Contact: Rosanne M. Van Heertum
Director of Development, The New YorkBar Foundation

March 12, 2009


Hofstra Law School student, Nia Kitwana Ngozi Jackson, has been chosen as the 2009 recipient of the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section Minority Fellowship administered by The New York Bar Foundation. The $5,000 award is available to first-year students attending a law school in the State of New York who demonstrate an interest in commercial and federal litigation.

As the winner of the 2009 Fellowship award, Ms. Jackson will work this summer in the Chambers of the Honorable Eileen Bransten, New York State Supreme Court, New York County, Commercial Division.

John R. Horan, president of The New York Bar Foundation said, "We are pleased to award the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section Minority Fellowship to a Hofstra Law School student. Ms. Jackson is an eminently qualified candidate for this Fellowship. Her academic record, international study and internship experience demonstrate her commitment to scholarly excellence. The combination of her business and law degrees will serve her well for a successful career in the legal profession and litigation."

A resident of West Hempstead, Ms. Jackson is a graduate of Pepperdine University, Graziadio School of Business and Management (CA) where she earned an International Master of Business Administration (Spanish) degree in 2008. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication and Spanish Language & Literature from Villanova University (PA). While at Pepperdine, Ms. Jackson studied at the Fundação Getulio Vargas, São Paolo, Brazil and was recognized with the Emerging Leaders honor. She was inducted into Lambda Pi Eta (National Communication Honor Society) and Sigma Delta Pi (Rho Pi Chapter, National Spanish Honor Society) while at Villanova. She speaks fluent Spanish as well as Portuguese.

Ms. Jackson will be recognized by the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section and The Foundation during an awards ceremony at the Section's Smooth Moves III program on March 25th at Lincoln Center, New York City. In addition to the Fellowship award, at the awards ceremony beginning at 5:30 p.m., the Section will bestow the 2009 Honorable George Bundy Smith Pioneer Award on Elaine R. Jones, former president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. The awards ceremony will be followed by a cocktail and networking reception.

Section Chair Peter Brown said, "We are pleased to have The New York Bar Foundation confer this year's Fellowship on Ms. Jackson and we are confident she will have a meaningful experience working for Justice Bransten. The Commercial and Federal Litigation Section established this Fellowship with The Foundation to help create student awareness of commercial litigation and foster greater diversity among commercial and federal litigators throughout the State of New York."

Founded in 1988, the more than 2,600 member Commercial and Federal Litigation Section of the New York State Bar Association strives to improve the quality of representation of commercial clients in litigation matters, provides a forum for the improvement of law and procedure in the areas of commercial and federal litigation, and enhances the administration of justice. The Section is committed to serving the professional development goals of attorneys of color and to fostering diversity in the profession. For more information about the Section, go to

According to Horan, during 2008, The Foundation distributed more than $500,000 to fund programs that facilitate the delivery of legal services to those in need, promote improvements in the justice system and law and related supportive services, enhance professional competence and ethics, and increase public understanding of the law and legal system. The work of The Foundation is made possible through the contributions of lawyers, law firms, corporations and others.

For more information about The New York Bar Foundation, contact Rosanne M. Van Heertum, director of development, The New York Bar Foundation, One Elk Street, Albany NY 12207 or go to to make an online donation.