Lyndhurst, NJ – August 7, 2017- Scarinci Hollenbeck is pleased to announce that Natasha Payano is the 2017 recipient of its statewide LGBTQ scholarship. Sponsored by the New Jersey State Bar Foundation, the LGBTQ scholarship program serves to encourage and promote diversity in the legal profession, and to advance the legal studies of those interested in the New Jersey LGBTQ issues. This opportunity is made available to law students committed to promoting equal status for LGBTQ studies, irrespective of whether they are members of the LGBTQ community. The Bar Foundation’s Scholarship Committee convenes each year in early May to consider the applications submitted and to select a recipient.

“I am incredibly honored to be the 2017 recipient of the scholarship. I think it is absolutely fundamental to celebrate diversity in the legal field and advocate toward the representation of all identities,” said Ms. Payano, who is entering her third year at Rutgers Law School in Newark.

Ms. Payano also earned her undergraduate degree at Rutgers, summa cum laude, with a major in English & Women’s Gender Studies. Among her many distinctions, she was awarded the Gilda Morales Award for Outstanding Women’s and Gender Studies activism. She was also the Founder/President/Treasurer of Trans*missions, Rutgers’ first organization for transgender students and their allies. She was also a Representative for the LGBTQ Rutgers student body as part of Queer Caucus. While working at the Women’s and Gender Studies Office, Ms. Payano was the recipient of the 2015 Work/Study Student Employee of the Year Award.

About the Scarinci Hollenbeck LGBTQ Scholarship

The Scarinci Hollenbeck LGBTQ Scholarship is among the first dedicated to the advancement of LGBTQ legal issues within New Jersey. It is awarded to law students who share in and demonstrate Scarinci Hollenbeck’s profound dedication to and support of LGBTQ issues. Scarinci Hollenbeck has always been a place of inclusion for LGBTQ attorneys and staff, and many of its attorneys have worked on important LGBTQ pro bono issues, including marriage equality.

“We’re proud to partner with the New Jersey State Bar Foundation to present this statewide and diversely unique LGBTQ scholarship,” said Donald Scarinci, managing partner.

For interested students, applications can be found at the beginning of each second semester in the financial aid office at any New Jersey law school, or by visiting the New Jersey Bar Association website.