The National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms (NAMWOLF) awarded 2L Nija Bastfield with the 2020 Pipeline Diversity Scholarship for the 2020-2021 school year. The award is one of two $10,000 scholarships given to students who “contribute to the diversity of the law school student body as they pursue their legal career,” according to official guidelines from NAMWOLF.
The organization awards the Pipeline Diversity Scholarship to second- and third-year law students enrolled at an HBCU who exemplify efforts to diversify legal education as students and plan to continue such efforts into their legal career. Bastfield said the NAMWOLF scholarship will not only help her financially but has allowed her to become part of a diverse community of professionals in her field.
Bastfield is pursuing a legal career dedicated to addressing injustice and providing opportunity. Her career goals include securing a federal clerkship and becoming a federal prosecutor, and she hopes to stay committed to advancing diversity in the profession through several mentoring and assistance projects. Bastfield wants to remain connected to UDC Law after graduation through mentorship and establishing a scholarship program to offset some expenses for minority women in the evening program. She also plans to contribute to legal education more broadly by participating in Continuing Legal Education (CLE) events and launching a nonprofit with other minority women in the legal profession to ensure evening law students have access to mentorship opportunities.
In addition, Bastfield will provide pro bono legal services in at-risk neighborhoods in Baltimore City, where she has worked as Head Law Clerk in the Office of the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City for the past five years. She has been active in the Baltimore City community since 2014 with an emphasis on helping residents prepare resumes and job documents through her resume and grantwriting business All Things Paper.
As a student, Bastfield is a Writing Mentor for the UDC Writing Hub, a Student Bar Association Student Senator, Themis Student Representative and member of the National Black Prosecutors Association and UDC’s Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity. She graduated from University of Baltimore in 2018 with a master’s in Public Administration and in 2012 with a master’s in Legal and Ethical Studies. She received her Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies in 2008 from Stevenson University. Professionally, in addition to her current position with the Office of the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City, Bastfield has worked as a Legal Intern with the Maryland Office of the Public Defender, a Management Assistant with the Federal Aviation Administration, a Law Clerk with the Law Office of Barry R. Glazer, P.C.