The Patti Rose Scheimer Bednarik Memorial Scholarship Opportunity (Deadline: July 1, 2015)


The Patti Rose Scheimer Bednarik Memorial Scholarship Fund has been created to support the award of an annual scholarship to a law school student or lawyer in practice for less than 3 years who demonstrates an outstanding commitment to animal law/animal welfare. The maximum annual award will be $5,400.

To be eligible, applicants must be Pennsylvania residents enrolled in an accredited law school in the US or licensed Pennsylvania lawyers admitted to practice less than three (3) years. Applicants must perform volunteer service to an animal welfare organization before, during and/or after law school; or engage in scholarship in the field of animal law and animal welfare, including reading, research, writing and clinical work; or perform pro bono legal work in the field of animal welfare.

The recipient will be selected by the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation Scholarship Committee with the participation and advice of the Donor. In the event more than one applicant is deemed deserving, the scholarship/grant may be divided between not more than two applicants. To apply, please provide the following:

  • Proof of Pennsylvania residency as documented by applicant’s current voter registration card or current Pennsylvania driver’s license;
  • Your name, mailing address, phone number, email address, and if currently enrolled in law school - the name and address of the school and your current year in school.
  • Two letters of recommendation, at least one from a law school professor who can attest to the applicant’s legal studies related to animal law/animal welfare or a board member or director of an organization who can attest to the applicant’s work or service to animal law/animal welfare;
  • Your most recent resume;
  • A one to three page narrative describing your interest in animal issues. Applicants will be evaluated based on the degree to which they address the following areas:
  1. Describe any animal law (or animal protection) activities and experience (academic, volunteer, activism, employment, etc.) to date.
  2. If applicable, describe how your law school education will help you to be a better advocate for animals.
  3. Describe how you see yourself protecting the welfare of animals through the legal system.
  4. Describe how receiving this scholarship will help advance your commitment to animal law/animal welfare.
  • Additionally, please feel free to submit any papers, pleadings, law review or newspaper articles that demonstrate your animal law/animal welfare volunteer service.

The application period opens on May 21, 2015 and closes July 1, 2015.

Applications must be emailed to (preferred method), mailed, or faxed by July 1, 2015 to:

Patti Rose Scheimer Bednarik Memorial Scholarship Fund
Attn: Marie Queen
Pennsylvania Bar Foundation, P.O. Box 186, Harrisburg, PA 17108-0186
Fax: (717) 213-2548

The successful candidate(s) will be announced in August.

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Publish Date: 
Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 4:15pm

Pitt Law Professor Ben Bratman Highlighted In Tribune-Review Newsmaker Series

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review highlighted Pitt Law Professor Ben Bratman in its Newsmaker series for his recent receipt of the Eric W. Springer Professionalism Award, given annually to an attorney or judge of sterling character and unquestioned integrity who upholds the highest standards of the legal profession, according to the W. Edward Sell Inn of Court in Pittsburgh.

Bratman told the Tribune-Review, “I particularly appreciate this award because it recognizes two things I prioritize: Bridging the gap between the law-practicing world and legal education and also developing professionalism for young lawyers and especially law students who are about to enter the profession.”

Read more at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Publish Date: 
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 - 9:45am

ACBA Environment & Energy Law Section Will Award Scholarship To Pitt Law Graduate

At this year’s Innovative Pittsburgh – Green Event 2015, May 21, the ACBA will award Pitt Law graduate Carl Ballard (’15) an Environment & Energy Law Section scholarship.

At Pitt Law Ballard was a certified legal intern with the University of Pittsburgh Environmental Law Clinic where he was named the 2014 Clinical Legal Education Association Outstanding Student. He also interned at Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services where he worked on numerous environmental and energy issues.

This year’s Innovative Pittsburgh – Green Event will be held at the Energy Innovation Center at 1435 Bedford Avenue, May 21, 2015, from 5 to 7 p.m. This annual event raises money to grow the section's scholarship fund with the Allegheny County Bar Foundation (ACBF). 

