Law student Stephanie Johnson, whose commitment to public service is longstanding, is the first beneficiary of the new Building the Legacy Scholarship Fund formed by the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association. She is among a star-studded list of achievers being honored at the MBLA Gala on March 22.
An avid advocate and leader within the community, Johnson is a BC Law Public Service Scholar. She has helped to plan the annual Public Interest Law Retreat since her 1L year, and is co-president of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA).
Michelle Grossfield, public interest and pro bono program director at the Law School, says Johnson’s leadership in BLSA “has centered around her deep commitment to ‘lift as they climb,’ and a singular vision for supporting members to excel and thrive as students and professionals in their budding careers.” Among those efforts was a donation drive to provide professional clothing to students so that they might look their best at job interviews.
Prior to law school, Johnson spent two years as a staff member in the Executive Office of the Mayor in Washington, DC, where she worked on a wide range of legislative issues and led the Mayor’s Open Government Initiative.
As an undergraduate at Brandeis University, Johnson worked with the WATCH Housing Advocacy Clinic and the MLK & Friends Club. At BC Law, she has continued to pursue extracurricular projects for the public good while maintaining high academic standards. “I have been consistently impressed by her incredible work ethic,” Grossfield says, “and know it is due to a deep dedication for learning and desire to use the knowledge and expertise she is gaining to serve others in an meaningful and impactful way.”
In 2016, Johnson was a BC Law Rappaport Fellow. The Rappaport Center for Law and Public Policy selects law students in Massachusetts annually for summer public interest work. Johnson’s placement was with the the Boston Redevelopment Authority. (Coincidentally, another 2016 Rappaport Fellow, Courtney Person of New England College of Law, is receiving the $1,000 Reginald Lindsay Public Service Award at the same MBLA event.)
The MBLA’s Building the Legacy Scholarship Fund was established through a partnership with the Boston Bar Foundation. Its purpose is to increase the number of racially underrepresented minority lawyers practicing in Massachusetts. Johnson’s honor, the Fletcher “Flash” Wiley MBLA Legacy Scholarship Award, is named for the MBLA’s third president and counsel at Morgan Lewis.
Other MBLA Gala honorees are Bay State Banner founder Melvin Miller; Harvard Law Professor Intisar Rabb; Boston University Professors Keith N. Hylton and Maria O’Brien Hylton; and Desiree Ralls-Morrison, executive vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary of Boston Scientific.
Read more on the MBLA website.