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Eleanor Holmes Norton Legacy Fund Awards Scholarships to Three UDC Law Students

Monday, February 4, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: UDC Law Staff
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Nebiat Solomon, Congresswoman Norton, Jennell Thomas, and Nalini Lamba-Nieves
From the right: Nebiat Solomon, ’21, Congresswoman Norton, Jennell Thomas, ’20, and
Nalini Lamba-Nieves (representing Margarita Varela Rosa, ’20, who was unable to attend).

On Jan. 31, the Eleanor Holmes Norton Legacy Fund held an award ceremony at the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law (UDC Law) to celebrate its first-ever round of public service scholarship recipients: Nebiat Solomon, ’21, Jennell Thomas, ’20, and Margarita Varela Rosa, ’20.

The D.C. Federation of Democratic Women (DCFDW) established the Legacy Fund in 2018 to support annual student scholarships to D.C. women who “best demonstrate the passion, determination, and commitment to public service” embodied by Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.). The Legacy Fund dedicated its inaugural round of scholarships to UDC Law students, granting $2,000 to each of the three students.

Congresswoman Norton, who personally presented the awards, applauded the Legacy Fund and its donors for “enabling D.C. women to pursue law or public policy” through an “outstanding public service scholarship opportunity.” She also congratulated UDC Law for the selection of its students as awardees and commended its work as a “pioneering public interest law school.”

Acting Dean John C. Brittain thanked DCFDW members and donors for doing the hard work to establish the Legacy Fund and praised the exceptional UDC Law students receiving the awards, saying that each demonstrates “that same fighting spirit, and unshakable resolve, that we all know and love in Congresswoman Norton.” Dean Brittain also singled out UDC Law’s reputation for gender diversity for special praise. UDC Law is ranked in the top five nationally for female J.D. enrollment. Sixty four percent of UDC Law students are women, and a full 70 percent of the law school’s full-time faculty are women. Just this year, Princeton Review ranked UDC Law No. 4 in the nation for greatest resources and programs for women at a law school.

Members of the Eleanor Holmes Norton Legacy Fund and DCFDW with Congresswoman Norton
Members of the Eleanor Holmes Norton Legacy Fund and DCFDW with Congresswoman Norton, center.

Held in the law school’s newly-renovated event space, the reception brought together the DCFDW members and supporters with the University community to celebrate the student awardees alongside their families. UDC Law Dean Emeritus Shelley Broderick attended the ceremony. Distinguished Professor Edgar Cahn, who co-founded UDC Law’s predecessor Antioch School of Law, was also present at the event. Dr. Cahn and Congresswoman Norton were classmates at Yale Law in the early 1960s, graduating only a year apart.

Board members of the D.C. School of Law Foundation also turned out for the event. Former Dean William Robinson – who serves on the board – Daniel Solomon and Jon Bouker were present. Mr. Bouker, Chair of the Foundation, previously served with Congresswoman Norton as her chief counsel and legislative director.

Since she assumed office in 1991, Congresswoman Norton has advanced legislation critical to District home rule and remains a steadfast advocate for granting the District of Columbia voting representation in the U.S. House of Representatives.

A leading civil rights attorney in her own right, after graduating from Yale Law School in 1964, Congresswoman Norton clerked for civil rights giant and U.S. District Judge A. Leon Higginbotham Jr., who later became Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. She went on to serve as Assistant Legal Director of the ACLU and head of the New York City Human Rights Commission, before serving as Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) under the administrations of Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. Under her leadership, in 1980 the EEOC promulgated landmark regulations defining sexual harassment as a form of sexual discrimination in violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

The law school is deeply grateful to the Legacy Fund and D.C. Federation of Democratic Women for recognizing its students.


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