Read more about this scholarship and event at the ACBA.

Publish Date: 
Friday, May 15, 2015 - 4:15pm

The Guardian Cites Pat Chew's Study 'Myth of the Color-Blind Judge'

In a May 11 feature, the British national daily newspaper The Guardian cited Pitt Law Professor Pat K. Chew's 2008 study "Myth of the Color-Blind Judge," which analyzed over 400 federal cases, representing workplace racial harassment jurisprudence over a twenty-year period and found that judges' race significantly affects outcomes in these cases. Chew co-authored the study with CMU professor Robert E. Kelley. While not the first time the study has been cited in media and scholarly work, this is one of the largest recent features.

The Guardian story "Why the US needs black lawyers even more than it needs black police" specifically highlighted Chew and Kelley's conclusion, "Our work initially confirms certain characteristics of racial harassment cases: the vast majority of the judges are white; the vast majority of the plaintiff-employees are African American; the vast majority of accused harassers are white; and that, when studying case outcomes, plaintiff-employees have a very poor win rate in general – succeeding in only 22% of cases overall. Furthermore, the statistical analyses consistently showed that the race of the judge can make a significant difference. While plaintiffs have a poor win rate in general, they are much more likely to win if their cases come before African American rather than white judges."

Read "Why the US needs black lawyers even more than it needs black police" in The Guardian

Read the 2008 study "Myth of the Color-blind Judge" on SSRN.


Publish Date: 
Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 4:00pm

Anthony Infanti Pens Huffington Post Editorials

Writing for the Huffington Post, Pitt Law Professor and Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Research Anthony Infanti shared his thoughts regarding the recent moves in the Texas legislature to prohibit state and local officials from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The move is designed to ensure that any positive decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on same-sex marriage is bogged down in litigation for an extended period.

The May 13 column, "Messing with Texas on Marriage," poses the question, "Is this really about states' rights or is it just another instance of states' rights being used as code for a license to discriminate?"

Infanti also published an April 29 opinion piece for the Huffington Post about the pending Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges, which could determine whether same-sex marriage is a constitutional right that states cannot ban.

In "Forget Reading the Tea Leaves on Marriage Equality," Infanti covers the uneven legal terrain same-sex couples will continue face regardless of the court's ruling in the case, noting, "In states like Pennsylvania, the possibility of losing a job or housing or being denied service in a restaurant will obviously deter some same-sex couples from taking the step of marrying—or, if they do marry, from publicly announcing or acknowledging their marriage."

Publish Date: 
Thursday, May 14, 2015 - 1:30pm

Anthony Infanti Writes Commentary For The Huffington Post, "Messing With Texas On Marriage"

Pitt Law Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor Anthony C. Infanti published commentary in The Huffington Post regarding the Texas legislature considering a bill that would prohibit state and local officials from issuing or recognizing the marriage licenses of same-sex couples in defiance of a potential U.S. Supreme Court decision.

Infanti writes in the May 13 column "Messing With Texas on Marriage" that the intent of the proposed Texas legislation is "to slow the progress of the LGBT movement by ensuring that any pro-LGBT decision from the Supreme Court is bogged down in litigation for years to come."

Read more in The Huffington Post.

Publish Date: 
Thursday, May 14, 2015 - 11:45am

Professor Jessie Allen Quoted In Pittsburgh Post-Gazette In Property Law Matter

In a May 13 article "Attorney general sues landlord with a history of violations," the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette turned to the property law expertise of Pitt Law Professor Jessie Allen.

Allen, who teaches property law at Pitt Law, told the Post-Gazette the lawsuit by the Attorney General’s office shows that violations like those alleged against landlord Davin Gartley and the ramifications for the residents are being taken seriously. Gartley is most notable for the Berg Place apartments in Carrick which last year were deemed unfit for human habitation due to lack of water and sewage pooling on the property.

