Ds Scholarship

UC Hastings Law Students Can Apply for New Scholarship That Rewards Them for Giving Back | UC Hastings Law

When she was growing up, Debra Bogaards ’81 remembers her family’s Friday night Shabbat dinners included donating to a favorite charity each week. The Jewish idea of ​​Tzedakah, a Hebrew word that is used to refer to charity or philanthropy, stuck with her as she grew up. She said, “It taught me as a young girl we were responsible for others.”

Bogaards has carried that value into her adult life, volunteering on non-profit boards, mentoring students at her alma mater UC Hastings College of the Law, and donating to causes that are important to her. She currently serves as the UC Hastings Foundation Board President, and her daughter Danielle ’16, is on the Board of Governors for the UC Hastings Alumni Association. This month, Bogaards announced she is funding a new scholarship for law students, who value giving back to the community.

Beginning in Fall 2022, UC Hastings law students will be able to apply for the “Debra F. Bogaards ’81 True Mensch Scholarship Endowment,” which will be awarded based on academic performance and a personal essay written by the student about what they’ve done in their lives to help others or pay good deeds forward. “It can be the student’s focus in law, service, or volunteer work in their community, or simply helping another human being,” the scholarship guidelines explain. Bogaards said she chose the Yiddish word “mensch” because it refers to someone who is a good person, and who acts with integrity. “It’s the highest you can achieve in life,” she said. “It really means giving back.”

Bogaards said she was inspired to help students achieve their dream of attending law school, which can be cost prohibitive for many. She said she recalled being an undergraduate student at UC Berkeley in the East Bay and watching the twinkling lights of San Francisco at night, dreaming of attending the oldest and most prestigious law school in the city. “I knew I wanted to practice law and to work with social justice,” she said. Now, the founder of her own law firm in San Francisco that specializes in plaintiffs’ personal injury and employment law, Bogaards said she wants to help make attending law school a reality for future UC Hastings students.

An active mentor at the law school, she routinely hosts students for evening get-togethers, and actively engages with them, whether it’s through 6 @ 6s, cycling, or offering law school and professional advice. The scholarship is just one of several ways Bogaards supports Hastings. In addition to the establishment of a scholarship, with her gift, Bogaards also secured naming rights to the LexLab conference room. LexLab, an innovation hub for emerging legal technologies, will relocate to the new 198 McAllister Street building. The spectacular 14-story structure is slated for completion in summer 2023 and will be a cornerstone of the law school’s new Academic Village.

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