The Ernest S. Kinney Trial Lawyer Scholarship was created in 1992 by Mr. Kinney (Law '75) to provide funds for students who possessed qualities in the zealous representation of their client in front of a jury and a financial need based on a hardship such as working full-time or being a single parent raising children while attending law school. Class ranking or a specific GPA was not a requirement. Because Mr. Kinney possessed and experienced the same criteria while a law student, after he graduated, he wanted to help other students who had similar qualities and circumstances by continuing his legacy through this scholarship. This scholarship award has been given annually every Spring to a deserving student at SJCL.
Mr. Kinney was one of the first alumni to be inducted to the SJCL Hall of Fame in 2007. Mr. Kinney lost his battle with leukimia in May of 2008.