“What’s the likelihood these individual tenants would have the resources, the time and ability to bring their own complaints against this landlord?” Allen told the Post-Gazette. “It’s important for state enforcement to bring this kind of case.”

Read more in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Publish Date: 
Wednesday, May 13, 2015 - 5:30pm

Pitt Law Students Dillingham and Geguchadze Awarded 2015 Peggy Browning Fellowships

In a highly competitive application process, two Pitt Law students were awarded the prestigious Peggy Browning Fellowship for 2015. 

Anthony Dillingham (2L) and Sophie Geguchadze (1L) were awarded the 10-week summer fellowships based on their outstanding qualifications out of 400 applicants from 150 participating law schools. Peggy Browning Fellowships are distinguished students who have not only excelled in law school but demonstrated their commitment to workers' rights through their previous educational, work, volunteer and personal experiences. 

Dillingham will be a Peggy Browning Fellow at the Community Justice Project in Pittsburgh, and Geguchadze will be in the Legal Department of United Steelworkers in Pittsburgh. At Pitt Law, Dillingham works in the Elder Law Clinic and is on the executive board of the Journal of Law and Commerce. Last summer he was a legal intern at the Governor's Office of General Counsel in the Department of Labor. He also volunteers for the Prisoner Legal Support Project, drafting complaints from prisoners unable to afford legal counsel. 

Geguchadze is a first generation immigration which has given her a broad multicultural perspective in a legal environment. She came to Pitt Law to pursue her passion of seeking justice for those who are disenfranchised by the law and looks forward to interning at United Steelworkers this summer to gain a better understanding of labor law.

The Peggy Browning Fund is a not for-profit organization established in memory of Margaret A. Browning, a prominent union-side attorney who was a member of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) from 1994 until 1997. Peggy Browning Fellowships provide law students with unique, diverse and challenging work experiences fighting for social and economic justice. These experiences encourage and inspire students to pursue careers in public interest labor law. Read more about the Peggy Browning Fellowship at

Publish Date: 
Wednesday, May 6, 2015 - 9:15am

Pitt Law Alumna Penina K. Lieber To Receive PBA Anne X. Alpern Award

The Pennsylvania Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession will present its Anne X. Alpern Award to Pitt Law alumna Penina K. Lieber. Lieber also is currently an adjunct professor at Pitt Law, teaching courses in nonprofit and tax-exempt law, and partner in the Pittsburgh law offices of Dinsmore & Shohl LLP.

The ceremony will be held Thursday, May 7, 2015 at the Sheraton Downtown Hotel in Philadelphia. Details and registration information for the PBA Commission on Women in the Profession conference are posted on the PBA's website at

Lieber is significantly active within the legal profession, academic, and nonprofit communities. She is a past president of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, life trustee of the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation, sustaining fellow of the Allegheny County Bar Foundation, elected member of the American Law Institute, and has served as a director of the United Way of Allegheny County, the Jewish Healthcare Foundation and the Pittsburgh Public Theater.

The Alpern Award is presented annually to a female lawyer or judge who demonstrates excellence in the legal profession and who makes a significant professional impact on women in the law, and was named for Anne X. Alpern, Pennsylvania's attorney general in 1959 and the first woman state attorney general in the nation.

Read more on Lieber and the Alpern Award at the Pennsylvania Bar Association

Publish Date: 
Tuesday, May 5, 2015 - 5:30pm
Date and Times: 
Thursday, May 7, 2015 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

University of Pittsburgh School of Law
3900 Forbes Avenue Room 111
15260 Pittsburgh , PA

An externship information session will be held on Thursday, May 7th at 12:00 PM in room 111. Students intending to seek EXTERNSHIP CREDIT for work during the summer and next school year must attend this Orientation Program.

If you are unable to attend and would like the benefit of the information, please notify Prof. Nancy Burkoff, Externship Coordinator.