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Questions about the application process:

How do I apply for the new DSF/Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) paid internship?

The new DSF/PILI Internship for Spring 2024 has a separate application process. The Diversity Scholarship Foundation is proud to be partnering with the Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) to provide a paid internship with an Illinois public interest agency to a deserving law student in the spring of next year! PILI’s Law Student Internship Program connects law students with public interest law agencies in Illinois and pays them for their work. Interns receive $3,250.00 for working 200 hours during a semester. Interns can also receive law school credit for their Internship if first approved by both the student’s law school and agency. PILI ensures quality supervision by experienced attorneys while also providing supplemental programmatic, networking and educational opportunities. PILI is now accepting applications for the Spring Semester on a rolling basis through the beginning of December. For more information, please visit

How do I apply for the scholarships?

Applications are available online at

Do I attend a law school that qualifies for one of your scholarships?

Law students from the following law schools have qualified for scholarships in the past:
▪ Chicago-Kent College of Law
▪ DePaul University College of Law
▪ Indiana University Maurer School of Law
▪ Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
▪ Loyola University School of Law
▪ Marquette University Law School
▪ Northern Illinois University College of Law
▪ Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
▪ Notre Dame Law School
▪ Southern Illinois University School of Law
▪ UIC John Marshall Law School​
▪ University of Chicago Law School
▪ University of Illinois College of Law
▪ University of Wisconsin Law School
▪ Valparaiso University School of Law

Can I obtain a bar exam scholarship if I intend to practice outside of Illinois, Indiana or Wisconsin?

No.  Currently, the bar exam scholarship award is given to students taking the exam in either Illinois, Indiana, or Wisconsin.

Am I eligible if I attend law school outside of Illinois, Indiana or Wisconsin?

No.  Currently, law students must be enrolled in an accredited law school in Illinois, Indiana or Wisconsin to be eligible.

What undergraduate institutions qualify for your LSAT scholarship?

If you are completing or have completed an undergraduate degree from any university deemed qualified by LSAC to take the LSAT, and you are actively applying to attend a law school in Illinois, Indiana or Wisconsin, your undergraduate institution qualifies.

I am a 1L, can I apply for your scholarships?

Unfortunately, no.  You need to have at least 2 semesters worth of law school credit to apply for our law student scholarships

Can evening or part-time law students apply?

Yes.  However, law students must have completed at least two (2) semesters of law school and have a transcript as a minimum requirement.

If I apply to more than one scholarship category, how do I craft my essay?

Although you are applying for multiple scholarships, you would, however, only submit one essay.  It is helpful to have your view on diversity within the profession and your efforts toward diversity and the specifics of the particular scholarships (i.e., public service work, overcoming challenges despite a disability, pro bono efforts, leading and achieving in law school or the community-at-large, etc.)

Do I submit my letters of recommendation separately?

No.  Please include your letters of recommendation in the PDF with the rest of your application.

How many recommendation letters do I need?

One at a minimum, and up to two.  Applications only require one letter of recommendation but may be strengthened by a second letter of recommendation

Can I use a general letter of recommendation?

Yes.  However, generalized letters of recommendation have not been evaluated as highly as specific letters of recommendation identifying the student’s strengths for the scholarship or scholarships to which the student is applying.  Undergraduate students tend to submit generalized recommendations more frequently.  Specific recommendations are encouraged, but the evaluating committee is aware of the difficulties inherent in obtaining these at the undergraduate level.

Can I submit an unofficial transcript with my application?

Yes, but we prefer an official transcript.

Will I qualify with my GPA?

Possibly.  GPA requirements may be waived for well-deserving students who tirelessly advocate for diversity.  The scholarship committee looks at the entirety of the student’s law school record; academic as well as non-academic.

What if my law school doesn’t provide a traditional GPA?

You would submit your transcript and any relevant information relating to your placement in your classesthat the law school provides so that we can evaluate your coursework.

Do I submit my letters of recommendation separately?

Please include your letters of recommendation in the pdf with the rest of your application.

Do I submit my letters of recommendation separately?

Please include your letters of recommendation in the pdf with the rest of your application.

Questions about the Unity Award Dinner:

Who will attend the Unity Award Dinner?

Attorneys, judges, law school deans, other scholarship recipients, and other supporters of diversity in the legal community will be in attendance.

What should I wear?

The occasion is business formal, suits are highly encouraged and preferred.

Can I be seated with my friends?

The Unity Award Dinner is an excellent networking opportunity and being a scholarship recipient is a great conversation starter.  Law firms and bar associations that sponsor the event often request scholarship recipients sit with them at their tables.  You will likely be seated next to attorneys and/or judges.