Champion for Women’s and Children’s Rights Receives Ruth Bader Ginsburg Memorial Scholarship

By Jennifer Andrus

April 1, 2023

Champion for Women’s and Children’s Rights Receives Ruth Bader Ginsburg Memorial Scholarship


By Jennifer Andrus

The New York State Bar Association presented Shelley Wu, a champion of women and children’s rights, with the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Memorial Scholarship during its House of Delegates meeting April 1 in Albany.

Wu is a third-year law school student at the Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University. Wu ranks in the top 10% of her law school class, serves on the Law Review, and commits her time to helping domestic violence survivors, seniors, people with disabilities, and inmates preparing for parole hearings.

In her application letter, Wu says she learned how to advocate for others as a child, helping her Chinese immigrant parents navigate language and cultural barriers in America. Those early experiences instilled in her a strong sense of justice and a commitment to help those who face discrimination.

After graduating early from Fordham with an undergraduate degree, Wu worked as a paralegal in the Child Abuse and Domestic Violence Units of the New York County District Attorney’s office. She says that work experience inspired her to become an attorney and fight for women’s rights and gender equality.

New York State Bar Association President Sherry Levin Wallach says Wu is not afraid to get in the trenches and do the tough work advocating for survivors of domestic violence survivors and their children.

“Shelley’s grit and determination is just what we need in the next generation of lawyers in civil legal service. The future of our profession is bright with young leaders like Shelley Wu,” she said.

The $5,000 scholarship is presented by NYSBA’s Women in Law Section,  the Committee on Annual Awards, and the Committee on Civil Rights. Created in 2020 after the death of Justice Ginsburg, the scholarship is designed to honor Justice Ginsburg’s principles including elevating the standard of integrity in the legal profession, fostering a spirit of collegiality and promoting the public good.

In her nomination letter, Cardozo Law School Dean Melanie Leslie praised Wu’s work both on campus and off campus. “Shelley has cultivated a service-oriented mindset and a commitment to advancing women’s rights,” she wrote.

Wu intends to pursue a career in civil rights litigation with a focus on fighting gender-based discrimination and harassment.


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