As Seen In ‘The Florida Bar News’: Kluger Kaplan to Award H.T. Smith Legal Studies Scholarship for Minority Students

By March 29, 2023



One student will receive $10,000 in financial assistance to attend a Florida law school and will receive a summer clerkship at Kluger Kaplan

H.T. Smith

H.T. Smith

South Florida-based Kluger, Kaplan, Silverman, Katzen & Levine has launched its 2023 Annual H.T. Smith Legal Studies Scholarship to support minority law school students who have a strong connection with the South Florida community.

Now in its third year, the law firm launched the scholarship in honor of H.T. Smith, founding director of the Trial Advocacy Program at Florida International University (FIU) College of Law, with the intention of creating a more diverse workforce and South Florida legal industry.

“Kluger Kaplan’s goal with this scholarship is to bring tangible change to South Florida’s legal community and improve minority talent retention in our hometown,” said Alan J. Kluger, founding partner at Kluger Kaplan. “Advancing diversity, access, and inclusion will only happen if we act with intentionality. The legal community has a long way to go, but our hope is that the scholarship will serve as a blueprint for other firms looking to support minority law school students.”

One scholarship recipient will earn $10,000 in financial assistance to attend an eligible law school in Florida and will receive a summer clerkship at the Kluger Kaplan. Following their law school graduation and completion of the Florida bar exam, the scholarship winner will also be considered for an attorney position at the firm. Eligible universities include the University of Miami, Florida International University, Nova Southeastern University, St. Thomas University, Florida State University, and the University of Florida.

Preference for award of the H.T. Smith Legal Studies Scholarship is given to students entering their second year of law school who come from traditionally underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups, and who are actively involved in giving back to the South Florida community through volunteer efforts or participation among local organizations.

“Miami has emerged as a global business hub, but for our community and the legal profession to make a measurable improvement in diversity and inclusion across the board, law firms of all sizes will need to undertake active and meaningful participation in similar types of programs such as Kluger Kaplan’s Legal Studies Scholarship,” said H.T. Smith. “It is the cumulative results that will have the greatest impact on increasing diversity in the South Florida legal profession.”

Smith was Miami’s first African American assistant public defender, first African American assistant county attorney, and the founding president of the Black Lawyers Association.

To apply for the scholarship, applicants must email their resume, current school transcript, and a 500-word personal statement discussing who they are and why they are applying for the scholarship, with the subject line “H.T. Smith Legal Studies Scholarship.” The deadline to submit for the 2023-2024 academic year is July 1.

Finalists will be requested to join the Kluger Kaplan law firm for an interview. Scholarships will be funded directly to the recipient’s law school and will be applied towards the student’s tuition for the Fall 2023-2024 academic year. Any balance will be given directly to the student if there is another scholarship that covers his or her tuition.

Email Idays Guallar with any questions.