Pro Bono

Debt-Free J.D. Degree from NYU is Funded By Texas Law Firm

Thanks to a Texas law firm, two new graduates of New York University School of Law getting ready to start public interest jobs don’t have to worry about dealing with a crushing educational debt load.

The 45-attorney Bickel & Brewer litigation boutique in Dallas paid for Thomas Fritzsche and classmate Melissa Navarro to earn their juris doctor degrees at the prestigious law school, as the firm will continue to do for two NYU law students each year under a scholarship program that has attracted hundreds of applicants, reports the National Law Journal in an article reprinted by New York Lawyer (reg. req.).

In exchange, Fritzsche, 28, and Navarro, 25, must now work for two years in public-interest positions in the Latino community. He will be working for the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Immigrant Justice Project. She has a job lined up in the Clark County, Nev., public defender’s office in Las Vegas, where she will be one of the few Spanish-speaking attorneys.

Scholarship applicants have to be admitted to NYU’s law school to qualify, and then must explain their interest in Latino public interest work to an interview panel. Fritzsche and Navarro are the first Bickel & Brewer scholarship recipients to graduate.

“The idea is, you give us five years, we’ll get you a great law school education and the financial backing to take a job after graduation in the community and work on an issue that’s important to you,” says partner William Brewer III. “Be an important change agent.”

Related earlier coverage: “Bickel & Brewer Satellite Office is a Pro Bono Powerhouse”

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