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

February 13, 2009


Public service organizations to receive assistance in matters relating to matrimonial law

ALBANY - The New York Bar Foundation has received a gift of $30,000 to establish The Joan L. Ellenbogen Memorial Fellowship. The fellowship will be available to third-year law students or newly graduated lawyers. Valued at $5,000 each, three fellowships are scheduled to take place each year during fall semesters 2009 and 2010. Public service or other nonprofit organizations with the need for a fellow to assist with matters relating to matrimonial law are eligible to apply. The goal of the fellowship is to encourage lawyers and students to consider the practice of matrimonial law so that individuals will have access to representation and a greater understanding of their rights in matters relating to matrimonial and family law in the State of New York.

The fellowship was established with a gift from Marcia C. Goldstein, New York, in memory of her former law firm partner. Each fellowship will be funded through a grant award to a qualifying organization that must submit a grant application to The New York Bar Foundation. The application deadline for the 2009 fellowships is April 1, 2009; the application deadline for the 2010 fellowships is October 15, 2009. The grantee organization will select the law student or newly graduated lawyer for the fellowship. A grant application is accessible at

John R. Horan, president of The Foundation said, "It is with great pleasure that we accept this generous gift to establish The Joan L. Ellenbogen Memorial Fellowship. The demand for lawyers who practice in the area of matrimonial law continues to increase as the changing nature of today's relationships becomes much more complex."

Along with Marcia C. Goldstein, Joan L. Ellenbogen founded the law firm of Ellenbogen & Goldstein, P.C., New York, in 1979 where she practiced matrimonial and family law until her death in 2001. In 1980, she was the founding president of the Women's Bar Association of the State of New York, a state-wide organization dedicated to the advancement of women in society and in the legal profession. She was the first woman chair of the executive committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. Additionally, Ellenbogen was a member of the First Department Disciplinary Committee and served on the Board of Trustees of the Legal Aid Society. She served on the executive committee of the Family Law Section of the New York State Bar Association, and in 2001, was the recipient of the Association's prestigious Ruth G. Schapiro Award. A graduate of New York University School of Law, Ellenbogen was admitted to the New York Bar in 1965.

Ellenbogen's many other professional activities included serving as president of the Alumni Association of New York University School of Law; being one of the organizers of the Judges and Lawyers Breast Cancer Alert; serving as a member of the Joint Committee on Judicial Administration established by Governor Mario Cuomo and former Chief Judge Sol Wachtler; and serving as a commissioner on the Commission on Judicial Nominations to the Court of Appeals. She was a fellow of the Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, New York Chapter, a Diplomate in the American College of Family Trial Lawyers, and a frequent lecturer to the bench and bar on matrimonial law. Ellenbogen received many awards and tributes during her distinguished professional career. She lost her battle with pancreatic cancer in 2001 at the age of 59.

According to Horan, The Foundation is dedicated to aiding charitable and educational projects to meet the law-related needs of the public and the legal profession. It provides financial support in the form of grant awards to assist in facilitating the delivery of legal services to those in need; promoting improvements in the justice system and law; enhancing professional competence and ethics; and increasing public understanding of the law and legal system. The Foundation's grant making program is made possible through generous contributions from lawyers, law firms, corporations and others.

Go to for complete fellowship eligibility details or for more information, contact The New York Bar Foundation, One Elk Street, Albany NY 12207, 518/487-5651 or