2013 Michael Oshima Diversity Essay Competition

PALS Logo White on Blue

The following opportunity may be of interest to Law Students




The City Bar Committee on Minorities in the Profession is now accepting applications for the 2013 Michael Oshima Diversity Essay Competition. Monetary awards will be made to 3 candidates on the basis of their essay and their having demonstrated significant personal achievements and strong community involvement. The first place winner will receive an award in the amount of $1,500, second place will be $1,000, and the third place winner will receive $500.


For Eligibility Requirements, Process & Instructions, please visit: www.nycbar.org/oshima

The deadline for the submission/receipt of all materials is

 May 31, 2013. Prize winners will be notified in July 2013.


The Michael Oshima Diversity Essay Competition was established in honor of Michael Oshima, an individual who dedicated much of his legal career to ensuring that our profession remains diverse and open to all people no matter their race, ethnic or national origin, sex or sexual orientation. Michael contributed countless hours to the betterment of the legal profession and he served on a number of bar committees, including as Chair of the Committee on Minorities in the Profession of the New York City Bar Association. The Committee on Minorities in the Profession is sponsoring this scholarship to honor the life and memory of such a worthy man.

Before his untimely passing, Michael was Deputy General Counsel at Safe Horizon Inc., an organization that provides support, prevents violence, and promotes justice for victims of crime and abuse, their families and communities. Prior to joining Safe Horizons, he served for six years as the Administrative Partner for the New York office of Arnold & Porter LLP. At Arnold & Porter, Michael counseled corporate officers and foreign governments in Latin America and around the world in securities offerings, lending transactions, loan restructurings and corporate governance matters. Michael was also very active in pro bono work and, for example, helped a battered woman who was not a citizen of the U.S. obtain a self-petition to remain in this country under the Violence Against Women Act. In addition, Michael championed initiatives to increase diversity at Arnold & Porter. During his tenure as Administrative Partner, the New York office twice received (in 2003 and 2005) the Minority Corporate Counsel Association’s Thomas L. Sager Award, which recognizes law firms’ efforts to improve diversity.

Born on April 4, 1957, Michael was raised in Kona, Hawaii and was a graduate of Brown and Harvard universities. Michael received his J.D. in 1987 from New York University School of Law, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Annual Survey of American Law. Michael was also active as a Board member of the Asian American Arts Alliance, Inc. and the Japanese American National Museum. In his biography, Michael described himself as an experienced leader and attorney with strong interpersonal skills, a sense of humor and a grace under fire. He could not have said it any better. The legal community suffered a great loss when Michael passed away suddenly on July 11, 2008.