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UIC Law student’s commitment to the advancement of women and diversity secures a $15K Scholarship

“The idea that everyone deserves access to justice and safety has been my guiding principle all throughout my career and educational pursuits,” says Myasar Ihmud, UIC Law J.D. Candidate 2023 and primary winner of a $15k Diversity Scholarship Award from the Women’s Bar Foundation (WBF).

The WBF awards scholarships to women who have demonstrated a commitment to the advancement of women both in the legal profession and within the community at large, in which Ihmud has exemplified while studying law at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Her early advocacy work began as a supporter of domestic violence programs, having served on a national team that specialized in domestic violence policy initiatives.

Keeping the advancement of women and diversity at the forefront of her mind, Ihmud continued to align herself with opportunities that would support this mission, including working at the law school’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, participating in student wellness initiatives, representing Middle Eastern students on the student-run racial minority coalition, serving as a staff editor for the UIC Law Review, and leading the Middle Eastern Law Students Association. Ihmud also interned at the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin and worked at the UIC Pro Bono Litigation Clinic.

“In talking about these experiences with the [WBF] committee, I highlighted that it was women who have been at the center of it all, including my supervisors, clients, mentors, colleagues, professors, and more who have taught and guided me along the way to get here,” Ihmud said.

The UIC Law Influence 

As a first-generation law student, Ihmud didn’t have a clear idea of what area of law she wanted to pursue and was not aware of all the possibilities that were available to her. It wasn’t until she participated in the State/Civil Pro Bono Litigation Clinic that she realized how much she enjoyed working with clients, preparing legal documents, legal research, appearing in court, and making arguments on behalf of clients particularly in the area of criminal record relief.

The curriculum studied from the law school’s notable Lawyering Skills course allowed Ihmud to focus on drafting criminal legal documents and helped shape her interest in criminal defense work, an area of law she plans to pursue post-graduation in May.

Ihmud looks forward to the many networking opportunities that will come from her scholarship award and will be working as a law clerk at the Cook County Public Defender’s Office this semester.

Take a look at some of Ihmud’s other accolades since being a student at UIC Law:

  • Dean’s List: Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, and Fall 2022
  • Nominated for the 2022 Spirit of Excellence Award by Student Life
  • SBA Public Interest Scholarship: Received April 2021 and awarded by UIC Law SBA and the Office of Student Life
  • Jerold S. Solovy Diversity Scholarship Award: Received December 2021 and awarded by the Diversity Scholarship Foundation to a student who actively advocates for diversity within the legal community and works to bring focus to those who do pro-bono work within their community and demonstrates excellent academic standing.