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The New Jersey State Bar Foundation has awarded $42,000 in scholarships to 13 deserving students from New Jersey’s three law schools.

For 30 years, the Bar Foundation has been awarding scholarships to worthy students entering their second or third year of law school. More than 70 students applied for aid this year. The Scholarship Committee selected the recipients based on these criteria: academic excellence (grade-point average and class standing), service to the community, financial need and personal story.

Lauren Bess, who attends Rutgers Law School—Camden, Amy Largacha, who attends Seton Hall Law School and Nina Rodriguez, who attends Rutgers Law School—Camden, were each awarded $10,000 as recipients of the Hon. Marie L. Garibaldi Scholarship, which is given to female New Jersey students worthy of an award named for one of the state’s trailblazers in the legal community. Justice Garibaldi was the first woman president of the New Jersey State Bar Association and the first woman associate justice appointed to the New Jersey Supreme Court. She was one of only 12 women in a class of 253 when she received her law degree from Columbia Law School in 1959. Her legacy includes authoring more than 225 opinions while on the New Jersey Supreme Court, standing at the forefront of alternative dispute resolution, and being the initial force behind the Bar Foundation’s nationally-recognized high school mock trial program.

Liliya Bondarenko, who attends Rutgers Law School—Camden, Nicoletta Eby, who attends Rutgers Law School—Newark and Zachary Miller, who attends Seton Hall Law School, each received New Jersey State Bar Foundation Scholarships of $1,000. The Foundation awards scholarships every year to a student from each of New Jersey’s three law schools.

Izamar Plaza, who attends Rutgers Law School—Newark, received $500 as the recipient of the Matthew Beck Criminal Law Scholarship, which is given to a student attending Rutgers Law School—Newark and has an interest in pursuing a career in criminal law.

Catriona Coffey, who attends Seton Hall Law School, awarded $1,000 as the recipient of the Abram D. and Maxine H. Londa Scholarship, which has been awarded since 1997 and gives preference to students from Union County.

Cindy Guaman, who attends Rutgers Law School—Newark, received the Sonia Morgan Scholarship in the amount of $1,000. This scholarship is given to a female student.

Matthew Starner, who attends Seton Hall Law School, received the Labor Law Scholarship in the amount of $1,000. This scholarship is given to a student that wishes to enter the field of labor law and has demonstrated academic achievement in this area.

Byan Medina, who attends Rutgers Law School—Newark, was awarded $1,000 as the recipient of the Scarinci Hollenbeck Scholarship. This scholarship is open to a student who demonstrates a commitment to the advancement of LGBTQ issues, although the recipient need not be a member of the LGBTQ community.

Jennifer Nairn, who attends Rutgers Law—Camden, received $1,500 as the recipient of the Justin P. Walder Scholarship, which is awarded to a student that attends a New Jersey law school

Finally, Matthew Handley, who attends Seton Hall Law School, received $3,000 as the recipient of the Wallace Vail Scholarship, which is awarded to a student that has achieved the highest academic standards.

All of the 2020 recipients were appreciative of the scholarships they received. Here’s what some of them had to say:

“Thank you so much for your consideration and for this great honor! It will be a huge help to me in continuing my studies.”

“I am honored and unbelievably grateful to be chosen for this award!”

“Thank you so much for the great news! I am truly honored to be recognized by the Foundation.”

“I am so incredibly humbled and honored to receive this amazing scholarship award. I cannot thank the NJ State Bar Foundation enough. This was such brilliant news to receive on my first day of classes today and I am speechless. Thank you again; this is such an incredible blessing!”