The Massachusetts Bar Association is pleased to announce that
Lauren N. Schaal, a third-year law student at Boston College Law
School is the recipient of the MBA's 2016 Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
Scholarship. The $10,000 scholarship will be awarded at the MBA's
sold out Annual Dinner on April 28, at the Westin Boston
This coming fall, Schaal will work as a staff attorney at
Community Legal Aid (CLA) in the Family Law Unit. CLA is a
nonprofit organization that provides free civil legal services to
low-income and elderly clients in central and western
Massachusetts. Based at CLA's Worcester office, Schaal will
continue working with low-income survivors of domestic violence,
handling family law matters, such as divorce, child custody, child
support and visitation. In addition, she will be actively involved
in community outreach and education initiatives centered on the
issue of domestic violence.
"I think it's really exciting that the state bar association will
recognize public-interest oriented students," said Schaal. "It
makes me feel that the bar association and the Massachusetts legal
community, in general, really values work with indigent
In 2015, Schaal served as a legal intern at Casa Myrna Vazquez
Inc., Boston's largest provider of shelter and supportive services
to survivors of domestic violence. She provided legal advocacy and
Rule 3:03 representation at Probate & Family Court hearings,
assisted staff attorneys with research, performed intake for new
clients, and drafted motions, temporary orders and pre-trial
memoranda for divorce and paternity cases.
Throughout the past seven years, Schaal has worked with survivors
of domestic violence and sexual assault in shelters, crisis centers
and legal programs. During law school she has also served as a
legal advocate at the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center.
"I work with survivors of domestic and sexual violence and have
since college," added Schaal. "I'm honored to be able to be a voice
for those clients. Getting recognized with this scholarship will
hopefully shed some light on those issues and will allow me to be
able to talk more about the needs of domestic and sexual violence
At Boston College, Schaal served as note editor for the
Journal of Law and Social Justice, was named a Legal
Public Service Fellow by the Clough Center for the Study of
Constitutional Democracy and was named a Legal Fellow by the
Massachusetts Bar Foundation. She was also a member of the Supreme
Judicial Court Pro Bono Honor Roll.
"I am recommending Lauren with much enthusiasm and without any
reservation," wrote Kari E. Hong, assistant professor of law, in
her letter of recommendation. "Indeed, it is difficult for me to
think of any prior student who would be a better fit for this
fellowship. Lauren is a brilliant student who will go on to be an
Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, Schaal is a graduate of the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she received a degree in
political science and communication studies in 2013.
About the MBA's Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
The MBA's Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. Scholarship awards a $10,000
scholarship to a third-year law student currently attending a
Massachusetts law school who is committed to providing legal
assistance to underrepresented individuals and communities in
Massachusetts upon graduating. Candidates applying for this
scholarship must meet the qualities that the MBA values and finds
essential in those who will become practicing attorneys. In
particular, applicants must (1) demonstrate a strong and specific
commitment to serve the public interest, (2) have a proven record
of hard work and academic accomplishment, and (3) have demonstrated
integrity and honesty.