2010-2011 WLALA Foundation Scholarship Recipients
by Carmela T. Pagay
The recipients of the 2010-2011 WLALA Foundation Scholarship are three diverse and equally-deserving women.
Elisa Hermann is currently a student at Loyola Law School. Ms. Hermann began her commitment to women’s and children’s issues during high school. At sixteen years of age, she enrolled in a 40-hour domestic violence course to be able to volunteer at a local battered women’s shelter. She thereafter volunteered for six years with Sojourn Services for Battered Women and Their Children. After graduating from UCLA in 2008, she participated in a fellowship in Israel. Among the organizations she worked for during her fellowship were Itach-Maaki, Women Lawyers for Social Justice, which allowed her to help improve the treatment of minority women under Israeli law, and Advancement of Education Institute, for which she wrote grants for low-income children to enable them to receive educational and professional enrichment programs. During the summer of 2010, Ms. Hermann was an intern at the Community Legal Services, where she helped prepare restraining orders at the Domestic Violence Clinic at the Compton and Norwalk Courthouses. During the summer of 2011, Ms. Hermann will be working for Los Angeles Dependency Lawyers, where she will be assisting parents and guardians with representation in dependency hearings. In addition to her legal experience, she is active in the Women’s Law Association at Loyola Law School. She was this year’s co-community service chair. As co-chair, she implemented a volunteer hotline with the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles for students at Loyola to help victims of domestic violence that are struggling with family law issues. She also planned an event in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month by having various attorneys discuss the challenges of working with sexual assault survivors. In the upcoming school year, Ms. Hermann will be President of the Women’s Law Association. Post-law school, Ms. Hermann intends to create a post-graduate public interest fellowship that focuses on legal issues affecting sexual assault survivors.
Jean Domanski is currently a student at the Glendale University College of Law. Being an attorney will be Ms. Domanski’s second career, having been a grade school teacher since 1997. She is an evening student, trying to balance not only work and school, but also raising her own children. While one would think a teacher would be naturally concerned about children’s issues, Ms. Domanski has a genuine and demonstrated passion for improving the lives of children, whether as a teacher in the classroom, her position as English Language Development Specialist, at which she is responsible for ensuring compliance with the Education Code and communicating with parents of English learners about their child’s progress, or her volunteer positions, including the Free Arts Courthouse Program at the Edelman Children’s Court. She has also volunteered for the Sojourn Services for Battered Women and Their Children and the Neighborhood Legal Services in Pacoima. Ms. Domanski plans to focus her legal career on issues surrounding children’s rights.
Linda Igarashi is currently a student at the University of California, Los Angeles Law School. Ms. Igarashi is the daughter of immigrant parents, and was the first in her family to enroll in a university. Based on her knowledge of the difficulties of the lives of immigrants, Ms. Igarashi has focused on studying economic development and public policy. After graduating from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in Economics and B.S. in Business Administration, Ms. Igarashi became a Fulbright scholar and spent a year in Chile which she spent researching the economic impact of newly privatized pension systems on women. Ms. Igarashi proceeded to obtain a Master of Public Administration in International Development from Harvard University, where she focused on issues facing developing countries, in particular those affecting women. She intends to use her experience as a financial analyst and risk management consultant plus her legal education to help women in emerging economies to gain full economic participation by promoting how women-owned businesses can reduce their exposure to legal and financial risks. In addition to her professional experience, Ms. Igarashi has volunteered at the Big Brother Big Sisters program and as a court-appointed special advocate for neglected girls in foster care. She plans to continue to mentor disadvantaged girls in the Los Angeles area post-law school.
These three remarkable women will be honored at WLALA’s Installation Dinner on September 21, 2011, at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel.
Carmela T. Pagay is an attorney with Levene, Neale, Bender, Yoo & Brill L.L.P., a firm that specializes in bankruptcy, insolvency, and commercial litigation, and serves on the WLALA board as the Scholarship Committee co-chair.