Scholarship Impact Stories

Graduates smiling

Thank you for your investment in our students!

As a premier public law school, meaningful access to a high-quality legal education is central to our core mission and values. Thank you for investing in our students. With your help, Berkeley Law is able to attract many outstanding students with proven or potential leadership qualities and a passion for making a positive impact on the world. We value the unique perspectives they bring to the classroom and community at large.

Most financial aid donors give to the Berkeley Law Scholarship Fund. Last year, more than 500 of you supported this fund, while 180 others supported any of approximately 40 named funds. Your $2.1 million in gifts to financial aid in Fiscal Year 2020, combined with the dean’s designation from the Berkeley Law Fund, helped enable the school to invest more than $21 million in financial aid, loan repayment assistance, and summer public interest fellowships.  With donors contributing $1.6 million so far this year, our admissions team feels confident it its ability to build an amazing Class of 2024 while continuing to support our rising 2Ls and 3Ls. Thank you!

Because You Gave…

Jenny Quang

Jenny Quang ’22, Berkeley Law Scholarship Fund

I am grateful and humble in receiving this scholarship. Though I came to law school with a clear intent of practicing IP law, my doctrinal classes as a 1L have led me to appreciate the law more generally. For example, I learned how tort law can be used to advocate for civil rights and how a lot remains to be done in criminal justice reform. The scholarship provides me with a greater degree of financial flexibility as I plan my post-law school career. Although I enjoyed working in IP litigation at an SF firm over the summer, I also became interested in the possibility of pursuing a federal clerkship, to broaden my exposure to the judicial system overall. After gaining litigation experience, I would like to work in technology law policy someday. Thank you again for your generous donation; I will keep this generosity in mind as I progress in my career and remember to give back to future generations of students.



Aysha Marie Spencer ’22, The John B. Hall Public Interest Endowed Scholarship Fund

At Berkeley Law, I am an Associate Editor of the California Law Review, the Production Editor for the Berkeley Journal of African-American Law & Policy, the Online Content Editor for the Berkeley Journal of Entertainment and Sports Law, and an active board member of LSAD.

I could not and would not be at Berkeley Law were it not for the generous scholarships I received. I am so thankful, and I have loved my time at Berkeley Law. My favorite classes so far have been Constitutional Law with Professor Holmquist and Race, Sexuality and the Law with Professor Robinson. I felt so challenged yet heard, valued, and encouraged that I- as a Black woman from a foreign country- could be an amazing lawyer and help shape the law that impacts us all. Yet, I feel that that is representative of Berkeley Law as a whole, as a community. Here, not only am I gaining an elite education but I am forging connections and making memories that will last forever.


Mohsin Mirza

Mohsin Mirza ’21, Berkeley Law Scholarship Fund

After I leave Berkeley Law, I hope to be the kind of lawyer that uses the law to make our country a more just and equitable place. My long-term goal is to work on civil rights impact litigation, especially in the areas of immigrant rights and voting rights. I have sought out opportunities like these during my summers in law schools, and the generous summer grants I received were what made my experiences at the NAACP-Legal Defense and Education Fund and the CA Attorney General’s Office possible. At the moment, I am pursuing public interest fellowships for positions in which I hope I can make difference right after I graduate. Scholarships like these help give me more financial freedom to pursue these dreams. Regardless of where my career takes me though, I take great pride in my time at Berkeley Law and hope to find ways to give back to our campus and broader community which has been so generous to me and enabled me to dream of these possibilities.


Kaylee Johnson

Kaylee Johnson ’22, The Berkeley Law Opportunity Scholarship Program Fund

While at Berkeley, I have worked with the Reentry Advocacy Project and the Berkeley Immigration group. I am also currently on the Alternative Dispute Resolutions Team and am an active chair member of the Law Students of African Descent affinity group. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for this scholarship. I am reminded of the privilege this kind of opportunity affords and each day I intend to take advantage of the opportunity I have been given.

Without this scholarship I would not have been able to attend Berkeley Law. Each day I am reminded how lucky I am in to be in this position and I am compelled to take advantage of every opportunity I have at Berkeley. Whether that be diving into my course material, providing  services through pro bono programs, or finding ways to increase diversity in the legal field, I can’t help but to want to give every part of myself to leave each situation better than how I found it. My gratitude motivates me each day. In my first year, I enjoyed my general 1L course material, but what I loved most was remembering how much I love to learn. To be able to take these 3 years of my life to fully apply myself to challenging, sometimes inspiring, and nearly always frustrating material is something I do not take for granted.


Yongbin Chang

Yongbin Chang ’22 Berkeley Law Scholarship Fund

I am first-generation to law school and to graduate school in general. Since immigrating to the Bay Area in 1999, my parents and I struggled to find our place in the American fabric. I paid for undergraduate experience by myself, working upwards to four various jobs at one point to make ends meet. I would work in the morning, go to class, work in the afternoon, and then pick up a late-night shift to 3am. I applied for scholarships as if they were another job – because every dollar counted. I supported my family and sent money home. The greatest barrier, however, wasn’t always financial. It was the lack of knowledge and confidence in pursuing my next steps. I stumbled and made many mistakes as law school became an increasingly taller mountain to climb. At times, I doubted my capacity to enter law school.

A huge part of navigating my law school experience is being able to focus on law school, and not the ways to fund it. The financial support of the scholarship provides so much relief for me.


