The ABWA Ruth Whitehead Whaley Scholarship fund is named in honor of the first African-American woman who was admitted to the New York Bar and is donned as the legal pioneer for many who have followed in her footsteps. The ABWA Ruth Whitehead Whaley Scholarship salutes law students who strive beyond the rigors of law school in an exemplary manner to demonstrate a commitment to public interest, civil rights, and who actively participate in their communities.  The Scholarship is awarded on the basis of demonstrated community service, personal financial need and enrollment at an accredited law school in Connecticut, New Jersey or New York.

Interested in applying? Please download the scholarship application, complete the entire application and return it to us. The deadline for the application is Wednesday, March 01, 2017.


Shoshana M. Brown

Shoshana hails from CUNY Law School in Queens New York as an activist in the area of public interest lawyering. 

Prior to law school she worked relentlessly as a Director of Programs at Caribbean Women’s Health Association in Brooklyn. This opportunity allowed her to confront health and legal disparities by many immigrant populations and advocate on their behalf. She continues to rally on behalf of the public while continuing with her legal studies, internships and mentoring, as well as being an active leader on campus.

Amber Koonce  

Is from North Carolina, and is a 2L at Yale Law School where she serves as President of the Black Law Students’ Association.

She is committed to amplifying of marginalized communities within institutions of power. She is an active participant in the YLS Capital punishment Clinic and the San Francisco Affirmative Litigation Clinic. She has had previous experience working on issues like voting rights litigation and mentoring incarcerated youth in a global capacity.



Monsurat Adebanjo and Daphne Vanessa Pierre


Areal Allen-Stewart and Vanessa Coleman


Cassye Cole and Amanda Gayle.