Created at Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law in 1981, the Sarah T. Hughes Diversity Scholarships are named for Judge Sarah T. Hughes, United States District Court Judge for the Northern District of Texas. The Scholarships serve as a permanent recognition of Judge Hughes’ vast contribution to the legal profession, and particularly her efforts toward increased minority involvement. A secondary purpose of the scholarships is to attract minority law students in Dallas in the hope they will remain in Dallas to practice law and become leaders in the community. The Scholarships benefit students attending all Dallas-area law schools, including SMU’s Dedman School of Law, UNT Dallas College of Law, and Texas A&M University Law School.

The full tuition scholarships are awarded to first year law students and are renewed for the second and third year under condition of satisfactory academic performance.

Current Hughes Scholars practicing in Dallas include a city councilman, a criminal court judge, two Assistant United States Attorneys, and attorneys with major law firms in town. Past scholars have also served the State Bar of Texas, Dallas Bar Association, Dallas Hispanic Bar Association, J.L. Turner Legal Association, Legal Services of North Texas, Dallas Association of Black Women Attorneys, Boys & Girls Club, and last but not least Bar None.

One past Hughes Scholar said “The Hughes Scholarship provided a source of inspiration through its honoree, Sarah T. Hughes. Judge Hughes is remembered for bringing a feisty, sincere, and compassionate spirit to the interpretation of law and responsibility.” Another said, “this scholarship is a source of empowerment because it places responsibility in the hands of those who have been traditionally under-represented in the legal community.”

In 1986, Bar None performed its first show for the Dallas legal community. The organizers decided that all proceeds should benefit the Sarah T. Hughes Diversity Scholarship. Now in its 35th year, Bar None has raised well in excess of $2,200,000 for the Hughes Scholarships.