Why Yale Law’s dean says 减少学费 for students in need benefits the legal profession

The school's need-based scholarship fully pays tuition for students.


学生们准备在秋季返校, one Ivy League law school has a new scholarship aimed at broadening access to legal education by 减少学费 for students with financial needs.

耶鲁法学院的 赫斯特地平线奖学金 will erase tuition and pay for college fees and health care costs for law students with the greatest financial need. It's a first-of-its-kind scholarship that is creating new conversations about what law schools can do to diversify the legal profession.

耶鲁法学院院长希瑟·格肯, 第一个担任这一角色的女性, 他告诉ABC新闻,奖学金是必需的. “熊猫体育有很多低收入家庭的人, who are not going to law school to pursue change because of the debt that waits on the other end for them,”她说.

The scholarship will be given to any Juris Doctor student whose family income is below the federal poverty guidelines and whose assets are below $150,000. The law school tells ABC新闻 that more than 45 students this fall will qualify to be awarded more than $70,以支付学费, 费用和健康保险.

The program's aim is to get lawyers to reflect the country's demographics more closely and to change the demographics of the legal landscape by setting the tone for other top law schools to eliminate tuition fees, 学校说. 根据2021年的一份报告 美国律师协会在美国,有色人种律师只占14人.6%的法律界人士.

PHOTO: A sign in front of Yale Law School on the campus of Yale University in New Haven, Conn.
A sign in front of Yale Law School on the campus of Yale University in New Haven, Conn.

Other Ivy League law schools have made similar efforts in recent years.

今年5月,斯坦福法学院(Stanford Law School)宣布了这一消息 减少学费 对低收入家庭的学生.

A spokesperson for the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School told ABC新闻 the school increased financial aid by more than 60% over the past five years, 提高了2美元.5 million to support its First Generation Professional Scholarships and pledged to increase financial support over the next five years by more than $8 million.

与此同时, a spokesperson for Harvard Law School told ABC the school “provides 100% need-based financial aid, and spending on financial aid grants has doubled over the past decade.”

Gerken says Yale Law's scholarship offers much needed benefits for the legal profession.

"If you really just think about this generation and what it's facing, this generation has inherited problems that are impossible to solve,”Gerken说. "And the job of law schools is to teach them how to solve it. You cannot do that unless everyone is sitting at the table."

根据 U.S. 新闻与世界报道在美国,少数族裔学生的平均比例为28.在189所接受调查的法学院中,5%在2020年秋季.

"We also still have a system where law students of color graduate with a disproportionately higher loan debt burden,“詹姆斯·G. Leipold, executive director of the National Association for Law Placement, told ABC新闻.

莱波德20年前说, the "bulk of institutional discretionary financial aid moved from a need-based environment to a merit-based environment, 我认为这是所有高等教育的巨大危害."

He said the change was driven by competition for SAT and LSAT scores. Universities began giving scholarships to people with high scores so that they could position their universities or law schools well in rankings, Leipold说.

Gerken said the idea for the 赫斯特地平线奖学金 began in 2016 during a conversation between students. Rakim H. D. 布鲁克斯, a first-generation law student who grew up in New York City's public housing, led the conversation that night for students who were restarting the First Generation Professionals program at Yale, a group for students who are the first in their families to attend the school.

图片:耶鲁法学院院长希瑟·格肯与Rakim H. D. 布鲁克斯在2019年的耶鲁熊猫体育周末.
熊猫体育院长希瑟·格肯(Heather Gerken)与拉基姆·H. D. 布鲁克斯在2019年的耶鲁熊猫体育周末.

It was during that conversation that Gerken noticed many of the students saw law school debt as a family or community debt. "I realized that it's time for legal education to change if it really wants to achieve equity access and accessibility,”她说.

布鲁克斯, who now serves as president of the nonprofit Alliance for Justice, 新奖学金说, 以创始捐赠者Soledad和Robert Hurst命名, 能让未来的法律系学生追求自己的爱好吗.

He says its "quintessentially American to provide the hardest working working class and poor kids the best opportunities, 这就是这个奖学金要做的."

Gerken said she believes this scholarship is just the beginning of Yale's mission to diversify the legal profession and "create a generation of lawyers and leaders who reflect our society."