Honorable Justice Vaino Hassan Spencer Scholarship
Justice Vaino H. Spencer was a co-founder of Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, Inc. (BWL) and first African American woman judge in California. She earned her L.L. B. degree from Southwestern Law School and worked as a general practitioner in Los Angeles until she was appointed to the Los Angeles Superior Court in 1961. Fifteen years later, she was elevated to the Los Angeles Superior Court. In 1980, Justice Spencer served as the Presiding Justice of Division One of the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District until she retired in 2007. Justice Spencer served on the bench for 46 years making her one of the longest serving judicial officers in California. During her distinguished career, she was a trailblazer for women and people of color in the legal profession, advocating tirelessly for gender and racial equality in the bar and on the bench. In 1979, Justice Spencer co-founded the National Association of Women Judges, an organization dedicated to promoting women on the bench. The BWL Foundation proudly sponsors the Justice Vaino Spencer Scholarship that is awarded to second and third year law students who have demonstrated outstanding scholastic achievement, community service and financial need.
The Dolores Randolph Bauer Memorial Scholarship
Dolores Bauer was a member of the organization during its inaugural years and remained a dedicated and active member until her untimely death in 1980. After graduating from Loyola Law School, Ms. Bauer worked for the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles during the early 1970’s. She joined the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office in 1973 where she remained until she opened her own office in 1978. She continued in private practice until she passed away.
The Bauer Memorial Scholarship is awarded to second and third year law students who have demonstrated scholastic achievement, community service and financial need.
Vera Brown-Curtis Hayes Memorial Scholarship
The Vera Brown-Curtis Hayes Scholarship was established in honor of Vera Brown-Curtis Hayes, a lawyer, teacher and passionate defender of the poor and disenfranchised, particularly low-income women. After receiving a B.A. in English from Fisk University and a Masters in Education from Michigan State University, Vera taught school during the day and attended law school at night. She received her Juris Doctorate in 1981 from Whitter College School of Law and co-founded the law firm of Mallory, Brown-Curtis & Mallory in 1986. A committed leader to several community service organizations, Vera served as President to both the Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles (BWL) and the Harriet Buhai Center for Family Law. The Center, which BWL co-founded with Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, provides free family law assistance and legal education to the poor. Vera helped to establish the BWL Foundation, which is the center of philanthropy for BWL. The BWL Foundation is proud to sponsor the Vera Brown-Curtis Hayes Scholarship, which is award to second and third year law students who have demonstrated outstanding scholastic achievement, community service and financial need.