Lemon Legal Scholars Program

William & Mary Law School Now Offers Full Scholarships for Distinguished HBCU Graduates

William & Mary Law School is pleased to announce the Lemon Legal Scholars Program for distinguished graduates of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Launched in accordance with the Why We Can’t Wait initiative, this multifaceted financial and mentorship opportunity is designed to recognize the significance of these historic institutions by recruiting and enrolling students who, beyond the known indicators of standardized testing, have demonstrated a level of sustained excellence and academic readiness. 

William & Mary Law School will award at least five full scholarships (tuition and fees) to admitted HBCU graduates.  

Graduates of Historically Black College and Universities (HBCUs) will automatically be considered for a Lemon Legal Scholars Scholarship. No other application is required.

For details about upcoming information sessions about this scholarship, please contact [[w|lawadm]].

Factors for Consideration

* Submit a completed law school application for admission by March 1
* Take the LSAT by the January test administration
* Undergraduate degree anticipated or received from an HBCU
* High academic undergraduate achievement
* Commitment to civic engagement

William & Mary Law School offers more than 100 merit and need-based scholarships. All admitted applicants will be considered for available scholarship awards based on information contained in your application for admission as well as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Scholarships are awarded for three consecutive years of study at the Law School. To retain scholarship eligibility, students are required to maintain good academic standing.

About the Lemon Project

Founded in 1693, William & Mary is well known as an intellectual and cultural center in Virginia. The university is more than just a place of education, however. It has also been an important political and social force for the past 300 years, both reflecting and giving shape to ideas of freedom, slavery, race, equality, and citizenship in Virginia and the nation. While William & Mary’s role in the nation’s founding has been widely studied, it has only been recently that scholars have begun asking questions of the university's role in perpetuating slavery and racial discrimination.

In 2009, after our community called for a full investigation of William & Mary’s past, the Board of Visitors acknowledged that the university had “owned and exploited slave labor from its founding to the Civil War; and that it had failed to take a stand against segregation during the Jim Crow Era.” As a result, the Board offered its support for the establishment of The Lemon Project: A Journey of Reconciliation. The Project is named for Lemon, a man who was once enslaved by William & Mary. We cannot know the full dimensions of Lemon’s life or his relationship with W&M. In many ways, Lemon stands in the place of the known and unknown African Americans who helped to build, maintain, and move the university forward.

The Lemon Project is a multifaceted and dynamic attempt to rectify wrongs perpetrated against African Americans by William & Mary through action or inaction. An ongoing endeavor, this program will focus on contributing to and encouraging scholarship on the 300-year relationship between African Americans and W&M and building bridges between the university and Williamsburg and Greater Tidewater  area. 

To learn more about the Lemon Project, click here.

About Why We Can’t Wait

William & Mary Law School launched Why We Can’t Wait - An Agenda for Equity and Justice, a 12-part action plan for fundamental change to address inequality and injustice within the Law School community and the broader community. Building from the recommendations of the Law School’s 2019 Inclusion Task Force Report and conversations with faculty, staff, students and alumni, Why We Can’t Wait outlines the actions our community will take to further equity and justice for all.   

In alignment with this agenda, the Law School hired a director of academic & bar success to support all students, regardless of background, in their academic efforts and to ensure they pass the bar exam. The Law School also has hired a new assistant dean who will focus on equity and inclusion issues and antiracism efforts. In 2020, the Center for Racial & Social Justice was established, a university-wide initiative housed at the Law School that allows faculty and students to engage in critical research and thought leadership to advance equity and social justice. 

To learn more about Why We Can’t Wait, click here.