On Wednesday, September 7, the Milwaukee Association for Women Lawyers (AWL) Foundation honored three Marquette University Law School students with scholarships.
Sarah Bondar, 2L, received the AWL Foundation scholarship. The AWL Foundation Scholarship is awarded to a woman who has exhibited service to others, diversity, compelling financial need, academic achievement, unique life experiences (such as overcoming obstacles to attend or continue law school), and advancement of women in the profession.
Bondar is a Wisconsin native and former law enforcement officer and 911 dispatcher. She wanted to attend law school to pursue her original dream of becoming a lawyer and helping victims of domestic violence. In addition to attending classes, working as a law clerk, and owning her own life coaching and event planning business, Bondar is actively involved in several student organizations. She’s the president of the Children and Family Law Association, president of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Society, director of communications for the Federal Practice Society, and Student Liaison for the State Bar of Wisconsin ADR Section. Bondar also volunteers with the Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic as a Student Board Advisor. After she graduates, Bondar plans to practice for a few years, then open her own firm, focused primarily on family law.
Noelle-Nadia Filali, 3L, was awarded the Virginia A. Pomeroy scholarship. This scholarship honors the late Virginia A. Pomeroy, a former deputy state public defender and a past president of AWL. In addition to meeting the same criteria as for the AWL Foundation scholarship, the winner of this scholarship must also exhibit what the AWL Foundation calls “a special emphasis, through experience, employment, class work or clinical programs” in one of several particular areas: appellate practice, civil rights law, public interest law, public policy, public service, or service to the vulnerable or disadvantaged.
Filali, a first-generation Moroccan-American law student, has long had a passion for community serve and pro bono work. Through her experience volunteering with MULS’s Volunteer Legal Clinic and on the MULS pro bono trip to Fort McCoy to work with Afghanistan refugees, Filali saw that transactional attorneys made a difference in the lives of their clients. She intends to pursue transactional work. She’s presently an intern with U.S. Bank. She’s also the co-president of the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Society for Public Engagement and Education and the business editor for the Marquette Law Review.
Dusty Gross, 2L, received the Shirley S. Abrahamson Scholarship. Recipients of the Shirley S. Abrahamson Scholarship must have “demonstrated perseverance in the face of adversity” and show commitment to issues affecting women or children in the community and to public service. The late Shirley S. Abrahamson served on the Wisconsin Supreme Court for 43 years. She was the state’s first female supreme court justice and, later, its first female chief justice.
Gross, a first-generation college student, first obtained an associate of applied science degree. She studied to be a paralegal, but then decided to obtain her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. She graduated from University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh with honors. Gross volunteers with the Milwaukee Justice Center Family Forms Clinic and the Volunteer Legal Clinic. She’s a member of AWL’s student chapter, president of the Health Law Society, the 2L class representative for First Generation Professionals, and a staff editor on the Marquette Benefits and Social Welfare Law Review. Additionally, she runs @thefemalefirstgenlawstudent, an Instagram page dedicated to helping current and future law students find educational resources, a project she started because she learned firsthand how difficult navigating the law school process is when you’re the first in your family to do it.
Congratulations to these three women for outstanding service and for their representation of Marquette University Law School.