NYSBA Creates Scholarship in Justice Ginsburg’s Memory

By Christian Nolan

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The New York State Bar Association will create the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Memorial Scholarship Award of $5,000 to be given to a law student in New York. Plans for the scholarship were approved Nov. 6 by NYSBA’s Executive Committee.

“A past recipient of the Gold Medal, NYSBA’s highest honor, Justice Ginsburg’s career of service truly exemplified the very purposes of NYSBA – to cultivate the science of jurisprudence; to promote reform in the law; to facilitate the administration of justice; to elevate the standard of integrity, honor, professional skill and courtesy in the legal profession; to cherish and foster a spirit of collegiality among attorneys; and, perhaps most importantly, to apply her knowledge and experience in the field of the law to promote the public good,” wrote NYSBA President Scott M. Karson in a memo to the Executive Committee. “…It is only fitting that we properly honor the late justice into the years to come.”

Karson also noted that Justice Ginsburg, who passed away on Sept. 18, was a distinguished law professor in the years before her appointment to the bench, and a zealous advocate for gender equality and the advancement of women’s rights.

The award will be selected and awarded annually to a law student who, through written submission, research project, or an exemplary internship, externship, or pro bono service, demonstrates character consistent with and honoring the legacy of Justice Ginsburg. They also must have demonstrated an interest in advancing women’s rights and gender equality.

The Women in Law Section, in coordination with the Committee on Civil Rights and the Committee on Annual Awards, will review the submissions and select the honoree. The deans of each of the 15 New York State law schools will be invited to nominate one student annually for consideration.

The inaugural award, to be given in 2022, will be funded by the association. The funding of subsequent awards will be revisited in 2022.

The timeline for submission, review and selection will be tied to the academic calendar. The deadline and submission requirements will be announced in the late summer of the year prior to which the award will be given, and the announcement will be advertised and promoted concurrent with law school orientation and the beginning of the fall semester. The submission deadline for nominations will be set for early February, shortly after the end of the law school winter break and the beginning of the spring semester.

A committee will then review the submissions during the month of February and select the honoree no later than early March. The award will be presented at the April meeting of the House of Delegates.

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