Mark Herzog’s “legal career touched thousands of lives in the District of Columbia, from low or no-income residents to legal services colleagues and volunteers,” said Paul Lee, one of the founders of the Mark Herzog Public Interest Scholarship. For twenty years Mark served as the associate director at the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center. In 2017, he joined Sidley Austin LLP, as pro bono counsel. He served there until he died in November of 2021. Throughout his storied career, Herzog was selected for numerous leadership positions, including as a commissioner with both the D.C. Access to Justice Commission and the D.C. Commission on Human Rights.
UDC Law has launched the Mark Herzog Public Interest Scholarship beginning in the 2022-2023 academic year. The scholarship has been established by a collective of his family, friends and colleagues, including his husband Chris Costa, to honor Herzog’s legacy by supporting and providing mentorship to a law student who has demonstrated a deep commitment to uplifting and serving the most vulnerable residents of the District of Columbia through civil legal services.
Herzog’s sister Dr. Leslie Herzog said, “My brother Mark was committed to civil liberties, social justice and equality from an early age and dedicated his career to helping others. His mission was to be of service to his community, especially to those less fortunate. Mark was known as a champion in the pro bono community. This scholarship named in his honor will continue my brother’s dream and lifelong ambition ‘for the need of legal aid to become obsolete.’”
UDC Law students who are committed to practicing public interest law in the District of Columbia, have completed at least two-thirds of their legal education and demonstrate a high level of academic success and financial need are eligible for the scholarship. A scholarship committee comprised of Herzog’s colleagues, family and friends as well as UDC Law representatives will review applications and conduct interviews before recommending a recipient to the Dean, who will make the final decision on the award.
Recipients of the Herzog Scholarship will receive a significant financial award as well as individualized mentorship to support their career development. Recipients and members of the D.C. public interest community will play an active role in developing the mentorship program to ensure the guidance meets the needs of both the student and the community served.
Applications for the Mark Herzog Public Interest Scholarship will open in the fall, and the first recipient will receive a $10,000 for the 2022-2023 academic year and access to the mentorship program.