Diversity and Inclusion Fellowship Scholarship Program


Taft Law is committed to creating an inclusive culture comprised of individuals from diverse and historically underrepresented backgrounds. This commitment allows us to fulfill our primary mission: To serve our clients to the highest standards of professional excellence. From our experience, we know that the different perspectives offered by racially and ethnically diverse teammates create a holistic approach to optimal client solutions. It also renders personal job satisfaction and enhanced teamwork for our attorneys. 


Taft’s recruitment pipeline programs help us to recognize and embrace the many cultures that play a role in our society and within our firm. We honor the significance of diversity and inclusion and how we work together as a diverse team to be the inclusive employer of choice in each of our markets, where:

  • Each Taft team member is positioned to excel;
  • We meet and exceed client expectations; and
  • We serve as thought leaders in the communities where we work and live.

To this end, Taft is pleased to offer a generous academic Diversity and Inclusion Fellowship Scholarship Program for qualifying first-year law school students and returning second-year law students, based on the requisites below.


Each year, up to seven Diversity and Inclusion Fellowship Scholarships are awarded to highly motivated, first-year law students who are members of historically underrepresented ethnic and/or racial minority groups.

Following the completion of their first year of law school, students selected for the Fellowship Scholarship Program receive paid summer associate positions in one of the firm’s seven offices (listed below). Salaries for the 10-week summer program are as follows:

  • Chicago: $37,500.
  • Cincinnati: $28,800.
  • Cleveland: $30,800.
  • Columbus: $28,800.
  • Dayton: $28,800.
  • Indianapolis: $28,800.
  • Minneapolis: $34,600.

Those awarded Fellowships will participate in our 10-week summer program between their first and second years of law school. It is our goal to provide every summer associate with a realistic experience of what it is like to practice law at Taft. Summer associates work on a variety of actual client matters and attend depositions, hearings, closings, conferences, and trials as well as perform the careful research expected of all our lawyers. Summer associates are evaluated throughout the summer on an informal basis, and will also have formal mid-summer and end-of-summer reviews. Assuming satisfactory performance during the first-year summer program, Fellows have the option to return to Taft as second-year summer associates.

Students selected for the Fellowship, and who accept an offer to return to Taft as a second-year summer associate, will be awarded a one-time $5,000 signing bonus, paid to the student, upon acceptance of the offer.

Application Process

Applicants for our Diversity and Inclusion Fellowship Scholarship Program must be enrolled in a J.D. program at an accredited U.S. law school as a first-year law student. Applications will be accepted beginning Dec. 1 each year, but final decisions will not be made until first semester grades are received.

Interested law students should apply to Taft’s Chief Recruiting Officer, Lisa Watson, at lwatson@taftlaw.com.

Application materials must be received by Jan. 31, in order to be considered. The following materials should be submitted:

  1. Completed application form.
  2. Cover letter.
  3. Resume.
  4. Law School Transcript — the transcript does not need to be official, but does need to be complete.
  5. A typed essay — no more than one page, double-spaced and not to exceed 500 words — addressing one of the following topics: 
    1. Describe an accomplishment you have been recognized for and its influence on you.
    2. Who has been most influential in your life and why?
    3. Why do you want to be a summer associate at Taft?
    4. What are your career aspirations and why?

Selection Process

Recipients of the Diversity and Inclusion Fellowship Scholarship Program will be selected based on careful review of application materials provided. All applicants will be notified of the firm’s decision by March 1. Payment of the Fellowship awards will be made in accordance with the Taft Fellowship program guidelines.


If you have questions or need further information, please contact:

Lisa Watson

Lisa Watson
Chief Recruiting Officer
(317) 713-3502