1L Diversity Essay Contest

Inaugural 1L Student Essay Contest

The Jane Bolin Project was established as a USC Gould School of Law student organization in order to fight for diverse representation in the legal profession. Aptly named after Jane Matilda Bolin, the first Black female judge in the United States, our mission is to join forces with America’s largest companies and require law firms to be inclusive when selecting their legal teams. The unfortunate reality is that the legal industry remains one of the least diverse professions, despite the diversity of law students at schools like USC Gould. As the next generation of lawyers, it is our responsibility to advocate for change and shape our future. 

The Jane Bolin Project would like to invite all interested 1L students at USC Gould to participate in our inaugural essay competition. Students are to write and submit an essay of 1,000 words or less answering the following prompt: “What does diversity mean to you?” Essays will be reviewed and scored by the founding student members of the Jane Bolin Project. Three cash prize winners will be announced via email on January 15, 2021. All three finalists’ essays will be published on our website.

Essay Prompt:​

What does diversity mean to you? 


$1,500 First Prize 

$250 for First Runner Up

$250 for Second Runner Up


  1. Participants must be 1L students at USC Gould School of Law.

  2. Essay submissions must be 1,000 words or less.

  3. Submissions open on December 17, 2020, and close at 11:59 p.m. PST on January 1, 2021. 

  4. Essay submissions should be emailed as a PDF attachment to janebolinproject@lawmail.usc.edu on or before the aforementioned deadline.

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