Mary Stewart-Holmes 2L Wins Equal Justice Works’ Public Interest Award

Mary Stewart-Holmes 2L has won the 2018 Regional Public Interest Award from Equal Justice Works. As the Mid-Atlantic Region winner, she was among eight law students honored for providing extraordinary service, including through clinics, volunteer work, internships, and extracurricular projects.

NYLS student winner of the Equal Justice Works’ Public Interest AwardStewart-Holmes has a strong passion for helping others. She is the Founder and CEO of Blue Wing and a Prayer, Inc., an organization dedicated to building self-esteem among young women in underprivileged communities, and the Co-Founder of Triumph Community Outreach, Inc., a non-profit that has provided clothing and fresh food to 300-plus homeless and impoverished families. In addition, she has helped to award 14 college scholarships ranging from $250 to $500 each as part of the Rosemary Cartwright Foundation and the Stacy King Memorial Scholarship election committees.

“It’s an honor to be recognized for the pro bono services I have offered in disadvantaged communities and underserved individuals prior to and throughout my law school journey,” says Stewart-Holmes. “When embarking on a new project, the goal is not recognition; you simply get into the trenches and do the work. However, after you’ve poured out, self-care is important, and part of that self-care is acknowledging your accomplishments and allowing others to appreciate the work you’ve done as well.”

Stewart-Holmes came to NYLS with the goal of representing the underserved—specifically those unable to afford representation— as a defense attorney. Throughout her 1L and 2L years, she developed practical experience through NYLS’s chapter of the Courtroom Advocates Project and the Post-Conviction Innocence Clinic. She also participated in NYLS’s study abroad program in London, where she developed an unexpected interest in International Law.

As a 3L, she plans to study International Human Rights Law in addition to teaching local high school students about the role of government through NYLS’s Street Law simulation course.

“Each year I explore new ways of impacting society through the legal profession, which furthers my long-term goal in pursuing a public interest law career,” she says.

Stewart-Holmes is currently a summer intern at Starr International Company, Inc.