May 31, 2018 

LAWT News Service 


The California State Senate has included a proposal by Senator Anthony J. Portantino to create 18 full tuition scholarships for HBCU students to attend UC Hastings College of Law.  Senator Portantino is the Chair of the Senate Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance.  As Chair, Portantino worked closely with representatives from several HBCU’s and Hastings to craft the scholarship proposal.  The Senate Budget will go to the conference committee between the Senate and the Assembly for reconciliation.  If the Assembly concurs with Portantino and the Senate, the proposal, as part of the budget, would then go to both houses of the legislature for ratification.  Upon a vote of the Senate and Assembly the budget ultimately goes to the Governor.  Portantino is cautiously optimistic for a successful outcome.


"I am very happy about this academic opportunity for HBCU students. This initiative will help talented students have a path to law school without taking on debt.  Students can return to their home state of California and earn a law degree from a recognized and leading law school.  It’s good for the students and great for California,” commented Senator Portantino.


Eight years ago, Portantino and Pasadena Journal Publisher Joe Hopkins launched the Summer Institute for Emerging Managers and Leaders. This is a summer fellowship program for students from HBCU's at the University of California Business Schools.  The program is having its 7th year this month.


Portantino coordinated the initiation of the scholarship program with local support from Bob Davidson, the former Chairman of the Morehouse College Board of Directors and Wes Coleman from the Hampton University Board.


"Anthony has been a leader in California's outreach to HBCU's students and in creating unique partnerships for our outstanding students. This new initiative creates an exciting opportunity for our students to follow their passion into law without generating debt.  Educating a more diverse cohort of lawyers is good for Hastings, good for California and good for the African American Community in California. We are very grateful to Senator Portantino for this opportunity," added Bob Davidson.


The Senate Budget includes $4.5 million for Hastings to fund the scholarships. Hastings is a well-respected public law school in San Francisco with noted alums such as U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris, former California State Assembly­member Speakers Willie Brown and Bob Hertzberg, Congresswoman Jackie Speier, and Congressman Bob Matsui.

Category: Education