Thursday, September 30, 2010
California Bar Foundation Grants 51 Scholarships to Aspiring Lawyers
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The California Bar Foundation is scheduled to award $282,500 in scholarships to 51 law students at a reception today.
A total of $180,000 will be divided among 28 incoming first-year law students from communities historically under-represented in the legal profession and $102,500 will be given to 23 students committed to public interest careers, a spokesperson for the foundation said yesterday.
The presentation will take place at the offices of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP in Los Angeles.
Foundation President Mario Camara remarked that “I am inspired by—and in awe of—this year’s Diversity Scholarship winners,” who he said include a community organizer working to increase access to higher education for immigrant students, a health care specialist who has worked on HIV/AIDS initiatives in Rwanda and Kenya, an asylee from Somalia with an expressed interest in international human rights law, an anthropologist who says he plans to combine his expertise in Native American cultural heritage with his law degree to strengthen tribal sovereignty, and a woman who overcame poverty and domestic violence in her childhood who says she wants to become an immigration attorney.
“By honoring these future lawyers and the potential transformative changes they represent, the California Bar Foundation invests not just in each individual law student, but in the profession’s ability to serve the people of California,” Camara opined.
Newly installed State Bar President William N. Hebert commented that “[b]olstering the pipeline of diverse individuals planning to pursue a career in law is a critical part of ensuring that the legal profession is able to meet the needs of our clients in an increasingly global economy.”
Herbert praised the foundation for “provid[ing] necessary support and encouragement to impressive minority law students, easing the tremendous
financial burden of attending law school and aiding them in their quest to become productive lawyers.”
Launched in 2008, the foundation’s Diversity Scholarship Program has awarded more than $420,000 to 70 California law students. The program provides up to $7,500 per recipient to help alleviate the financial burden of attending law school for students from communities underrepresented in the legal profession.
The top awards are named for the 18 law firms and corporations who have made three-year commitments to provide $10,000 annually to the program, including Buchalter Nemer; Calvo & Clark LLP; Cox, Castle & Nicholson LLP; Fenwick & West LLP, Girardi & Keese; Howard Rice Nemerovski Canady Falk & Rabkin; Keesal, Young & Logan; Keker & Van Nest LLP; Lim Ruger Foundation; The Morrison & Foerster Foundation; Morrison & Foerster LLP; Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe Foundation; Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP; Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP; SNR Denton; Southern California Edison, An Edison International Company; Southern California Gas Company and San Diego Gas & Electric; and the Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Foundation.
Since 1992, the California Bar Foundation has also awarded more than $2.5 million in Public Interest Scholarships to more than 575 students attending 27 California law schools.
Three of the top awards are named after sponsoring law firms—Milstein, Adelman & Kreger, LLP; Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP; and Seyfarth Shaw LLP—which this year renewed multi-year commitments to the Scholarship Program, including $10,000 gifts in 2010, a spokesperson for the foundation said.
A fourth top award, named in honor of the foundation’s founding executive director, was established in 2006 and is funded by a group of longtime friends and colleagues of Jim Pfeiffer.
Joan Kupersmith Larkin, a member of the foundation’s Board of Directors and a partner at Seyfarth Shaw LLP, said that supporting the Public Interest Program is “an important way our firm shows its commitment to ensuring that all Californians, regardless of ability to pay, have access to the justice system and the legal assistance they need to prevent home foreclosure, secure medical benefits, and defend themselves in criminal court.”
Mark Milstein, a partner at Milstein Adelman & Kreger LLP said that “giving back to the community” is “a top priority” for his firm, and “we have been proud to help these future lawyers as part of the foundation’s efforts to ensure meaningful access to quality legal services for all Californians.”
Paul T. Friedman, a partner at Morrison & Foerster LLP, echoed this sentiment, calling the program “a golden opportunity” for firms to support increased diversity in the legal profession and “helping to change the legal profession itself.”
Friedman added that “[i]t is truly inspiring to meet the scholarship winners and to know that we are helping them realize their potential to succeed as lawyers.”
Public Interest Scholarship recipients, who are nominated by their law schools and demonstrate a commitment to public service, academic excellence, and financial need, receive scholarships of up to $7,500 to assist with tuition and related education expenses, a spokesperson for the foundation said.
The complete list of 2010 Diversity Scholarship winners, by law school, is as follows:
Loyola Law School: Ana Cisneros Alvarez, Sabrina Rivera.
Santa Clara University School of Law: Lizbeth Najera Muñoz.
Southwestern Law School: Jahmy Stanford Graham (Girardi & Keese Scholar), Martha S. Torres-Ortiz.
Stanford Law School: Ashly Nikkole Davis (Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Foundation Scholar), Rakim Johnson(Howard Rice Nemerovski Canady Falk & Rabkin Scholar).
UC Berkeley School of Law: Kristen A. Corpion, Sonja Francine Marie Diaz, Nancy Franco (Calvo & Clark LLP Scholar), Homaira Hosseini (Fenwick & West LLP Scholar), Christine L. Ingram (UPS and Morrison & Foerster Scholar), Darren Modzelewski (Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP Scholar), Diana Rashid (Keker & Van Nest LLP Scholar), Jade Smith, Nancy Thai (Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe Foundation Scholar).
UC Hastings College of the Law: Ana I. Baires Mira (SNR Denton Scholar), Jessica Maria Flores (Keesal, Young & Logan Scholar), Tajuana Gray (Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP Scholar), Susana Naranjo (The Morrison & Foerster Foundation Scholar), Esmeralda Santos (Board of Directors Scholar), Eric Yang.
UCLA School of Law: Alexander Chávez (Southern California Edison Scholar), Paul Jung (Southern California Gas Company and San Diego Gas & Electric Scholar), Rosa Noyola (Lim Ruger Foundation Scholar), Tania T. Nuñez Amador (Cox, Castle & Nicholson LLP Scholar), Yecenia Olmos (Board of Directors Scholar).
University of San Francisco School of Law: Naeema Ahmed (Buchalter Nemer Scholar).
The complete list of 2009 Public Interest Scholarship winners, by law school, is as follows:
California Western School of Law: Brian Bevan.
Golden Gate University School of Law: Harmony Groves, Jonah Minkoff-Zern (Jim Pfeiffer Scholar).
Loyola Law School: Joanna Furmanska.
Santa Clara University School of Law: Nancy L. Haley
Stanford Law School: Bruce Ho, Erin Mohan, Esteban Morin, Mira R. Serrill-Robins.
UC Berkeley School of Law: Ian Fein, Lauren Groth Emily Holland, Emma De Fatima Regidor (Seyfarth Shaw Scholar).
UC Davis School of Law: Scott Grzenczyk, Scott Vignos.
UC Hastings College of the Law: Nedda Black, Henry Steinberg.
UCLA School of Law: David Smith (Milstein, Adelman & Kreger Scholar), Georgina Wakefield (Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP Scholar), Diana Wang.
University of Southern California Gould School of Law: Amy Wan, Matthew C. Watts, Ryan Wolfe.
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