Pace Law School Student Selected as One of 20 Ms. JD Fellows

Pace Law School student Rachel Schwartzman was selected as one of 20 Ms. JD fellows for 2010, joining other rising law students from top law schools like Harvard, Yale and Columbia. The fellows were chosen from over 300 applicants representing 75 schools, among them law review editors-in-chief, published scholars and future judicial clerks.

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Contact: Regina Pappalardo (914) 422-4268, rpappalardo@law.pace.edu

PACE LAW SCHOOL STUDENT RECOGNIZED AS ONE OF NATION’S MOST PROMISING THIRD-YEAR LAW STUDENTS

One of 20 fellows chosen by Ms. JD online community

WHITE PLAINS, NY, July 16, 2010 – Pace Law School student Rachel Schwartzman was selected as one of 20 Ms. JD fellows for 2010, joining other rising law students from top law schools like Harvard, Yale and Columbia. The fellows were chosen from over 300 applicants representing 75 schools, among them law review editors-in-chief, published scholars and future judicial clerks.

Ms. JD is an influential online community for women lawyers and law students. Fellows are selected based on academic performance, leadership and dedication to advancing the status of women in law. The winners include women planning to pursue careers in public interest, academia, and the private sector in every region of the country.

Ms. JD pairs each fellow with a distinguished female mentor. Schwartzman’s will be Lynn Hecht Schafran, senior vice president at Legal Momentum and director of Legal Momentum’s National Judicial Education Program to Promote Equality for Women and Men in the Courts (NJEP). Fellows participate in activities with their mentors, attend conferences and events, host an event at their law school, and are expected to mentor other young women during their career.

The opt-out rate

Schwartzman was drawn to the Ms. JD fellowship because of the mission of the organization, which focuses on the opt-out rate for women in law and the paucity of female leadership at the highest levels of the legal profession, topics on which she wrote a paper this past fall, “Gender Disparity in Law and Finance: Improving the Balance between Motherhood and High-level Careers.” She is currently seeking opportunities for publication.

By becoming involved with Ms. JD, Schwartzman hopes to “learn how to combat these problems head on by learning from women far more experienced than I am.”

“This award is an impressive tribute to the caliber of the students who attend Pace Law School,” said Michelle Simon, dean of Pace Law School. “Rachel is poised for a successful career as a lawyer and a champion of women, fitting with Pace Law’s long standing commitment to women’s issues. Our Women’s Justice Center is dedicated to helping victims of domestic violence. Professor Bridget Crawford, who blogs for the Feminist Law Professors blog http://www.feministlawprofessors.com,, is among the many professors and students working to further the cause of women in and out of the workplace.”

Multiple honors

Schwartzman is working as a summer associate at Cohen & Wolf, P.C. in Bridgeport, CT. At Pace she is a student editor on the Journal on Court Innovation and president of the Women’s Association of Law Students (WALS). She worked as an intern for the Honorable Joan G. Margolis, United States Magistrate Judge of the United States District Court in Connecticut, and as a paralegal in the Appeals Bureau of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. She graduated from Hamilton College magna cum laude, with a B.A. in Government.

This summer Schwartzman also received the Josephine and Anthony DiFiore Scholarship award, sponsored by the DiFiore Family, the Columbian Lawyers Association and Pace Law School. She also received the Justice Sandra Miller Scholarship from the Westchester Women’s Bar Association, and the Mid-Atlantic Women’s Studies Association (MAWSA) writing prize for Excellence in Graduate Studies.

All Ms. JD mentors are recipients of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award. This award was established by the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession in 1991 and recognizes the accomplishments of female lawyers who have paved the way to success for other women in law.

Hillary Rodham Clinton, the first chair of the ABA Commission, issued a groundbreaking report in 1988 showing that women lawyers were not advancing at a satisfactory rate. The current chair, Roberta D. Liebenberg, spoke at the Pace Law School/Women’s Association of Law Students (WALS)/WWBA program on Women in the Profession in March.

About MSJD and Pace Law

Since its creation in 2006 by female law students from UC Berkeley, Cornell, Georgetown, Harvard, NYU, Stanford, UCLA, UT Austin, University of Chicago, University of Michigan, University of Virginia, and Yale the fellowship has been awarded annually to 20 of the “most promising third-year law students in the country.” The Ms. JD site is administered by an advisory board of female law students from top law schools nationwide. Three Pace Law School alumni attended the Ms. JD launch and alumnus Carly Grant served on its editorial board from 2007-2008. Schwartzman is the first Pace Law student to receive the honor.

Founded in 1976, Pace University School of Law has over 7,000 alumni throughout the country and the world and is consistently ranked among the nation’s top programs in environmental law. It offers full- and part-time day and evening JD programs on its White Plains, NY, campus and offers the Master of Laws degree in Environmental Law, including the nation’s first graduate level programs in Climate Change and Land Use and Sustainable Development, and Comparative Legal Studies, and a Doctor of Laws in Environmental Law. The School of Law is part of Pace University, a comprehensive, independent, and diversified university with campuses in New York City and Westchester County. www.law.pace.edu

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