Women and people of color are currently the most underrepresented demographic of prosecutors with figures from 2019 showing that a mere 1.84% of prosecutors elected were women of color. The Sarita and Claire Wright Lucas Foundation (SCWLF) is looking to change this stark fact and promote diversity within the legal sector. They understand that by increasing the number of women prosecutors who are of color, this will help to foster more trust, respect and faith in the law.
“Diversifying the justice system: Inspiring and supporting young women of color to take on the visible and important role of prosecutors”
SCWLF focuses its fundraising on initiatives that support young women of color who aspire to serve in the public sector of law. Founded in 2015, the non-profit understands all too well the financial difficulties that prohibit people from making a career choice as a prosecutor for a public agency.
Most people are aware of the costs and debt associated with attending law school, however what isn’t widely known is the additional funds that are required to prepare for the Bar examination. In addition to the costs of a prep course – at around $5000 – many graduates also take out personal loans to cover living expenses so that they can dedicate all of their time preparing for the exam.
The foundation was created as a tribute to Sarita Wright Lucas, a determined, passionate and accomplished prosecutor who found her calling in criminal cases. At just 33 years old, she died unexpectedly at six months pregnant. The baby, who her and her husband had already named Claire, also died. The foundation was created in her memory as a way to best remember her life and the work she had accomplished as a prosecutor.
“The Sarita and Claire Wright Lucas Foundation provides opportunity for passionate, qualified women of color who want to make a difference as prosecutors. In doing so, it directly contributes to diversity in law enforcement.”
Daniel F. Conley, Suffolk County District Attorney
The foundation wants to encourage women of Sarita’s skill and passion for the law and understands that when communities see people who look like them and who represent their interests in court, they then also seek justice on their behalf. Those that make the decision to work as a prosecutor for public agencies are on their own financially. To lessen some of that financial burden, SCLWF currently awards $5000 scholarships to aspiring prosecutors in the Delaware, Southeastern Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts Departments of Justice. In addition to the scholarship, the foundation has this year launched a fellowship program which aims to ensure that 2L female law students from all backgrounds can gain work and experience in the Department of Justice.
The Sarita and Claire Wright Lucas Foundation want to support women like Sarita, who are driven and have a passion for the law. Click here to learn more about the foundation and their efforts in striving for a more diversely represented judicial system or visit Yotme if you are inspired to support their cause via a generous donation.
SOURCE: REFLECTIVE DEMOCRACY CAMPAIGN AS OF NOVEMBER 2019