Rafaqat Cheema, a student at Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University, has been selected as the 2015 recipient of the Judge Bernard S. Meyer Scholarship. Established in 2004, the scholarship is funded by Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, P.C. and administered by The New York Bar Foundation. The $5,000 scholarship is awarded annually to second year law students in New York State who excel in legal writing and advocacy. Previous winners of this scholarship have gone on to hold positions at law firms such as Cravath and Cadwalader, and as in-house counsel at organizations including Cancer Genetics, Inc. and NY Arc.
To be considered for the scholarship, applicants must submit an essay that demonstrates legal writing skills and advocacy. Cheema’s winning paper entitled, “Blue Blood: Protecting Police Officer Families from Domestic Violence,” addresses the under-researched and often under-reported issue known as Officer Involved Domestic Violence (OIDV). His paper discusses the need for state assistance and formal guidelines in assisting police agencies as well as police officers in dealing with and curtailing OIDV.
Cheema said, “I am honored to have been selected for this award.” He continued, “This scholarship will advance my education and help me pursue my legal career.”
Cheema will complete his J.D. from Hofstra Law School in 2016. This past summer he interned at two different law firms and worked on drafting motions and complaints as well as conducting intake of potential clients.
The scholarship selection committee, which judged the essay submissions in a blind reading, was comprised of Andrew J. Turro, Member of Meyer Suozzi and Chair of the firm’s Equine & Racing Law practice, Hon. Michael A. Ciaffa, former Nassau County District Court Judge, and Emily Franchina, Chair of the Fellows of the New York Bar Foundation and a Past President of the Nassau County Bar Association.
Judge Meyer was an Associate Judge of the New York Court of Appeals from 1979-1986 and practiced with Meyer Suozzi from 1987 through 2005. The Judge Bernard S. Meyer scholarship was established in his honor, to serve New York State’s legal profession.