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    11.21.14 Record 10 Graduates Awarded Criminal Justice Post-Grad Fellowship
    Brooklyn Law School - Lady Justice Borough Hall

    A record ten graduates, a mix of public defenders and prosecutors, are the recipients of this year’s Brooklyn Law School Criminal Justice Post-Graduate Fellowship, which awards $10,000 to graduates working in the criminal justice field.

    The Criminal Justice Post-Graduate Fellowship Fund, which provides loan forgiveness awards to recipients, was created nearly two decades ago through the efforts of Professor Robert Pitler. The fellowship is funded from the proceeds of the popular  CLE Criminal Law Procedure and Evidence Seminar, which was organized and moderated by Professor Pitler.

    The Fund seeks to help experienced graduates with substantial educational debt continue to practice public sector criminal law, thereby enhancing the quality of prosecutorial and defense services available to the people of New York. Award recipients must have worked for at least five consecutive years in a public sector criminal law office, demonstrate a commitment to continued public service, and have a minimum of $30,000 in educational debt at the time of graduation.

    Brooklyn Law School - Criminal Justice Fellows

    This year’s recipients (eight are pictured above), selected by Professor Pitler, Professor Ursula Bentele, and New York State Supreme Court Justice Charles Solomon, are: Dana Gremaux ’08, an ADA at the Suffolk Country DA’s Office; Basima Hafiz ’08, a Staff Attorney with Bronx Defenders; Mary Anne Mendenhall ’08, a Supervising Attorney at Bronx Defenders; John C. Miras ’07, an ADA at the Bronx DAs Office; Benjamin D. Moore ’07, a Staff Attorney at Brooklyn Defenders Services; Lawrence Mottola ’08, an ADA at the Kings County DA’s office ; Lisa A. Nugent ’07, an ADA at the Kings County DA’s Office; Samantha E. Smalls ’00, a Staff Attorney with the Legal Aid Society; Adina Weidenbaum ’05, a Senior ADA at the Suffolk County DA’s Office; and Benjamin C. Zeman ’07, a Senior Trial Attorney at Brooklyn Defenders Services. 

    “These graduates are shining examples of the type of lawyer Brooklyn Law School produces: passionate, driven, and tireless advocates,” said Dean Allard. Fujiwara, for example, began her legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in the Bronx, where she spent six years prosecuting felonies and misdemeanors. There, she wrote in her personal statement, “I realized that most cases were not black or white, and that the criminal justice system was an extremely human, organic system, rife with biases, subjectivity, and mistakes by attorneys, their supervisors, the police, juries, and the judges.”

    “We have chosen a record number of fellows and have awarded a record amount of money—a total of $100,000,” said Professor Ursula Bentele, the fellowship’s long-time committee member. “These funds have a significant impact by reducing the debt of graduates who have dedicated themselves to criminal advocacy in the public sector. The Law School has always made public service work a priority and Professor Pitler’s program has enabled our graduates to continue this important work by easing their debt burden.”