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Available Scholarships

The Theodore M. Berry Scholarship

Created in recognition of the political, civic, and legal achievements of the Honorable Theodore M. Berry, this scholarship is awarded to a deserving African American student attending the University of Cincinnati College of Law, who has demonstrated strong leadership qualities and a commitment to his or her community.

Amount awarded: $2,000

The William A. McClain Scholarship

Created in recognition of the many firsts the Honorable William McClain achieved, this scholarship is awarded to an African American law student attending any accredited law school who has demonstrated leadership potential, a dedication to the Cincinnati community, and has expressed a financial need. This scholarship is awarded jointly by the Cincinnati Bar Foundation and BLAC.

Amount awarded: $2,000

The Jack Sherman Jr. Scholarship

Created in recognition of the dedicated public service of the Honorable Jack Sherman, Jr., this scholarship is awarded to a deserving minority law student attending the Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University and is interested in public service and embodies inclusiveness and a belief in justice.  This scholarship is awarded jointly by BLAC and the Federal Bar Association, John W. Peck Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Chapter.

Amount awarded: $2,000

The Shanda L. Spurlock Memorial Scholarship

Created in recognition of the active and beloved member of the Cincinnati Legal Community, Shanda Spurlock, this scholarship is awarded to an African American resident of Greater Cincinnati attending any accredited law school who had demonstrated leadership potential and dedication to the Cincinnati community. This scholarship is funded by Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP and administered by BLAC.

Amount awarded: $5,000

Theodore M. Berry

Born on November 8, 1905, in Maysville, Kentucky, the Honorable Theodore M. Berry was one of Cincinnati’s elder political leaders when he passed away on October 15, 2000. He accomplished many “firsts” throughout his life. For example, he was the first African-American Valedictorian, Woodward High School, Cincinnati, Ohio (1924); First African-American Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Hamilton County (1939-42); First President of the Community Action Commission (1964); and First African-American Mayor, City of Cincinnati (1972-76).

He received both his Bachelor of Arts (1928) and Juris Doctor (1931) from the University of Cincinnati. Berry was active in the political arena, serving on Cincinnati City Council for more than 13 years.

In recognition of Theodore M. Berry’s political, civic, and legal achievements, the Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati established the scholarship which is awarded annually to a deserving African-American law student attending the University of Cincinnati who has demonstrated strong leadership qualities and a commitment to his or her community.

William A. McClain

The Honorable William A. McClain was born on January 11, 1913, in Sanford, North Carolina. He passed away on February 4, 2014, at the age of 101. He attended Wittenberg University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in 1934. In 1937, McClain received his Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School. In 1951, after being denied membership twice, McClain became the first African-American member of the Cincinnati Bar Association. He later became the City Solicitor of Cincinnati (1963-72), making him the first African-American attorney to serve as City Solicitor of any major city in the country.

McClain became the first African-American member of the Lawyers Club in 1947 after a heated debate over his admission. On September 22, 1994, he was recognized for this and other accomplishments at a joint meeting of the Lawyers Club of Cincinnati and BLAC. During the meeting, the establishment of the scholarship in his name was announced, initiated by a donation from Keating, Muething, and Klekamp.

This scholarship is awarded to an African-American law student attending any accredited law school who has demonstrated leadership potential, a dedication to the Cincinnati community, and has expressed a financial need. The Cincinnati Bar Foundation and BLAC fund this scholarship jointly.

Jack Sherman, Jr.

A Cincinnati native, the Honorable Jack Sherman, Jr. majored in education while attending The Ohio State University, and received his Bachelor of Science in 1961. In 1969, Sherman received his Juris Doctor from the Salmon P. Chase College of Law.

He held various positions while in law school including serving as constable to Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge John W. Keefe. Living by the motto that “lawyers are agents of positive societal change,” Sherman dedicated his career to public service.

This scholarship, announced during the 2003 banquet, is partially funded by the Federal Bar Association, John W. Peck Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Chapter, and is administered by the Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati. The scholarship was awarded for the first time in 2004. It is presented to a deserving minority law student attending the Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University and is interested in public service and embodies inclusiveness and a belief in justice.

Shanda L. Spurlock

Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP established this scholarship in honor of Shanda L. Spurlock, an Associate in its Litigation Department from 2011 to 2013. She was a graduate of Princeton High School and Olivet Nazarene University where she was a four-time NAIA indoor and outdoor track and field national champion.

She earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Dayton School of Law in 2002 and was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Ohio, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and various United States District Courts. In 2009 and 2010, Shanda was selected as an Ohio Super Lawyers Rising Star, and in 2011, Shanda was selected as a Rising Star by the YWCA of Greater Cincinnati Academy of Career Women of Achievement. She was active in the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky communities and served on several boards including the Taft Museum of Art, Children’s Law Center, SWEL, and the Northern Kentucky Tri-County Economic Development Corporation.

She was also appointed to the Ohio Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism and served on the Executive Committee of the Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati. A beloved member of the legal community, Shanda passed away on February 24, 2014, at the age of 38 after a long battle with cancer.

The scholarship is awarded to an African-American resident of Greater Cincinnati attending any accredited law school who had demonstrated leadership potential and dedication to the Cincinnati community. At the request of Dinsmore & Shohl, BLAC selects the recipient of this scholarship.

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