LeClairRyan is pleased to announce the second LeClairRyan–Oliver W. Hill Scholarship. The award, in the amount of $5,000, will be given to a student of color at a Virginia or Washington, D.C. law school who most exemplifies the late Oliver W. Hill’s qualities of legal excellence and selfless dedication to the fight for justice.
Hill began his legal career in 1933 with the barely imaginable goal of ending racial segregation in the United States. Along with Thurgood Marshall and other lions of civil rights litigation, Hill succeeded in demolishing “separate but equal” in 1954 with the landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education.
In 1999, Hill was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor bestowed by the United States government. He passed away in 2007 at the age of 100.
During his years of active practice, Hill’s law firm filed more civil rights cases than any other firm in the South. In doing so, he demonstrated an overwhelming commitment to “liberty and justice for all.” Rarely was he paid anything in the civil rights cases he handled. Yet, according to an estimate by the Washington Post, Hill won more than $50 million in increased pay, school buses, and improved schools for African Americans in Virginia. He also won landmark victories in cases involving voting rights and other crucial liberties. LeClairRyan has two objectives in creating this award:
1.) To educate law students about the crucial role that Oliver W. Hill has played in American history and the truly extraordinary contribution that he has made in the ongoing struggle for equal justice; and
2.) To encourage others to continue the type of work to which Oliver W. Hill dedicated his life in the law.
LeClairRyan will select the scholarship recipient based on the following criteria:
- Enrolled in good standing at a Virginia or Washington D.C. law school
- At least one semester of law school completed
- Law school GPA of at least 2.5
- Plans to practice in Virginia after graduation.
This year the scholarship recipient will be announced on Monday, May 17, 2010, in recognition of the decision of Brown v. Board of Education.
To apply for the LeClairRyan–Oliver W. Hill Scholarship, please complete and submit an application along with resume, law school transcript, one letter of recommendation from a professor or member of the Bar, and an essay on pursuing social justice through the law (2,000 word maximum) by March 31, 2010. Apply for the LeClairRyan–Oliver W. Hill Scholarship