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July 05, 2023

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

CHICAGO, July 5, 2023 — 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 fifth 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 2023.

The recipients are:

Indira Rahman, a queer, nonbinary asylum seeker from Bangladesh, received a bachelor’s degree in astrophysics and government from Franklin & Marshall College and a law degree from Temple University, both in Pennsylvania. They served as the lead researcher on the world’s first quantitative index on LGBTQ+ human rights in 204 countries, which was the first global landscape study of transgender rights and was published in the Journal of Human Rights. This summer, Rahman is interning at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., where while learning about the legal dimensions of international finance and inclusive development, Rahman will craft a case study on economic access and legal inclusion featuring LGBTQ+ asylum seekers.

Taylor Elise Mills completed her law degree in spring 2023 and is a doctoral candidate in philosophy with a specialization in engaged philosophy of law and policy at Michigan State University. Mills’ scholarship and professional work are social justice oriented, with a particular focus on addressing sexual and gender-based violence against queer, BIPOC communities and developing better policies to support survivors while preventing future violence. With experience in gender and sexuality law and in indigenous law interning for the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, Mills advocates for addressing issues of social justice through intersectional, anti-colonial, cross-disciplinary and community-based ways. This fall, Mills will lead a data ethics project at the Research Institute for Structural Change at MSU to increase transparency around legal failures to support queer, BIPOC survivors.

Zakiya Lewis, a 2023 graduate of NYU School of Law, is a first-generation American and college graduate. She earned her undergraduate degree in sociology and African American studies from Harvard University. In pursuit of social justice and educational equity, she became a middle school teacher in Washington, D.C., for five years before enrolling in law school with the goal of dismantling systems of oppression and advocating for marginalized communities as a Root-Tilden-Kern Public Interest Scholar at NYU Legal Defense. Lewis will begin her legal career as a Skadden Fellow with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law, challenging anti-diversity and inclusion legislation and focusing on support for low-income students with marginalized, intersectional identities ─ particularly queer students of color.

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews.