Attorneys from Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C., a Michigan-based personal injury law firm, are excited to award its 2019 Law School Diversity Scholarship to Penn State Law School third-year student Yanna Banks.

The annual scholarship award was established in 2013 as part of the law firm’s initiative to recognize outstanding law school students who are committed to promoting diversity in their communities.

Banks, who is on track to graduate May 2020, has served as the president of the Black Law Students Association at Penn State, and has been involved in the Law Lions ambassador program. She was accepted into the Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society, and currently works at the Penn State’s Restorative Justice Institute, where she teaches legal literacy at the Centre County Correctional Facility and volunteers to lead a job skills workshop there as well.

“This award not only represents progression for myself, my culture, and my people as a whole, but it also denotes a commitment to progression for the entire legal community,” Banks said.

Banks said she plans to move into the world of corporate law after graduation where she “intends to continue using my time, education, and platform for the betterment of my community.”

Banks said the lack of diversification in law firms across the country motivated her to go back to school and pursue her Juris Doctor.

“This award demonstrates that leaders and decision-makers at law firms understand that the lack of diversity is a systemic problem that they are taking affirmative steps to remedy,” Banks said. “It lends validity to a cause that sometimes seems unrealistic and a community often feels tokenized. It means that my background and experiences are both valid and valued beyond the boxes I can check and the quotas I can help meet.”

Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. awards one student each year with the $2,000 Law School Diversity Scholarship. The scholarship is available to students attending law school who is also a member of an ethnic, racial, or other minority, or someone who demonstrates a commitment to issues of diversity within their community.

Since 1969, Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. has represented victims of injuries and medical malpractice. The firm offers multiple scholarships each year to assist students who demonstrate a commitment to academic excellence.

For more information about the Buckfire Law scholarships, visit https://buckfirelaw.com/scholarships/.