges mentor minority law students. The program is implemented in conjunction with the Oregon State Bar’s Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Department, which operates the Bar’s diverse law student recruitment and retention program known as Opportunities for Law in Oregon (OLIO). Law students who: 1) can contribute to the bar’s historically or currently underrepresented membership; 2) have experienced economic, social, or other barriers; 3) have a demonstrated commitment to increase access to justice; or 4) have experienced discrimination or oppression are eligible to participate in OLIO. All other D&I programs are open to law students who demonstrate a commitment to advancing the D&I Department’s mission. Accordingly, while the major motivation of the Judicial Mentorship Program is to assist ethnic minority law students, the program is open to students of any race or ethnicity who participate in D&I programs.




SCHOLARSHIPS
Deadline – April 1


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

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 programs mission, and other considerations. The D&I Department distributes funds to successful applicants law schools 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
Deadline – November 15 for February Exam; April 15 for July Exam 



2015 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 bar exam, once D&I staff have confirmed the grant recipient did sit 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
Deadline – February 1


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

Clerkship Stipends 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 students practical experience and networking in Oregons 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 clerks position in the same office. The employer must be in the legal field and the students 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. An applicant must also submit a resume which includes community activities.




PUBLIC HONORS FELLOWSHIP


Please Note: This is the only program in which Oregon law students must turn applications in to their Career Services office; check with them for internal requirements and deadlines.

D&I collaborates with the Oregon law schools to award a total of 6 Public Honors fellowships to law students who intend to practice law in Oregon and who will help advance D&I's mission. Each law school nominates up to five students whose career goals lie in public interest or public sector law. D&I will rank applications according to economic disadvantage, the potential that the fellowships will advance the students practical experience and networking in Oregon's legal community, and other considerations.

D&I will award fellowships to the two top-scoring students from each law school and order the remaining applicants as alternates based on scores. D&I staff provides the recipients with a list of employers participating in the program. The recipient must secure a fellowship by the deadline or forfeit the award to an alternate. There is no guarantee that the six students will secure fellowship positions. Each fellowship totals $5,000, for a maximum of three months summer employment.  Students must work for a public employer or 501(c)3 organization; fellowship employment must be in Oregon and may not extend into the academic year.

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. The Oregon law schools will consider the D&I Department's mission in nominating five student applicants for a Public Honors position.




ACCESS TO JUSTICE FELLOWSHIP
Deadline – February 1


D&I awards one fellowship to a law student who can contribute to the bar’s historically or currently underrepresented membership; who has experienced economic, social, or other barriers; who has a demonstrated commitment to increasing access to justice; or who has personally experienced discrimination or oppression. The D&I Department will award the greatest preference consideration to those law students whose OSB statement can support their intention to practice law in Oregon. The Access to Justice 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 may not extend into the academic year.

Eligibility and Specific Component Criteria
Oregon law students who: (1) will continue to be enrolled in law school in the fall term; (2) can help the D&I Department advance its mission; and (3) have participated in at least one of the four Opportunities for Law in Oregon (OLIO) activities prior to applying, are eligible to apply. Applicants must demonstrate financial need and provide a Personal Statement, an Oregon State Bar Statement, and a resume which includes community activities.




RURAL OPPORTUNITY FELLOWSHIP
Deadline – February 1


D&I awards one fellowship to a law student who intends to practice law in Oregon, who will help the D&I Department advance its mission, and is willing to accept 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. The Rural Opportunity Fellowship award is $8,360 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 may not extend into the academic year.

Eligibility and Specific Component Criteria
Oregon law students who will continue to be enrolled in law school in the fall term, and can help the D&I Department advance its mission, are eligible to apply. Applicants must demonstrate financial need and provide a Personal Statement, an Oregon State Bar Statement, and a resume which includes community activities.




OPPORTUNITIES FOR LAW IN OREGON (OLIO)




2015 OLIO Orientation Incoming 1L Application Student Interest Form
Application Deadline: June 19, 2015

2015 OLIO Orientation Upper Division Student Application
Application Deadline: April 17, 2015


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 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 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 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 advance 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
Deadline – March 15



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 are eligible to apply.  Applicants must demonstrate financial need and provide a Personal Statement and an Oregon State Bar Statement with their completed application materials.