California Western 3L student, Rima Sawhney has been awarded a 2019 Ms. JD Fellowship.
Ms. JD is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to the success of aspiring and early career women lawyers. Founded in 2010, the Ms. JD Fellowship is a project in partnership with the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession.
Sawhney found out about the fellowship through Symplicity, California Western’s online database for students and alumni.
“Reading the synopsis of the fellowship intrigued me to apply,” says Sawhney. “Encouraging and supporting other women in the field of law is something that I’m very passionate about, so I found my personal goals as an attorney or as a future attorney really aligned with the goals of the fellowship.”
One of the most important purposes of the Ms. JD Fellowship is to promote mentoring and professional development for future female attorneys. Sawhney was paired with an employment attorney from San Diego-based law firm Sheppard Mullin.
“It worked out perfectly,” says Sawhney. “I got accepted for the fellowship, and employment law is exactly the area I want to practice in.”
As part of the fellowship, Sawhney will write a blog entry for the Ms. JD website and spearhead a panel supporting women at California Western in the spring.
A San Francisco resident, Sawhney, had the opportunity to attend the University of San Francisco School of Law but opted for California Western instead.
“Although it was much further away from home, I had this good feeling being here, especially when I did the tour,” recalls Sawhney. “The student who gave me the tour was very honest and that honesty was really appealing to me. Since then, I have found that people are very happy here, and the professors are very welcoming—they have so many resources to offer, and they are very true to that word.”
Illustrating her point, Sawhney credits Professor Jessica Fink for sparking her interest in employment law. “I actually took constitutional law with Professor Fink,” she explains. “I absolutely adored her class—she is such a passionate person—so I took employment law with her, and everything she said was what I wanted to do. The material was just so interesting to me.”
Sawhney also singles out Professor Tim Casey’s STEPPS class for preparing her well for her recent internship at employment and personal injury law firm, Gruenberg Law. “I was able to take everything I learned in class and apply it in practice,” she says.
As a Ms. JD Fellow, Sawhney is excited to attend the Ms. JD conference in March 2020 in Chicago, where she will get the opportunity to meet and network with all current and past Ms. JD Fellows.
“What the Ms. JD Fellowship does is empower people,” she says. “Bringing about justice, doing good, and putting a legacy in place are things that are very important to me.”