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Animal Legal Defense Fund HBCU Scholarship Program

The $25,000 scholarship and paid clerkship is available to rising second-year students at Howard University School of Law, North Carolina Central University School of Law, and Florida A&M College of Law.

Through a generous donation from Kathryn Casey, the Animal Legal Defense Fund awards three $25,000 scholarship packages to rising second-year students at Howard University School of Law, North Carolina Central University School of Law, and Florida A&M College of Law. The Animal Legal Defense Fund believes strongly that providing resources and opportunities to members of historically disadvantaged and marginalized communities is critical to our mission. Even though animal protection issues are equally prevalent in these communities, members of these communities are vastly underrepresented in the animal protection movement. The Animal Legal Defense Fund believes we must provide opportunities to members of these communities who can develop into strong animal law advocates. Thus, we seek to remove barriers that may exist for members of any particular community to become legal advocates for animals. In furtherance of this goal, the Animal Legal Defense Fund has embarked on initiatives designed to increase the diversity of animal law advocates, including this scholarship program.

Scholarship Package

The $25,000 scholarship will offset educational expenses of the recipient for the 2022-2023 academic year, with half the amount paid in Fall 2022 and the other half paid in Spring 2023 (subject to successful completion of Fall semester). In addition, the scholarship package includes a paid summer clerkship at the Animal Legal Defense Fund following their second year of law school. Recipients may be eligible for an optional externship with the Animal Legal Defense Fund during their third year, subject to successful completion of their paid summer clerkship and the externship placement being approved by their law schools. Additional scholarship benefits include $1,000 for the student to purchase a laptop, a stipend to purchase animal law books, and free registration and travel to the 2022 Animal Law Conference in Portland in early November.

Clerkship

The scholarship package includes a paid summer clerkship with the Animal Legal Defense Fund. The Animal Legal Defense Fund clerkship program provides law students with the opportunity to be trained by top experts in animal law while working on real animal law cases and legislation. Summer clerks are hired by specific programs and work as integral members of the program’s team. The Animal Legal Defense Fund also provides summer clerks with networking and engagement opportunities. Summer clerkships are paid, full-time positions (35 hours/week for 10 weeks) beginning in late-May or early-June 2023. Descriptions of Animal Legal Defense Fund clerkships are available on our website.

Eligibility

To receive an Animal Legal Defense Fund Scholarship, an applicant must be a rising second-year student enrolled at either Howard University School of Law, North Carolina Central University School of Law, or Florida A&M College of Law. The applicant must have received a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (or its equivalent) during their first year. The recipient must be in good standing with the law school during any period of receiving scholarship benefits and be eligible to work in the United States by the time the first scholarship funds are disbursed. Representatives of the Animal Legal Defense Fund will evaluate each application and consider such factors as demonstrated interest in animal law, a background in historically disadvantaged or underrepresented communities related to animal rights, academic achievement, work and life experiences, leadership, and non-academic contributions.

Application Process

To be considered for the Animal Legal Defense Fund Scholarship, an applicant must submit:

  1. a completed application form
  2. a current resume, and
  3. an unofficial law school transcript.

The award judges may interview scholarship finalists. The application package should be e-mailed on or before July 18, 2022 to Stacey Gordon Sterling at sgordonsterling@aldf.org.

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