Gabriela Bermudez

Gabriela Bermudez ’22, The Larry L. Hillblom Fellowship

I am a second-year law student from the San Gabriel Valley in Southern California. I graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 2015 and spent four years in Sacramento working for the Federal Public Defender’s Office. I am committed to pursuing public interest after law school and is most interested in public defense work. At Berkeley Law, I am the Co-Chair of the Womxn of Color Collective and the Recruitment Chair for the La Raza Law Students Association.

Receiving this scholarship will help me accomplish my educational and career goals by allowing me to focus on becoming a better advocate, without having to worry about rent, food, and transportation costs during the academic year. Having financed my undergraduate education through work-study income and scholarships, the freedom to focus on my education and career without worrying about money is not one that I take lightly. Receiving this scholarship will help me make my public interest career possible.


Daniel Rubin

Daniel Rubin ’23, The Barbara and Alec Cory Scholarship Fund

I came to law school to leverage my interest in policy into an impactful career addressing systemic inequities. At Berkeley, I am working in the Tenants’ Rights Workshop, a student-led initiative which provides direct services to low-income tenants in the Bay Area. I am also an associate editor for the Berkeley Journal for Employment and Labor Law.

With this in mind, Berkeley Law was the dream choice for me. Berkeley Law’s commitment to public interest and student involvement shone through during the admissions process, and has not disappointed me to this day. I have provided direct client services to low-income tenants through the East Bay Community Law Center, joined a journal which publishes important research on employment and labor law in the U.S., while unfortunately having to pass up on the countless other opportunities Berkeley Law offers its students. These activities remind me why I chose to go to law school in an otherwise hectic and difficult school year, and have kept me grounded during these strange times. While most other schools do not offer such extensive volunteer opportunities for 1Ls, I am so thrilled to have come to Berkeley and to have had the experiences I’ve had over the past 7 months. Additionally, Berkeley’s PI course offerings and specialties are excellent. While I’m not sure exactly what field of law I hope to work in, I’ll have options to take courses from tremendous professors in environmental law, housing law, or movement lawyering. I am thrilled to be at Berkeley and am enjoying my law school experience even more than I could have imagined.



They Gave Back

The impact of your giving extends well beyond Berkeley Law’s scholarship program. Berkeley Law alumni who have benefited from gift aid go on to inspiring careers in all areas of the law. Many express their gratitude for the scholarships they received by giving back to the law students of today. By supporting students who enrich our entire community, your gifts propel the Berkeley Law legacy of excellence and public service.

Jessica HollisJessica Hollis ’18 Associate, Cleary Gottlieb, Washington, DC

I would not have been able to attend Berkeley without receiving the aid that I got. I spent several years working and saving for law school, but still the debt burden of fully paying for tuition and living costs on my own would have been way too high. The need-based and other aid I received made all the difference to me. Now that I’m working in big law and have the means to pay some of that forward, I think it’s important to help others who are in a similar situation.

Going to Berkeley opens doors to opportunities all over the country (and world). There is a great alumni network and the semester I spent working in DC during law school was a great way to build contacts and gain practical experience. Now I work in DC for Cleary Gottlieb doing antitrust and get to work on really interesting matters. 


Sheila Menz

Sheila Menz ’15 Senior Associate, WilmerHale, Washington, DC

When I first stepped into the hallway as a newly minted 1L, I immediately knew Berkeley Law was a special place.  Berkeley is synonymous with the values of intellectual rigor, social consciousness, equal justice, and service to others.  These are the reasons I wanted to study at Berkeley.  A donor-funded scholarship is the reason I stayed. 

Thanks to the generosity of Berkeley Law’s alumni network, I had the freedom to pursue my academic interests and develop my legal skills in and out of the classroom—through research, scholarship, and client services.  Today, as an attorney practicing in the realm of public policy and governmental affairs, I am committed to giving back to the law school so that future students can create their own Berkeley experiences and benefit from the same invaluable opportunities available to me and my classmates.  

Cara Sandberg


Cara Sandberg ’12 Chambers Attorney to the Honorable Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court

As an admitted student picking between several excellent law schools, the financial support and scholarships Berkeley Law offered made my choice clear; Berkeley Law recognized my commitment to public service and offered me financial support so that I could continue my personal commitment to public service in my legal career.  The S.K. Yee Fellowship and Dean’s Scholarship changed my life.  I have been able to pursue and thrive in public service legal positions including: two federal clerkships; a Social Justice and Impact Litigation Fellowship; serving as a Deputy County Counsel for a prestigious local government law office; and serving as an attorney to an Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court. 


Jordan Bock

Jordan Bock ’17 Associate, Goodwin Procter, Boston

My Berkeley Law degree has opened doors for me that I never imagined; it set my career on an entirely different trajectory.  And above all else, beyond any single job or opportunity, I’m so grateful to the school for introducing me to wonderful professors, lifelong friends, and a profession that I love. 


Ana Herrera ’12, Legal Director, Dolores Street Community Services, San Francisco

A major reason Ana HerreraI continue to donate to Berkeley Law is because I am so grateful for the financial support I received as a graduate. As a 3L, I was committed to pursuing a career in the social justice/public interest sector, but the paid opportunities were very few for new graduates. Thanks to Berkeley Law, I secured a Bridge Fellowship with Dolores Street Community Services, a community-based organization that provides critical services to hundreds of low-income San Francisco immigrants facing deportation. My role there grew from being a Bridge fellow, to staff attorney, to today, where I am the Legal Director! I could not have done this without the support of Berkeley Law donors, and that is why I continue to donate today.