Michael Madow Bar Grant Program
For the past few years, BLSPI has auspiced a grant program offering $1,000 each to 20 graduating students who are dedicated to entering the public interest law sector. We also give a special thanks to the Leo Rosner Family Foundation for their continued support of this Program.
As public interest-minded students graduate from BLS, they are faced with financial hurdles that are unique to those seeking to enter public interest or government work. Bar review courses can cost upwards of $4,000, while bar examination fees average hundreds of dollars. Studying for the bar exam is a full-time endeavor for nine weeks, leaving little to no time for graduates to earn any supplemental income. Public interest-minded graduates, oftentimes without a future employer willing to subsidize these expenses, and because federal student loans do not cover bar exam preparation and cost of living during this time, are frequently forced to seek private loans to subsidize this transitional period.
BLSPI responded to this need by sourcing this grant program that lowers the post-graduation financial hurdles for students pursuing public interest law. We hope many 3Ls apply, including non-BLSPI members who meet the qualifications!
To apply for a BLSPI Bar Grant, you must:
1. Be a student who is graduating from Brooklyn Law School in Spring or Fall of 2021 and be sitting for any state’s bar exam in February or July 2021;
2. Complete and anonymously submit the following application by 11:59 P.M., Wednesday, April 15. Late applications will not be considered. The independent Bar Grant Committee (explained below) expects to notify applicants of its decisions in early May; and
3. Please send applications, and/or any questions you may have, to cochairs@blspi.
Distribution of Funding:
The Bar Grant Committee, comprised of Brooklyn Law School professors and alumni, will disburse 20 Grants of $1,000 each. Applications will be anonymous and the Committee will evaluate and select Grant recipients based purely on the applicants’ merits.
Criteria and Eligibility:
Selection criteria will be based on:
1. Demonstrated commitment to the public interest;
2. Intent to pursue a legal career in the public interest; and
3. History of service to public interest organizations and pro bono projects at Brooklyn Law School (service to BLSPI is neither required nor prioritized).
Public interest is defined as the work of:
* 501(c)(3) organizations within the United States;
* Federal, state and city government organizations, including judicial chambers;
* International intergovernmental organizations not organized for monetary gain; and
* Foreign non-governmental organizations recognized by the committee as pursuing the public good.
The following was not considered work in the public interest:
* Employment that primarily benefits the members of a limited membership organization such as a credit union, fraternal or religious order, or a cooperative;
* Work for which one’s political support or party affiliation is taken into account in the hiring decision; and
* Direct lobbying on the federal, state or local government level.
Any question of what qualifies as public interest work will be resolved at the Committee’s sole discretion. Committee determinations are final. Individuals who are receiving subsidization of their bar review course are eligible to apply. An awardee is encouraged to return the grant value if they are employed at a non-public interest job on the first anniversary of their graduation from Brooklyn Law School.
Michael Madow Bar Grant Recipients
Rebecca Del Grande
Farhana Hassan Choudhury
Reza Bonachea Mohamadzadeh
Erik Vande Stouwe
Ellen Piriz Perez