Scoring scholarships

USC Gould School of Law • May 20, 2011
post image

Students take advantage of award opportunities

-by Melissa Zonne

Recent USC Law graduate Carolina Romanelli ’11 will have one less thing to worry about as she strives to conquer the Bar exam and pursue a law career.

Romanelli recently won the ACCA Diversity Bar Review Scholarship, an award that will cover all costs of a Bar review course.  The scholarship is designed to help deserving minority students who have struggled with finances throughout law school.

“Despite working different jobs throughout the past couple of years and having taken on a large amount of loans,” Romanelli said, “I found paying approximately $4,000 for a bar preparation course to be a great financial burden.”

Romanelli is just one student who has taken advantage of the often-overlooked scholarships available to USC Law students.

Suzetty Shen ’12 won a scholarship through the Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association. The organization seeks to provide support for Chinese and Asian American lawyers, jurists and law students in the surrounding community.

According to Romanelli, although the law school sends e-mails notifying students of scholarship opportunities, few apply or take advantage of the possible awards. Romanelli said she learned of the scholarship from Assistant Director of Career Services Rachel Rothbart just a few days before the deadline. A week later, Romanelli was informed of her award, and is thankful that USC administration and organizations like ACCA have the students’ best interests in mind.

“I was speechless and incredibly thankful,” said Romanelli. “In this economy, where securing employment is incredibly challenging and many of us have had to work hard throughout law school, both in and out of school, programs like this serve an incredible purpose. I can personally say that for me, this was a great weight off my shoulders and for that, I will always thank ACCA for sponsoring such a great scholarship program.”

Rothbart says students interested in such scholarships should begin by looking at national and ethnic bar associations, many of which offer scholarships and competitions. She also says students who build relationships with staff members at the law school are more likely to learn about opportunities as they arise. Finally, the online student portal lists scholarships.

Related Stories