2020 NLG Leonard Weinglass Fellowship Recipient: Zsea Bowmani

The National Lawyers Guild Foundation and NLG National Office are thrilled to announced the recipient of the 2020 Leonard I. Weinglass Memorial Fellowship, Zsea Bowmani from the NLG San Francisco/Bay Area Chapter!

The Weinglass Fellowship is awarded annually to a NLG member and recent law school graduate to spend 10 weeks working on a project in line with the mission of the NLG. As a Weinglass Fellow, Zsea will be developing an environmental justice legal defense and action plan with the NLG San Francisco/Bay Area Chapter and the community group Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice.

Zsea is a civil rights attorney and legal scholar with a focus on race, gender, human rights, environmental justice. He received his B.A. in History from Stanford University and his J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law with certificates in Public Interest and Social Justice Law and Public International Law. While at Santa Clara Law, Zsea was very active in street law programs and progressive lawyering, serving as Co-Vice President of the school’s NLG chapter, teaching underserved students through the Marshall Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project, and hosting a multi-day symposium on environmental law and human rights as Senior Symposium Editor of the Journal of International Law. After graduation, Zsea worked as a Policy Fellow at the National LGBTQ Task Force in Washington DC on campaigns to stop anti-transgender legislation and expand access to health care. The following year he fought against the policing, criminalization, and discrimination of transgender people at the ACLU of Illinois. Zsea’s most recent research, sponsored in part by a Hackworth Grant from the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, explores the distinct approaches of the US and Cuba towards the climate crisis and the impact the decades-old embargo has had on progress and meaningful change. 

Zsea has been honored with multiple awards for his activism, including the Charles Houston Bar Association Scholarship, Asian Pacific American Bar Association-Silicon Valley and Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom Scholarship, and Pro Bono Recognition Award for over 50 hours of community service each year. He is also an award-winning scholar and has published in the Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law and the Seattle Journal for Social Justice. Zsea currently serves on the Board of the National Trans Bar Association and is a member of the Environmental Justice and Common Good Initiative at Santa Clara University.

Please join us in congratulating Zsea!

Thanks to a generous bequest from the Weinglass estate, the NLG Foundation has established a fellowship for recent law graduates to work for the NLG on a specific civil rights or civil liberties project. Previous fellows have developed projects to assist with parole and sponsorship for LGBTQ+ migrants, reunite American citizen-children with undocumented parents who have been deported to their country of origin, support community bond funds, and fight a new maximum security prison planned for construction on a former coal mining site.

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