University of Minnesota law school establishing new diversity, fellowship program

The University of Minnesota Law School is partnering with a global law firm to establish a new diversity scholarship and fellowship program. It’s an opportunity that could be a game changer for a student pursuing a degree in law.

"It’s a big deal, it is a big deal. We are really excited about it," said University of Minnesota Law School Dean Garry W. Jenkins.

The law school and global law firm, Jones Day, are launching the "Jones Day Diversity Fellowship." It's a full tuition, mentorship and career program.

"To be a lawyer, when you think about legal issues, they touch almost every part of society, so we need students with all kinds of different backgrounds," said Jenkins.

Gerry Jenkins has led the law school for more than five years.  From people of color to those with disabilities, he says that the law community lacks diversity.

"It is something that we’ve been working on for a really long time, but the percentage of lawyers of color in particular, has been growing at very small rates," said Jenkins.

Working to ensure that a variety of backgrounds and perspectives are reflected in and outside of the court of law. Jenkins believes that this fellowship is one step in the right direction.

"This is a welcoming community, and we really want to make sure that everyone knows that everyone is welcome here," said Jenkins.

The newest U of M Law School class is the most diverse class in law school history.

The Jones Day Diversity Fellowship covers tuition for all three years of law school. The deadline to apply is March 1.