“Equal justice under law is not merely a caption on the facade of the Supreme Court building; it is perhaps the most inspiring ideal of our society. It is one of the ends for which our entire legal system exists. It is fundamental that justice should be the same, in substance and availability, without regard to economic status.”

– Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr.

About the DeedClaim Access to Justice Scholarship

Access to justice is the ability of any person—regardless of income—to have fair access to the legal system and to advocate their own legal interests. Without access to justice, many low-income Americans are unable to address legal problems that affect their health, family status, or finances.

Access to justice initiatives are designed to lower the systemic barriers to entry that effectively prevent individuals from effectively representing themselves in legal matters. These barriers include:

  • Lack of awareness of legal rights and options
  • Unfamiliarity with the complexity of the United States legal system
  • Confusion regarding terminology involved in legal documents and the proper use of those documents

DeedClaim is firmly committed to increasing access to justice. In addition to offering free or reduced-cost solutions to nonprofit organizations that promote access to justice, DeedClaim is proud to introduce our $1,000 DeedClaim Access to Justice Scholarship to support thought leadership that brings awareness to access to justice issues.

Scholarship Application

The DeedClaim Access to Justice Scholarship is awarded annually to current or prospective college students or law students (including LL.M. students) that attend or plan to attend accredited American universities and law schools. The $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to a student to help support his or her educational endeavors. Funds must be used to pay for qualified expenses, including tuition, books, and on-campus room and board for the academic year.

Applications will be awarded based on an original essay of 1,000 to 2,000 words. The applicant may choose any one of the two following topics:

  • Recent Legal Developments Increasing Access to Legal Assistance (for example, the California legislature’s recent adoption of transfer-on-death deeds to allow self-represented individuals to avoid probate without hiring an attorney)
  • Technological Innovations that Lower the Cost of Legal Services (for example, the use of automated document assembly software to allow spouses to divide real estate following a divorce without hiring an attorney)

The essay should give specific examples to illustrate how the development or innovation can make the legal system more accessible to the public.

Submissions will be evaluated based on the originality of the essay and clarity in writing. All submissions must be original and authorized by the application. The applicant must ensure that the submission does not include any copyrighted material or otherwise infringe the rights of any third party.

The winner will be notified by e-mail using the e-mail address provided in the submission form. If the winner fails to respond to the notification within seven business days, the winner’s prize will be forfeited and a new winner will be selected.

Application Eligibility

In order to participate in the contest, prospective applicants must be currently enrolled in an accredited United States college or university or planning to attend one in the upcoming semester.

  • Students applying as undergraduates must be a graduating senior in high school or enrolled in college. In addition to four-year university, the scholarship is available to students in community colleges, professional colleges, or graduate degree programs.
  • Students applying as law students must be a graduating senior in their undergraduate degree program and have already been accepted into at least one law school that is accredited by the American Bar Association. For students that are already in a Juris Doctor program, admission to an LL.M. program is required.

DeedClaim reserves the right to verify the date of high school or college graduation as a condition of the award. To prevent conflict of interest, immediate family members of DeedClaim staff are ineligible to apply. Applications under the age of 18 must have permission from a parent or legal guardian.

Upcoming Application Deadlines

The next application deadline is June15, 2019. Essays must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. EST. The winner will be announced on or around July 1, 2019.

Scholarship Application Form

  • Winners will be notified by e-mail using the e-mail address entered here and must respond within the time described above.
  • Must be a U.S. resident to apply.
  • Accepted file types: png, docx, doc.
    All submissions must be in Microsoft Word or PDF format