Dinsmore Establishes Annual LGBTQ Scholarship with University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law

November 13, 2019News Releases

Dinsmore & Shohl LLP is proud to announce the creation of the Dinsmore University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law LGBTQ Scholarship. Through the generosity of Partner John Selent, Dinsmore will fund half the annual tuition of a student who either identifies as LGBTQ, or who has made significant contributions to the community.

Bert Greenwell, a 1998 Brandeis graduate who practices with Morris Bart in New Orleans, is generously funding the other half, to fully cover the cost of tuition for the scholarship recipient.

Multiple factors inspired Selent and Greenwell to create the scholarship. Selent cited a lack of diversity in the legal sector, his own experiences as a member of the LGBT community and the struggles some LGBTQ students face to stay in school with little family support. According to the National Association for Law Placement, as of 2018, just 2.86 percent of lawyers openly identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

“Diversity is important in all aspects – ethnicity, gender, LGBTQ status and otherwise,” Selent said. “Without diversity, particularly in the educational environment, we deny ourselves the perspectives and talents of members of these communities. That is not healthy for these individuals or for our society.”

The scholarship program will become available to Brandeis students next fall, at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. Students will apply through the school, and a committee will determine the recipient.

“One of the things law firms and other legal employers constantly tell us is that the legal profession needs to be more diverse,” said Brandeis Dean Colin Crawford. “It needs to mirror the society that lawyers represent and work for in every way. This generous gift helps make that possible. We hope others will follow this wonderful example.”

The scholarship reflects Dinsmore’s steadfast commitment to diversity across the board. Selent is the facilitator of the firm’s LGBTQ affinity group, In Law & Equity, which boasts over 160 members nationwide. Dinsmore was recently given a score of 90 on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, and it was named a Top Performer by the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity for the third time in the last five years.