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Rhode Island Bar Foundation Seeks Law School Scholarship Applicants

The Rhode Island Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the non-profit Rhode Island Bar Association, is seeking applications for its scholarship programs.

For its Thomas F. Black, Jr. Memorial Scholarship program, the Bar Foundation intends to award two scholarships of $25,000 each to Rhode Island residents who enroll as first-year students in an American Bar Association accredited law school for the academic year beginning September 2024. The scholarship is for the first year of law school only and non-renewable. Each scholarship award is made on the basis of demonstrated financial need, superior academic performance, community and public service, and demonstrated contacts with and commitment to the State of Rhode Island. The Scholarship Committee seeks applications from candidates without regard to race, color, religion, country of ancestral origin, handicap, age, sex, or sexual orientation. Since 1984, this fund has awarded 72 scholarships to promising law students from Rhode Island. The Scholarship is named in honor of the late Thomas F. Black, Jr., a person known for his impressive ability as a lawyer and banker, his deeply rooted legal scholarship and his notable participation in civic and charitable causes.

In addition to the Thomas F. Black, Jr. Memorial Scholarships, the Foundation will award two new $25,000 scholarships, the Patrice A. Tarantino Memorial Scholarship and the Nicole J. Benjamin Scholarship. The Patrice A. Tarantino Memorial Scholarship Fund was established in 2022 by former Bar Foundation President John A. Tarantino, Esq. in memory of his late wife, Pat. The Scholarship is a lasting tribute to Pat’s memory. The Nicole J. Benjamin Scholarship was founded in 2023, also by former Bar Foundation President John A. Tarantino, Esq., and recognizes attorney Benjamin’s exemplary contributions to the legal community. It aims to support aspiring legal professionals who exhibit leadership potential and a commitment to service to the community.

Two additional law school scholarships from the Papitto Opportunity Connection Foundation in the amount of $25,000 each will be awarded to candidates who are committed to actively promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in society. Papitto candidates must provide specific examples of strategies that have been undertaken, or will be undertaken, within both the legal profession and the broader community to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. Founded in December 2020, the Papitto Opportunity Connection was formed by Barbara Papitto as a continuation of the long-time commitment she and her late husband Ralph have made to creating educational opportunities and supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion in Rhode Island.

The Rhode Island Bar Foundation Scholarship application deadline is March 31, 2024. For application forms, telephone: (401) 421-6541 or email: Information and application forms are also available on the Rhode Island Bar Association website: in the Rhode Island Bar Foundation section.