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Through a generous gift from Eastern Kentucky University board of regents chair and Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP partner Lewis Diaz and his wife Becky, EKU will fund the Dinsmore Pre-Law Minority Program that will provide mentoring, career advice, interactive programming and financial assistance to area minority undergraduate students interested in attending law school after they earn their undergraduate degrees.

“As an immigrant and a minority, my EKU experience was uniquely transformative. Coming to Richmond on a football scholarship allowed me to get undergraduate and graduate degrees. It also provided an excellent foundation and preparation for success in law school,” said Diaz. “There are many young, talented and deserving diverse students who want to pursue a career in the legal profession but do not have the financial means to cover the incidental costs of pursuing an education in law school. That’s a void I want to help fill. Becky and I have been blessed, and we want to pass that along to others, in particular, those who have aspirations that seem impossible, to make their dreams come true.” 

As part of the firm’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, the Lexington office of Dinsmore & Shohl LLP began this initiative in the wake of the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others in recent years.  Students who are pre-law in their junior or senior years will be eligible for this program, which will include several enrichment activities, guest speakers, assistance with the LSAT, helping to prepare law school applications, and preparing for the rigors of law school.

“We are excited to be partnering with Eastern Kentucky University on this initiative,” said the Lexington office managing partner, Grahmn Morgan, who is heading up this program along with Dinsmore attorneys Shaye Johnson and Mindy Barfield.  “We believe this program will help break down barriers that exist for minority students who want to pursue a legal career, and it will help close the opportunity gap that we have seen in the legal profession for far too long. It is important to us to create something that will have a lasting impact, and we can’t think of a better way to effect real change to the systemic racism and violence we have seen than by giving minority students access to a field that allows them to be part of the process for creating laws and shaping the justice system.”

The program will have a scholarship attached as well for a student who completes the Dinsmore Pre-Law Minority program toward paying for law school.