June 17, 2021

Three law students receive LGBTQ public interest law scholarships from the ABA

CHICAGO, June 17, 2021 — The American Bar Association Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity has awarded three law students LGBTQ Public Interest scholarships of $5,000 each. Now in its third year, the scholarship program is aimed at law students and/or law school graduates studying for the bar who are either LGBTQ or who will be doing public interest work in the LGBTQ space.

The scholarship provides financial support to work in the public interest arena for the summer/fall of 2021.

The recipients are:

Lydia Renee Harris, a third-year law student at St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio, Texas, has participated in the Texas Access to Justice Internship Program and has been an Equal Justice America Fellow. Harris earned an undergraduate degree in medical anthropology and global health from the University of Washington in Seattle. Their interest in LGBT advocacy stems from lived experiences as a nonbinary person, educational experiences and pro bono experience working with the Gender Affirmation Project. This fall, Harris will have an externship at the Transgender Law Center.

Matt Palmquist is a third-year law student and Public Interest Scholar at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. During his first summer of law school, he worked for the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice, helping survivors of human trafficking apply for T and U visas. Last year, Palmquist participated in USC’s Immigration Clinic and externed for the Los Angeles Immigration Courts. He is currently a legal intern at the ACLU of Texas, contributing to impact litigation and policy advocacy on behalf of marginalized groups. After graduation, Palmquist plans to embark on a career in public interest law fighting for immigrants’ rights and to influence U.S. immigration policy for the better.

Cirrus Jahangiri is a law clerk for the Center for Workers’ Rights this summer, working to provide pro bono legal work to low-income workers in the Sacramento, California, area. Believing that law is the most effective vehicle for expanding the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, Jahangiri plans to become an impact litigator after completing law school. He has worked as a student counselor for the University of California, Davis, Gender and Name Change Clinic as well as a member, board member and now SacLegal Liaison for the Lambda Legal Law Students Association. Jahangiri will graduate in 2023 from the University of California, Davis School of Law with a certificate in pro bono work and is working to complete a certificate in public interest law.

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