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When There Are Nine Scholarship Project

Inspired by a commitment to honor the legacy of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the When There Are Nine Scholarship Project (“WTA9 Scholarship”) was founded in 2020 in partnership with the Federal Bar Foundation (the “Foundation”) by a group of women who served together as Assistant United States Attorneys in the Southern District of New York. The scholarship seeks to advance equity and diversity within the legal profession by expanding career opportunities for women attorneys and supporting those attorneys in their legal educations and careers.

Justice Ginsburg was a trailblazer and pioneering advocate for women’s rights. A Brooklyn native, she graduated first in her class from Columbia Law School while raising her young daughter and supporting her husband through his cancer treatment. Justice Ginsburg repeatedly overcame the gender discrimination she would later spend the better part of her career seeking to eradicate in the courts, and her advocacy and the cases that she won opened doors for so many women. The founding members of the Project, all of whom had the privilege of serving in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, benefitted greatly from Justice Ginsburg’s efforts and, upon her passing, established the Project to honor her legacy by encouraging future generations of women to pursue rewarding careers in the law and making those career choices financially accessible.


The WTA9 Scholarship is administered by the Federal Bar Foundation (“Foundation”), a New York 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation that supports the activities of the Federal Bar Council (“FBC”). The FBC is an association of lawyers who practice in federal courts within the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, to which Justice Ginsburg was assigned.

Scholarship Details

Each WTA9 Scholarship Recipient (“Recipient”) will be granted $10,000 per academic year. In addition, Recipients will be assigned mentors who will provide support and guidance throughout the Recipient’s law school and early professional career. Recipients are expected to maintain regular communication with their mentors and attend regular events with their mentors. In collaboration with the Foundation, Recipients will be permitted to participate in FBC meetings and events while in law school and will receive membership to the FBC for the two years following their graduation.

Scholarship Recipient Requirements

Recipients must maintain regular communication with their mentors as described above and actively participate in mentorship programming. In addition, within six months of graduation from law school, Recipients shall provide a written description of the impact of the WTA9 Scholarship on their legal career. Recipients also shall agree to be reasonably available for outreach and development work.

Use of Scholarships

Recipients are required to use financial awards to pay for tuition and fees required for enrollment or attendance at law school, or for fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for courses at the law schools attended by the Recipients.

Eligibility

The 2022-2023 WTA9 Scholarship is open to all women, including students who consistently live and self- identify as women, regardless of their gender assignment at birth. Additionally, applicants must:

  • Intend to enroll or currently be enrolled in an ABA-accredited J.D. program with a graduation date of 2023-2026;
  • Have financial need;
  • Have a strong record of academic achievement; and
  • Demonstrate some ties to New York City, such as family ties, law school, or an intent to practice in or around New York City after graduation.

The Selection Committee values all types of diversity, and welcomes candidates from all backgrounds and life experiences. Although not required, the Selection Committee encourages applicants with a demonstrated interest in public service, or who are otherwise committed to giving back to the community.

While applicants need not have been admitted to law school at the time of their application, finalists will be required to inform the Selection Committee as to the law school they have committed to attend. All Finalists will also be required to provide a letter from their law school’s financial aid office that details their financial aid package, and to interview with the Selection Committee.

How to Apply

1. Register

Click on the "Register" link and complete and submit the registration form.

2. Login

Login to the system with your email and password.

3. Create

Create your online application.

4. Save

During the Call for Applications period, your application can be saved as DRAFT until all the required information is completed and attachments uploaded. As each section is complete, you will see a appear in the category tab when the application is saved. At any time, you can download and print your application by clicking on the icon in the Application Summary section.

5. Submit

On completion, save your Application as FINAL. Download and print a copy of your application for your records by clicking on the icon in the Application Summary section in the right column. Note: If an update is required prior to the Call for Applications period, you can make the update and resave as FINAL.

If you require assistance or additional information, please contact the Award Administrator.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please review the below listed FAQs before reaching out to the program administrator.

  • Can I attach an addendum to the WTA9 application I submitted?

To ensure fairness, please do not upload or attach any documents that are not requested. Please provide all answers to questions in the fields provided. Any documents that are submitted that were not requested will not be considered.

  • I have not received my official financial aid award letter yet. What am I required to submit?

Only those applicants selected as finalists will be required to submit proof of financial aid. Please do not submit any financial aid documentation with your application. If you are selected as a finalist, you will be contacted separately and your financial information will be requested at that time.

  • Is an official transcript required?

No, applicants may submit an unofficial transcript, including a printed copy of grades from a web portal. However, the Selection Committee reserves the right to request an official transcript and the right to verify grades during its selection process.

  • I have not been admitted to law school however I am on several wait lists. Am I eligible to apply?

We are currently only accepting applications for those students who have been accepted to an ABA-accredited J.D. program with a graduation date of 2023-2027 and intend to enroll or are currently enrolled in the program.

  • I am currently a pre-law institute student. Am I eligible to apply?

We are currently only accepting applications for those students who have been accepted to an ABA-accredited J.D. program with a graduation date of 2023-2027 and intend to enroll or are currently enrolled in the program.

  • I am enrolling into a part-time J.D. program or am currently enrolled in a part-time program. Am I eligible to apply?

Students who have been accepted to an ABA-accredited J.D. program, part-time or full-time, with a graduation date of 2023-2027 and intend to enroll or are currently enrolled in the program are eligible to apply.

  • I am currently admitted to an LLM program or intend to enroll in an LLM program. Am I eligible to apply?

Unfortunately, students who are enrolled in an LLM program are not eligible for the WTAN Scholarship. We are only accepting applications for those students who have been accepted to an ABA-accredited J.D. program with a graduation date of 2023-2027 and intend to enroll or are currently enrolled in the program.

  • I will not have my grades for the spring semester by the May 1 deadline. Should I submit an updated transcript after I receive my Spring grades?

Please submit a copy of your most recent transcript at the time of your application. If the Selection committee wishes to view your Spring 2022 grades, you will be contacted with instructions on how to submit an updated transcript. The Selection Committee reserves the right to request an official transcript and the right to verify grades during its selection process.

  • How many scholarships are awarded per year and how large is the applicant pool?

In 2021, The When There Are Nine Scholarship Project received nearly 400 applications. The number of scholarships awarded per academic year may vary and will be in the sole discretion the WTA9 Steering Committee.

  • Who should I list as a reference? When can I tell my references to expect to be contacted?

Applicants should list references that are familiar with their academic ability, their scholarship, their professional accomplishments and goals as well as their contributions to their community. The Selection Committee will only contact references for those individuals who are selected as finalists. Should the Selection Committee decide to contact references, this contact will happen at some time during Summer 2022. The Selection Committee will attempt to contact references by phone and email and provide a reasonable about of time for references to respond.

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Key Dates

Application Open:
April 1, 2022
Application Close:
May 1, 2022

CONTACT US

When There Are Nine Scholarship Project
c/o Federal Bar Foundation,150 Broadway, Suite 505
New York, New York 10038-4300
Email:   Wta9@federalbarcouncil.com

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