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.
Stewart-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.