The Morgan Lewis Foundation announced May 23 that Boston College Law student Andres Solis ’24 is a Diversity Scholarship Award winner for 2022. The scholarship, founded in 2014, is meant to highlight the necessity and value of diversity in the legal profession and is awarded to promising law students belonging to minority communities.
This year, Solis is one of fourteen students from eight different law schools, including the University of Pennsylvania, Duke University, New York University, and the University of California, Berkeley, who will receive funding to support their education, without any requirement of employment to Morgan Lewis in the future, a unique aspect of the scholarship separating it from many other grant options. This kind of investment in future leaders shows a true commitment to ensuring that they are people of varied backgrounds and experiences.
“Supporting a diverse pipeline of incoming lawyers is a key part of our commitment to fostering a more inclusive legal community as a whole,” Firm Chair Jami McKeon said. “We recognize these are extremely challenging times for our next-generation lawyers and our industry, so the Morgan Lewis Foundation has doubled the amount of diversity scholarships over the past two years to provide these incredibly talented law students with some of the resources needed to thrive in our profession.”
More specifically, Solis and the other thirteen award recipients will receive grants—typically $40,000 per student—that are provided in four installments at the beginning of each semester of their second and third years of law school. In her statement, McKeon notes that the number of awards given has doubled from the traditional eight, while remaining extremely competitive. This year, twenty BC Law students submitted applications and Solis is the eighth BC Law student to receive the Morgan Lewis Foundation award in as many years. Previous BC Law recipients are Thanithia Billings in 2015, Saba Habte in 2016, Marcus Nemeth in 2017, Helen Kim in 2018, Risa Kuroda in 2019, Ismail Ercan in 2020, and Lindsay Kizekai in 2021.
Next to make his mark, Solis is particularly influenced by his own experience, having immigrated many years ago from Mexico to the United States, where a lawyer helped his family process paperwork needed to live legally in the US. They had fled his childhood home of Matamoros and crossed the border to Brownsville, Texas, the evening after drug lords appeared at his father’s restaurant and made thinly veiled threats. Solis has belonged to two nations, which he believes provides him with a unique lens through which to approach inclusion and law.
Solis’s journey and perspective might have been drastically different without the guidance of the lawyer who helped his family during that transition period. “Today, I realize that that meeting represented my family’s key to safety—a key that is often out of reach for too many people that need it,” says Solis in a personal statement. “People often view immigrants as less deserving of the chance to call the United States their home, their circumstances misunderstood and judged.” In choosing to further his education at BC Law School, Solis aims to be an effective and passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion, and to one day be for someone else who that lawyer was for him.
At BC Law, he has served as a member of the Law Students Association, on the Student Wellness and Mental Health Committee, the Latin American Law Students Association, the Business Law Society, and the International Law Society. Solis’s goal in each community that he is a part of is to emphasize the value of diversity, promote inclusion and acceptance, and, in the future, to foster positive change in the legal profession.