Students Will Receive Half to Full Tuition in Scholarship Support
Pepperdine University’s Rick J. Caruso School of Law has begun critical work to broaden access to high quality law school education for exceptional but historically underserved student populations. During a speech on September 19 at the school’s Law School Admissions Conference, co-sponsored by For People of Color, Dean Paul Caron announced that students from underrepresented communities at any of the 106 historically black colleges or universities (HBCU) who are admitted to and attend Caruso Law will be guaranteed a 50 percent tuition scholarship. In addition, up to five of those students will be named Caruso Excellence Scholars, with full tuition scholarships.
“Increasing the diversity of our community has been one of my top priorities as dean,” said Caron. “That goal will be supported by improving access to a Pepperdine Caruso Law education for students from historically underrepresented communities. The high cost of legal education is one of the biggest roadblocks these students encounter. My hope is that the establishment of this scholarship guarantee and the Caruso Excellence Scholarships will help overcome that obstacle.”
The commitment to up to five full scholarships is an expansion on the school’s current efforts to assist disadvantaged student populations. In February, Caruso Law announced a program that guarantees 50 percent scholarships for admitted students from Spelman College, Tuskegee University, and Morehouse University.
“Improving the diversity of the legal profession is a development that will benefit everyone in our society,” said Chalak Richards, dean of Student Life, Diversity and Belonging. “Our duty is to do whatever we can to enrich the education of lawyers by bringing more perspectives to the student body.”
The Caruso Scholar program, which aims to create a pathway for historically disadvantaged students, began in 2019 following a $50 million gift from alumnus Rick Caruso (JD ’83). Students who are named Caruso Scholars will be awarded tuition scholarships based on academic achievement and need. Caruso Excellence Scholarships will bring talented students from different backgrounds to the school who would not be able to attend without 100 percent scholarship support.