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BESLA supports law students and recent law school graduates through legal education programs, mentoring, and internship opportunities. BESLA awards financial scholarships to deserving law students that are seeking careers in the entertainment, sports and related industries. Law students affiliated with BESLA become distinguished members of the profession with influential careers.
I. BESLA General Scholarship Fund
Established in 1989, the BESLA Scholarship Fund provides financial assistance each year to law students. BESLA offers two categories of eligibility:(1) an essay competition; and (2) Historically Black College and University Law (HBCU) School scholarships. For the essay competition, essay topics explore current legal issues in entertainment, sports, and intellectual property. Students from law schools may enter their essay for an opportunity to be awarded a scholarship.
In addition, Black law students attending HBCU law schools in the United States who have an interest in entertainment or sports law, have demonstrated strong academic performance, and are recommended by their respective law school dean, are eligible to receive a scholarship award. Eligible HBCU law schools include Florida A&M College of Law, Howard University School of Law, North Carolina Central University School of Law, Southern University Law Center, Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University, and the David A. Clarke School of Law at the University of the District of Columbia.
II. Lebaron & Yvonne M. Taylor Scholarship Fund
The LeBaron & Yvonne M. Taylor Scholarship Fund was established by LeBaron Taylor in 1997 to honor his wife, the late Yvonne M. Taylor, who served as the organization's Administrative Director. Subsequently, upon the death of LeBaron Taylor, his name was added to the Fund as a tribute to his many years of support of BESLA. The funds and criteria for awarding scholarships to students are administered in cooperation with the Taylor family.
III. The Flash and Bennie Wiley Scholarship Fund
In 2015, in recognition of BESLA's 35th Anniversary, Fletcher "Flash" Wiley and his wife, Bennie Wile, endowed the Flash and Bennie Wiley Scholarship Fund. Through their initial donation of $25,000, BESLA will be able to award a minimum of $1,000 scholarship each year to a deserving student attending a historically Black law school.
IV. The BESLA Founders' Fund
Established following BESLA's 35th Annual Conference, the purpose of this fund is to provide scholarships for Black law students. The fund was established with initial donations from Robert Holmes, Flash Wiley and Kendall Minter.
Anyone wishing to donate to BESLA or a specific Fund, may provide a check payable to "Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association" to BESLA's Treasurer, P.O. Box 351120, Los Angeles, CA 90035. Stock transfers are also accepted.
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