Diversity Initiatives Office, LSAC
Email: DiversityOffice@LSAC.org, Subject: DIF Grant
Purpose of Grants
In recognition of the Law School Admission Council’s (LSAC) commitment to diversity in legal education and in the legal profession, LSAC created the Diversity Initiative Fund to develop, support, and finance projects that will increase the enrollment of racially/ethnically diverse students in law school programs. Proposals are invited, and unsolicited proposals are accepted, for projects that encourage racial/ethnic groups to pursue legal education and to increase the enrollment and success of minority students in law school. LSAC expects that grants will be used to make a positive impact in an area consistent with the mission of LSAC, as outlined in its Strategic Plan.
Grants will be awarded only to institutions, not to individuals. Members of the LSAC Board of Trustees, the Diversity Committee or its subcommittees, and persons who have been members of one or more of these bodies within one year of the application deadline are not eligible to apply on behalf of any institution of which they are a member. LSAC reserves the right to contact other member law schools in the regional area to get support (or not) from the Dean. Submissions that request funds for existing programs without thoughtful incorporation and demonstration of the current purpose of the grant will not be considered. In addition, submissions that do not adhere to the budget guidelines will not be considered. Also, submissions that do not show collaboration with area law schools, replicability, and sustainability once the award period ends will not be considered. Successful applications clearly identify the goals and objectives of their proposals, target audience, and expected outcomes and impacts.
The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) is an organization composed of many member law schools. The grant review committee believes that successful proposals will be collaborative in nature and have multiple stakeholders. The best proposals will involve more than one law school and include strategic partnerships with bar associations, schools, and other organizations.
Replicability of innovative programs is highly desirable. LSAC generally requires that applicants waive any intellectual property rights for LSAC-funded programs.
Successful applications will address how the program will sustain itself with a sustainability plan both programmatically and financially after LSAC support has ended.
Oversight and Evaluation
To ensure the effectiveness of funded projects, LSAC requires measurable outcomes and deliverables; it will not fund programs that cannot be effectively evaluated.
Evaluations should be designed to assess how well the program has met its self-defined goals and objectives, how the assessment will be used to improve the program while it is in progress, and how interim and final assessments will be performed.
Deadlines and Review
There are two proposal deadlines each year: January 1 and June 1. The approval process requires review by the LSAC Diversity Committee and the LSAC Board of Trustees and is completed within six months.
Grants are not to be considered in perpetuity. All grants will be awarded for a maximum period of three years, after which no further funding will be awarded.
This award should be considered seed money and the committee will review the strength of the sustainability plan once the LSAC award period ends.
There is no set maximum amount for these grants. A budget for the program and for the funds requested (advertising, transportation, telephone outreach, materials, etc.), with detailed justifications and assumptions, must be provided.
LSAC will not support indirect cost recovery for central university systems, overhead, salaries, or fringe benefits.
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