New scholarship program designed to encourage diverse students to consider careers as attorneys with scholarship, mentorship and leadership resources for high school and college students

Nashville / Memphis, Tenn. (November 10, 2020) – Bass, Berry & Sims PLC is pleased to announce the Diversity Scholarship Program in partnership with the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law (Memphis Law) to help prepare students for success in the legal industry. Memphis Law students recruited and attending as part of the Diversity Scholarship Program will receive access to exclusive scholarships, mentorship and career opportunities. The partnership also establishes the Bass, Berry & Sims Summer Trial Institute to give high school students a hands-on introduction to careers in the legal field and training for valuable skills for college and law school.

“We are excited to partner with Memphis Law to support and improve access and opportunity for talented, diverse students interested in a career in law,” said Todd Rolapp, managing partner of Bass, Berry & Sims. “It is no secret the legal industry suffers from a lack of diverse representation, and we believe it is our role to advance diversity, equity and inclusion within the industry. This program will help forge the path for greater opportunities, starting at the collegiate and high school levels, by providing resources, professional guidance and connections to support entrance into the legal profession.”

The Diversity Scholarship Program will serve as one of the college’s premier scholarship programs, helping attract diverse students from Tennessee and across the nation to study at Memphis Law. The partnership also establishes a Diversity Fellow funding program which will allow the law school’s director of diversity & inclusion relief from teaching to focus on developing diversity and inclusion programs at the law school and to allow the director to continue outreach into the community to identify students interested in a legal career.

“We are committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive law school environment by pursuing initiatives to increase the access, admission, retention and graduation of diverse students at our campus,” said Memphis Law Dean Katharine Schaffzin. “We are grateful for this partnership with Bass, Berry & Sims to help provide prospective students from historically underrepresented populations with information and financial support for attending our school, as well as professional development guidance to ensure success upon earning their law degrees.”

Creating more opportunities for students to consider legal careers, the partnership also establishes the Summer Trial Institute wherein Bass, Berry & Sims attorneys will serve as instructors and mentors to high school students who participate in this innovative, two-week program. The training will focus on developing the skills necessary to become strong college and law school candidates. Bass, Berry & Sims attorneys will participate as instructors, mentors and advisors to the high school students in a curriculum aimed at promoting critical thinking, public speaking and student confidence.

Additional initiatives under the Diversity Scholarship Program include Bass, Berry & Sims’ participation in Memphis Law’s Diversity Day program, Admitted Students Day, and ongoing programs and events with the school’s other partners to address diversity and inclusion. Bass, Berry & Sims attorneys will also serve as resources to diverse, admitted students for ongoing assistance as needed.

For more information on Bass, Berry & Sims’ Diversity & Inclusion program, including a similar arrangement with the University of Tennessee College of Law announced in 2018, please visit

For more information on the programs from Memphis Law’s Office of Diversity, please visit.

About the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law

The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law is fully accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools, the society for legal education in the United States. Graduates of the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law include a number of federal and state judges, law firm partners, entrepreneurs, educators, politicians and other public servants, and leading practitioners in the Mid-South and throughout the nation. It has been named as one of the Best Law Schools for Diversity in the country by preLaw magazine. For more information, visit

About Bass, Berry & Sims PLC

With nearly 300 attorneys representing numerous publicly traded companies and Fortune 500 businesses, Bass, Berry & Sims has been involved in some of the largest and most significant litigation matters, investigations and business transactions in the country. Our attorneys work seamlessly across substantive practice disciplines, industries and geographies to deliver highly effective service and business-focused solutions. For more information, visit