Argentine Women's Rights Lawyer Sofía Minieri Awarded Inaugural Baker & McKenzie Scholarship

Minieri, an Attorney at Asociación por los Derechos Civiles (ADC) in Buenos Aires, Begins her LL.M. Degree This Month

New York, September 15, 2015—Sofía Minieri, an Argentine lawyer who has dedicated her career so far to advancing the rights of women in her country, has been named the inaugural recipient of the Baker & McKenzie Scholarship at Columbia Law School.

Minieri, who chose Columbia Law School for its leading human rights and gender and sexuality law programs, begins her LL.M. studies this month. The scholarship, established in June by Baker & McKenzie, awards $50,000 to an LL.M. student who demonstrates academic success and a need for significant financial aid.
Sofía Minieri, an attorney at Asociación por los Derechos Civiles (ADC) in Buenos Aires, was awarded the inaugural Baker & McKenzie Scholarship.
Priority is given to international students from outside of the United States and Western Europe, in line with efforts the Law School has made to welcome students from emerging countries.
“I want to continue playing a leading role in promoting women’s rights and gender equality in Argentina and in South America,” Minieri said. “No other law school offers such a cutting-edge curriculum focused on both human rights and gender and sexuality law. The Baker & McKenzie Foundation and my studies at Columbia Law School will make it possible for me to strengthen my capacities for using the law as a tool for advancing the efforts of women with and without disabilities to assert their personal autonomy and fully exercise their rights.”
"We are delighted that Sofía is the first beneficiary of the Baker & McKenzie Scholarship Fund,” said Claudia Prado, chair of Baker & McKenzie in Latin America and of the Firm's Global Diversity & Inclusion Committee. “Her academic and professional experiences make her an ideal candidate."
"In partnering with Columbia Law School to create this first-of-its-kind scholarship we wanted to address a specific issue. Outside the U.S. and Western Europe, there is traditionally less formal financial support and fewer scholarships available to help bright, ambitious law students reach their full potential. We wanted to both highlight this issue and make a contribution to change, so we are excited to enable Sofía and future beneficiaries the opportunity to succeed at one of the world's best law schools.”
Gillian Lester, Dean and the Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, applauded Baker & McKenzie’s commitment to international students.
“The contributions of outstanding international students and global professionals like Sofía enrich the Columbia Law School community,” Dean Lester said. “We are grateful for Baker & McKenzie’s support of her, and of future students, as we aim to equip leaders to solve the world’s most important problems.”
Minieri, an attorney at Asociación por los Derechos Civiles (ADC) in Buenos Aires, has directed her advocacy since 2012 toward encouraging cooperation between the feminist and disability rights movements in Argentina in an effort to challenge discriminatory practices against women with disabilities. At ADC, she coordinates the Inclusive Education Project, which works to advance education for people with disabilities.
Minieri also has advised members of Argentina’s National Congress on gender and disability issues. At Columbia Law School, she plans to participate in the Human Rights Institute’s Human Rights Clinic, led by Professor Sarah Knuckey, and to work with faculty at the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, led by Professor Suzanne B. Goldberg and Katherine Franke.
Baker & McKenzie Scholarship recipients must also receive scholarship funds from Columbia Law School. Minieri was awarded the 2015-2016 Human Rights LL.M. Fellowship, which supports students who show exceptional commitment and potential to use their education to become innovators and leaders in human rights practice or academia. The fellowship is jointly coordinated by the Law School’s Human Rights Institute and the Office of Graduate Legal Studies.
“Sofía is a dedicated and passionate attorney, and we are thrilled she chose Columbia Law School to further her study of the law,” said Sylvia T. Polo, Dean of Graduate Legal Studies.  “Students like Sofía raise the bar, bringing tremendous energy, experience, and intelligence to our community of talented attorneys from around the world.”