The District of Columbia School of Law Foundation has announced the Simi Cares Scholarship and #SimiCares Annual Day of Service in honor of alumni Simi Abrol, ’16. Abrol died suddenly in 2018, less than two years after finishing her legal education at UDC Law. She had an unwavering dedication to helping the most vulnerable members of the D.C. community, and both the scholarship and day of service will continue her legacy.
The Simi Cares Scholarship, with a total endowment of $200,000 funded in part by Abrol’s cousin Roy Kapani, will be awarded each year to the law student who proposes the most impactful service project. The recipient will then work with law school administration and the UDC Law community to coordinate the #SimiCares Annual Day of Service to engage first year law students in an act of service that will benefit the DC community.
Anthony Ervin, Associate Dean of Admissions, said, “The creation of the Simi Cares Scholarship embodies the fundamental and authentic piece of UDC Law’s mission to change lives. During a time when financing legal education is becoming a real concern, this $6,000.00 a year scholarship affords students the opportunity to still make their dreams an affordable reality to cultivate their passion for public interest law and redefine their purpose for practicing law. More importantly, this scholarship will provide the UDC Law Admission and Financial Aid team additional resources to intentionally identify a pool of prospective students with a similar passion and deeper purpose to continue UDC Law’s and Ms. Simi Abrol’s legacy of learning and service to the community.”
In 2015, Abrol was a recipient of the Olender Foundation Award for her work in the General Practice Clinic where she successfully advocated for reinstatement of unemployment benefits for one of her clients. “Simi was a shining light in the General Practice Clinic,” said then-Associate Dean Matt Fraidin.
Abrol had been training to become an immigration attorney at the time she died.
Simi was a champion of social justice, had a vivacious and delightful personality and was inspirational in the energy she brought to everything she did. Perhaps she knew she had to pack it all in a short span of time. That urgency is succinctly captured in the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “You cannot do kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late.” So, in her short life, she touched so many by living by this motto:
Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.
– John Wesley
In a word, to borrow from Mahatma Gandhi, Simi’s life was her message. We cherish her message and pay tribute with this scholarship and annual day of service.Suman and Varinder Abrol, Simi’s parents