Share this on Twitter Share this on Facebook Share this on Linked In Share this by Email
MCLE Self-Assessment Test

Bar Foundation awards dozens of scholarships

More than 30 aspiring public interest lawyers are getting some help pursuing their dreams thanks to law firms and the California Bar Foundation.

In May, California Bar Foundation and sponsor law firms gave Public Interest Scholarships totaling more than $100,000 to 21 top law students to help them pay for tuition and other expenses. Another 15 future public interest lawyers received scholarships to cover costs associated with taking the California Bar Exam.

Among those who will benefit from the two scholarship programs are a former mayor, Fulbright scholars, the founder of the Berkeley Law Anti-Trafficking Project and a former radio producer who worked with Sudanese refugees.

This year’s Public Interest Scholarship recipients will each receive up to $7,500 to help put a dent in their education loan debt, which averages $96,000. The scholarships recognize commitment to public service, academic record and financial need. Four of the top awards given through this program are named for the law firms that sponsor them – Latham & Watkins; Milstein Adelman; Munger, Tolles & Olson; and Seyfarth Shaw. Two others are memorial awards named for Jim Pfeiffer, the Bar Foundation’s founding executive director, and Daniel S. Goodman, a longtime prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles.

The Rosenthal Bar Exam Scholarships, which are financially supported by Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, are among just a few programs in the country that give bar exam-related aid. They recognize aspiring public interest attorneys who have excellent academic records and have shown a commitment to public service by, for example, volunteering at legal clinics and nonprofit organizations. The recipients, who were nominated by their law schools, will receive California BARBRI review courses valued at $3,500. The top five recipients also receive $2,000 in cash.

The Rosenthal scholarship winners’ plans after graduation include federal and state judicial clerkships, indigent criminal defense work and advocating for immigrants and homeless veterans.

Recipients of the public interest scholarships are:

  • Golden Gate University School of Law:  Jessica M. Brown (Daniel S. Goodman Scholar), Kathleen Flynn and Kristi Schulenberg
  • Loyola Law School: Deborah Bergman, Dafna Gozani, Aramayis Grigoryan and Claudia Menjivar
  • Santa Clara University School of Law: Karla Fabiola De La Torre
  • Stanford Law School: Briane Cornish, Omar Shakir and Camden Vilkin
  • UC Berkeley School of Law: Sonja Francine Marie Diaz, Arusha Gordon and Marissa Ram
  • UC Hastings College of the Law: Vivian Chen
  • University of California, Irvine School of Law: Jennifer Chin
  • UCLA School of Law: Nathaniel Christian Wenstrup
  • University of San Diego School of Law: Lisa Heng Charukul (Jim Pfeiffer Scholar)
  • University of San Francisco School of Law: Wendy Suzanne Betts, Caitlin Graham and Megan Sallomi

Recipients of the bar exam scholarships are:

  • Golden Gate University School of Law: Shannon Grube, Harmony Groves Kessler (Sheppard, Mullen, Richter & Hampton LLP Scholar) and Luthien Niland
  • Santa Clara University School of Law: Christina M. Fialho and Carolyn Kim
  • Stanford Law School: Adelina Acuña, Katherina Traverso and Khalial Withen
  • Thomas Jefferson School of Law: Elizabeth Marie Knowles
  • UC  Berkeley  School of Law: Tony  LoPresti
  • UC Hastings College of the Law: Nedda Black
  • UCLA School of Law: Siobhan Waldron
  • University of San Francisco School of Law: Elizabeth A. Léone
  • University of Southern California Gould School of Law: Kara Mahoney and Ryan Wolfe