The University of Georgia School of Law has created the Robinson Scholars Program, which will benefit underrepresented student populations with ties to Georgia. The program is named in memory of 1974 alumnus Robert E. “Robbie” Robinson, a civil and human rights attorney who was tragically killed in 1989 by politically motivated mail bombs that were sent to his Savannah office.
“Robbie Robinson represented many individuals who could not afford an attorney, was active in the NAACP and served as an alderman for the city of Savannah before his death,” School of Law Dean Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge said. “The Robinson Scholars Program is a way the School of Law can honor this legal leader by assisting students – in particular those with a desire to pursue public interest work – as they follow their dreams to work in and benefit their communities.”
The Robinson Scholars Program is funded by UGA’s New Approaches in Diversity and Inclusion initiative. Private donations received from the Office of the President will be matched by private law school funding to support the program, which will focus on several key areas: recruitment, preparation for law school, advancing diversity in the legal profession and increasing access to justice in legally underserved communities.
“The UGA School of Law strives to ensure that our student body – and consequently new lawyers beginning their careers – is representative of today’s society,” Rutledge said. “Programs such as this will break down some of the barriers that exist to entering law school, not only through financial support but by creating an environment where support is more readily available for these students as they begin law school as well as throughout their legal educations.”
The first Robinson Scholars – Luis G. Chavez, Kayla Hope and Ashleigh Rasheed-Britt – began their legal studies earlier this month.
In addition to the Robinson Scholars, the law school in 2018 created the Benham Scholars Program through the New Approaches in Diversity and Inclusion initiative. Named in honor of the second African American to graduate from the School of Law – Georgia Supreme Court Justice Robert Benham – this program serves individuals who hail from or show a demonstrated intent to practice in legally underserved communities.