Honoring AILA's Commitment to DEI with Our Law Student Scholarship

AILA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Law School Scholarships

AILA’s DEI Law Student Scholarship is intended to provide academic, professional, and financial support to ten law students from historically underrepresented groups interested in the practice of immigration law and advocating on behalf of immigrant communities. The ten recipients selected to receive the scholarship will build professional connections and receive mentorship support from AILA member attorneys who are also members of AILA’s DEI National Committee.

AILA's DEI Law School Scholarship application window is now closed. Recipients of this year’s scholarship will be notified no later than March 4, 2024.

AILA 2024 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Law Student Scholarship Recipients

Congratulations! to the 2024 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Law Student Scholarship recipients. Your commitment and engagement as a law student and advocate for immigrant rights is outstanding. Your diverse voice and informed perspectives are vital to the immigration legal community, and we look forward to your continued engagement with AILA through your law student membership and career as a lawyer.

Jacqueline Abraham
University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

Aila Ganic
Georgetown University Law Center

Asmaa Hamdan
Northeastern University School of Law

Abby Leigh
University of California, Irvine School of Law

Brenda Macias Lopez
University of New Mexico School of Law

Gissela Moya
Boston University School of Law

Estefani Munive
Golden Gate University School of Law

Elda Orozco
Trinity Law School

Maryam Soroush
McGeorge School of Law

Sanaa Talwasa
Thomas R. Kline Law School of Drexel University


Award Details

10 Recipients of DEI Law Student Scholarships receive:

  • $750 to be used towards tuition or related academic expenses.
  • Mentorship support provided by AILA DEI committee members.
  • Publication and recognition of Law Student Scholarship Award Recipients by AILA’s DEI Committee through AILA emails, newsletters, the AILA website, and AILA committee correspondence.
  • Recognition of the recipient of the scholarship award sent to the law school of the recipient honoring the student’s achievements.
  • Opportunity for professional career development in immigration law by publishing a blog post on an immigration-related topic in AILA’s Think Immigration Blog DEI Series to an audience of 16,000+ AILA members (see below).

Scholarship Applicant Criteria

  • Applicants must be an AILA Law Student Member and provide their AILA Member Number (AILA Membership is FREE for law students!).
  • Applicants must be currently enrolled in law school and be a student in good standing (part-time and full-time students included).
  • Applicants should be members of a diverse and/or underrepresented group including diversity based on but not limited to race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, education, ability, immigration status, and other factors including those listed in AILA’s DEI mission statement.
  • Applicants must provide a current unofficial law school transcript.
  • Applicants must provide a one-page personal statement of no more than 500 words. Any statement that exceeds the one-page, 500 maximum word count will be disqualified. The personal statement must address:
    • Your interest and work in immigration law including clubs, internships, law school clinics, work experience, community service, and/or extracurricular activities.
    • Description of your financial need and how the funds are intended to be used (be as specific as possible).
    • Description of any diversity, equity, and inclusion obstacles you have faced.
    • Description of your plans to pursue advocacy in immigration law.
  • Selected recipients must agree to submit a blog post for AILA’s Think Immigration Blog DEI Series (approx. 200-300 words) on a topic of their choice. For inspiration, check out the AILA DEI Committee’s 21-Day Racial Equity Invitation which provides several potential themes, resources, and lessons on the role of structural racism within immigration law and policy.

AILA’s DEI Mission Statement

AILA’s DEI Committee is charged with promoting full and equal participation of all AILA members in chapters, committees, and groups. This includes lawyers of varying genders, national origins, racial and ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientation and gender identity, religious beliefs, age, marital status, geographic location, and lawyers with disabilities. The committee also works to expand the diversity of access to leadership opportunities and to ensure that the immigration bar reflects the society it serves.

Prior Winners

2022 Winners

  • Alejandro Alvarado
    University of New Mexico School of Law
  • Woorod Atiyat
    Pace University Law School
  • Elly Marisol Estrada Cruz
    Syracuse University College of Law
  • Taylor Flores
    Golden Gate University School of Law
  • Gerardo Villegas Juarez
    St. Mary's University School of Law
  • Melissa McElroy
    University of Colorado School of Law
  • Maria J Montenegro-Bernardo
    Pace University Elisabeth Haub School of Law
  • Brenda Carolina Quintanilla
    UC Davis School of Law
  • Anda Totoreanu
    Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
  • Anthony Wong
    University of San Francisco School of Law