Rushovich Mehtani LLP’s
“Scholarships for Progress (SFP)” Program

Rushovich Mehtani LLP is proud to announce the establishment of the "Scholarships for Progress (SFP)" Program. Each year, the Firm will award a $1,000 Annual Scholarship to one incoming or current undergraduate or law student who intends to practice law and is interested in civil rights issues.

Each annual scholarship will honor an important current or past leader in the employee or broader civil rights movement, and applicants will be required to write an essay related to issues important to that leader. The SFP Program is intended to help inspire and encourage undergraduate and law students to take a path less traveled and become civil rights lawyers, helping to effectuate progress and change across the country.

Among other requirements, applicants to the SFP Program must be legal U.S. residents with an interest in civil rights issues and (i) be in good standing at a U.S. accredited college or law school or (ii) have been accepted to a U.S. accredited college or law school and start in the Fall.

The award will go to the best essay written on the subject matter for the year’s award, as determined based on the criteria described below.


For 2017-2018, Rushovich Mehtani LLP proudly honors current activist Lilly Ledbetter and the women’s rights movement for equal pay under the law.

About Lilly Ledbetter:

Lilly Ledbetter worked for Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company at its Gadsden, Alabama plant for nearly two decades. While she was initially paid at a wage rate equal to her male counterparts when she was hired in 1979, over time she was paid less than them despite years of positive reviews, and by the time of her retirement in 1998, the wage gap between her and her male counterparts ranged between $559 and $1,509 per month! Ledbetter eventually sued in Federal District Court in Alabama and won more than $3 million in damages at the trial court level. However, after a series of appeals, the U.S. Supreme Court held that Ledbetter had waited too long to file since the discriminatory pay decisions occurred more than 180 days before the date she filed her case. In dissent, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg argued that every paycheck that an individual received after the initial discriminatory act should trigger a new statute of limitations, because each such paycheck was effectively continuing discrimination.

The resulting Supreme Court decision, Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., 550 U.S. 618 (2007) led to an outcry in Congress and ultimately the passing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 (Pub. L. No. 111-2). The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act provides that each paycheck triggers a new EEOC charging period during which the complainant may properly challenge any prior discriminatory conduct that impacted that paycheck’s amount, no matter how long ago the discrimination occurred.

The 2017-2018 Essay Topic:

U.S. women earned just 59 cents to every dollar that men earned when the Equal Pay Act (EPA) was established in 1963. Over 50 years since that time, in 2015, U.S. women still earned only about 83 cents to every dollar that men earn. Why do you think it is taking so long to close the pay gap? How can we close it more quickly?

Essay Format:

  • Essays must be the applicants’ original work.
  • Essays must be at least 500 words and no longer than 1,200 words. Citations, references and any bibliography will not be included in the word count.
  • The essay must have a cover page that includes:
    • title of the essay;
    • name of the applicant;
    • student’s contact information for February 2018, including email address and phone number.

Judgment Criteria:

Submissions will be judged based on the following criteria:

  • The substantive quality of the response
  • The quality of the writing
  • Originality
  • Demonstrated understanding of the topic

Award Details:

  • Scholarship recipient will be announced on February 15, 2018
  • Scholarship is intended to cover tuition and school related expenses
  • Payment will be provided via check directly to the award winner

Competition Deadline and Submission:

All applications are due on or before February 1, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time.

Only applications submitted electronically through this page below will be considered. Please do not contact our firm directly about this scholarship.

Applicants must submit the following by February 1, 2018

  • 500-1,200 word essay on the 2017-2018 Essay Topic (see above).
  • Evidence of attendance or acceptance into a U.S. accredited college or law school, such as:
    • Copy of a transcript (official or unofficial) from the immediately prior semester; or
    • Copy of an acceptance letter.
  • Evidence of Legal U.S. Residency, such as:
    • Copy of a valid U.S. passport; or
    • Copy of a permanent residency card; or
    • Copy of a birth certificate.

All essay submissions become the property of Rushovich Mehtani LLP and will not be returned. Applicants should retain a copy for their records. Rushovich Mehtani LLP reserves the right to publish the essays and the applicant’s name by any means or media, in perpetuity, in connection with the SFP Program, marketing for the Firm and otherwise.


  • Requirements

  • [e.g., Birth Certificate, Permanent Resident Card, etc. - Social Security Cards will not be accepted]
  • [500-1,200 Word Essay on 2017 Essay Topic - See Above Requirements]