RECIPIENTS OF THE JUDGE PAUL G. FEINMAN SCHOLARSHIP
The International LGBTQ Judges’ Foundation’s objectives include providing financial scholarships to support law students who demonstrate a commitment to the LGBTQ+ community. Consistent with this mission, the Foundation strongly supports the recognition of legal excellence among law students by funding the Judge Paul G. Feinman Scholarship awarded by the International Association of LGBTQ+ Judges. For more information about the Feinman scholarship, please visit: https://lgbtqjudges.org/scholarship/
Illustrative of the kind of scholarship endeavors anticipated to be supported by the Foundation is the history of scholarship awards made by the International Association of LGBTQ+ Judges. The 2023 recipients of the Judge Paul G. Feinman Scholarship are:
Abdiel Lopez-Castro (he/him)
2L, Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law
This year’s primary scholarship recipient is Abdiel Lopez-Castro. Abdiel is an openly gay, first generation Mexican-American who has had the privilege of being able to pursue a Juris Doctorate degree in hopes of bringing more diversity into the legal profession. He worked as a legal assistant in a law firm for roughly 10 years where he facilitated the hiring of many LGBTQ+ people and ensured that proper names and pronouns were used within the firm and in Court. Prior to his acceptance into Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law, he has noticed how much representation matters in the legal community. Abdiel is actively involved in his law school’s LGBTQ+ student organization including serving as historian of the organization.
Abdiel believes it is important that we see ourselves in people who we hold with high regard, because that helps create a sense of hope, comfortability, and trust that is needed not only in times of hardship, but in breaking glass ceilings for those following our footsteps. In his application, he wrote that representation by someone like him matters because it bridges a gap between his community and the legal system that they might not have much confidence in. Representation also helps boost the confidence of those in his community who think they have no place in the legal profession, which in fact they do. We must be present to represent!
Tamia “Mia” Perez (she/her)
2023 Graduate, William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Tamia “Mia” Perez is a recent graduate of the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; receiving her Juris Doctor and graduating with the Highest Pro Bono Honors. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Science from the University of South Carolina, where she actively participated in advocacy work within the Carolina Equality Alliance, an organization with an emphasis on protecting civil liberties affecting marginalized communities.
During law school, she served as the Director of Operations for the Black Law Students Association, the National Executive Director of Gender Diverse, LGBTQ+ and Inclusion Affairs within the National Chapter of the Black Law Students Association, one of the Board of Directors for the National Trans Bar Association as well as the President of the Health Law Society, where she led several community service initiatives that provide access to healthcare and legal resources to marginalized communities who would otherwise not have access to these resources. She served as a Student Attorney with the Department of Indigent Defense, externed for the Honorable Chief Justice Michael Gibbons of the Nevada Court of Appeals within the Nevada Supreme Court and interned with the ACLU of NY on the LGBTQ Project, amongst many others.
As an LGBTQ identifying Afro-Latina of Haitian and Dominican descent, she believes that legislative initiatives, community outreach and zealous advocacy are vital to combatting social injustices that have disproportionately affected people of color, low-income and other marginalized communities. During the summer, she plans on sitting for the NY State Bar and subsequently relocating back to the northeast where she will practice as a Staff Attorney within the Civil Litigation Division of the Legal Aid Society of New York.
Jeramy Ashton (he/him)
2023 Graduate, University of Arkansas, Little Rock, Willam H. Bowen School of Law
Jeramy Ashton is a native of Salt Lake City, Utah, and recent graduate of University of Arkansas Little Rock, William H. Bowen School of Law. A life motto of “be who you needed when you were younger,” Jeramy focused his law school career on increasing access to essential care with a focus on health equity and civil rights and liberties. Jeramy was fortunate to work with state and national leaders on addressing policies and legislation including MSM blood ban, monkeypox disease tracing, HIV criminalization, and trans health in the southern states. After law school, Jeramy plans to pursue a career in health litigation and policy advocating for access to essential care and increasing quality of care especially for underrepresented populations.
Tamia “Mia” Perez, William S. Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Sunny Khan Frothingham, The University of North Carolina School of Law