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Keller Hall, School of Law

Flyer Legal Promise provides full law school tuition, $15,000 stipend, job after graduation

Dayton law firms Thompson Hine and Taft Law are teaming with the University of Dayton School of Law to recruit underrepresented and underserved students to law school and the legal profession. The Flyer Legal Promise Program will provide two students full law school tuition, a $15,000 stipend for living expenses, mentors, summer clerkships and a job at one of the firms following graduation. 

"Rather than wait for diverse talent to apply to law school and then later to elite law firms, the Flyer Legal Promise Program proactively seeks, recruits and invests in academically talented undergraduates with capacity to excel in the legal profession," said Andrew Strauss, UD School of Law dean.

The program will recruit students primarily from the University of Dayton's Flyer Promise program, which started in 2017 and provides funding and mentoring assistance to underrepresented and underserved students coming from UD partner high schools. Read more about UD's Flyer Promise program here. 

"We are honored to partner with the University of Dayton School of Law to set a precedent for building more inclusive law firms in Dayton," said Glen McMurry, a partner at Taft Law. "To do that effectively, we need to invest in our region's young talent, nurture their growth, and provide them with opportunities right here in the

Gem City. Taft is incredibly committed to our diversity and inclusion program and we will continue to partner with diversity leaders like the University of Dayton to develop meaningful and lasting solutions to further these important goals and better serve our community."

Other students not in the Flyer Promise program can be proposed by the UD or School of Law admission offices.

“We encourage other Dayton firms to join us in this endeavor,” said Wray Blattner, a partner with Thompson Hine. “Our legal community should be every much as diverse as our community at-large, and equity and inclusion should be a cornerstone of legal representation. Law firms composed of diverse backgrounds and perspectives are undoubtedly able to provide a higher caliber of representation and innovative services to their clients. This initiative is important not only to provide opportunities to diversify the profession but to improve how we serve the region.”

Anyone interested in being a partner of the Flyer Legal Promise Program can contact Assistant Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Julie Zink at jzink1@udayton.edu.

The University of Dayton School of Law is committed to admitting people from diverse backgrounds and experiences. The School of Law was named one of the best law schools for African Americans in the winter 2020 issue of National Jurist’s preLaw magazine. A third of the school's 2021 entering class are students from underrepresented and underserved populations. Students can participate in the Summer Diversity Clerkship Program, Minority Summer Externship Program, the Black Law Student Association, the Asian and Pacific Islander Law Student Association, and the Hispanic Law Student Association, to name a few.

"Diversity is critical to the educational and social enrichment of the School of Law, the community and the legal profession," Strauss said.

The University of Dayton School of Law has been riding a recent wave of success, posting improvements in selectivity, median Law School Admission Test scores and GPAs of incoming students, the bar passage rate, and job placement. The School of Law attracted more applicants and more academically accomplished students by offering flexibility with additional options like an online hybrid J.D. program, 3+2 programs for faster completion of bachelor's and law degrees, and a Leadership Honors Program featuring full tuition scholarships, custom-designed leadership training, and mentoring by prominent judges and lawyers. 

"The Flyer Legal Promise Program will definitely add to the offerings that will attract highly qualified law students and future lawyers," Strauss said.

Once here, all law students participate in a curriculum and support system geared toward passing the bar exam, plus programs that allow students to immerse themselves in specific areas of the law like the school's Program in Law and Technology and collaboratives with UD's Human Rights Center and Hanley Sustainability Institute.

To apply to the University of Dayton School of Law, visit https://udayton.edu/law/admissions/apply.php.

For more information on the program, email Julie Zink, assistant dean of diversity, equity and inclusion at the School of Law at jzink1@udayton.edu. For interviews, contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of news and communications, at srobinson1@udayton.edu.


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