Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Maryland

Summer Scholars Pipeline Program

A Pipeline of Future Leaders



The Summer Scholars Pipeline Program is a concerted effort by the Bar Association of Montgomery County, Maryland to encourage the hiring of diverse attorneys in the County.  The Program partners with specialty bar associations like APABA-MD to identify and select talented second-year law students from the area for summer internships with participating Montgomery County law firms.  Internships commence on or about June 1st and run through August 15th, approximately.  Each student will be paid a stipend of at least $8,000 for the summer internship.  Firms that participate in the Program include Shulman Rogers, Lerch Early, Whiteford Taylor, the Law Offices of Jezic & Moyse, LLC, and Stein Sperling.  Law schools that have participated include University of Maryland, George Washington University, and American University. 


Summer Scholar Success Story: Ashima Talwar

"Thank you to APABA-MD for opening the door to a gratifying summer experience! Through the Summer Scholars Pipeline Project, I was lucky to be matched with Stein Sperling's commercial litigation group. Under the able mentorship of Jeff Schwaber, I have gained solid skills to carry into my own practice and invaluable insight into the legal community in Montgomery County. I am delighted to share that the program works --  I will be joining Stein Sperling as an associate after graduating from law school!"

Ashima was born-and-bred in Montgomery County.  She attended New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study for her undergraduate degree and is third-year student at the George Washington University Law School. Ashima worked for then-Congressman Chris Van Hollen for three years after college and served as a judicial intern for Hon. Robert Okun in the D.C. Superior Court. Ashima is the Senior Projects Editor on the Journal of Environmental and Energy Law and is a teaching assistant for the 1L Legal Research and Writing and Introduction to Advocacy classes this year. 

Summer Scholar Success Story: Nida Kanwal

“My experience at Lerch Early & Brewer, Chtd. through the Summer Scholars Pipeline Program was incredible! The Program connected minority law students to attorneys and judges in Montgomery County, Maryland. Firms involved in the program truly value enriching our legal community by bringing diversity into their firms. Lerch Early was invested in my success and future. Bill Goldberg, who oversees the Summer Associate Program at Lerch Early, did an excellent job of mentoring and guiding me throughout the process. The experience prepared me for what to expect as a young attorney and I look forward to joining the ranks of Montgomery County practitioners!”

Nida Kanwal was a Summer Associate at Lerch, Early & Brewer, Chtd. in 2014. Nida received her undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland, College Park where she earned a B.A. with Honors in Government & Politics, Minor in Middle Eastern Studies and Pre-Law. Nida recently graduated summa cum laude from the University of Baltimore School of Law. During her time in law school, Nida was a Staff Editor for the University of Baltimore Law Review, a Teaching Assistant for Introduction to Legal Skills and Introduction to Advocacy, a Student Mentor for the Center for Families, Children and the Courts, Truancy Court Program, a winner of the Pro Bono Challenge, Platinum Certificate, an inductee of the Heuisler Honor Society and Omicron Delta Kappa, and a recipient of various scholarship awards. In addition to clerking at Lerch, Early & Brewer, Chtd., Nida was a Summer Associate and Law Clerk at other prestigious law firms. She was also a Judicial Intern to Judge Lynne A. Battaglia on the Court of Appeals of Maryland. Nida is currently a Judicial Clerk to Judge Clayton Greene, Jr. on Maryland’s highest court, the Court of Appeals of Maryland. 

Get in touch

If you would like more information about how to get involved in Summer Scholars Pipeline Program, please contact

kim ulan (


Law Firms Interview Law Students

On Saturday, November 11, 2017, law school candidates interviewed with various local firms at the Circuit Court for Montgomery County.  Judge Day and Judge Burrell spoke to the law school candidates about maintaining integrity and professionalism in the practice of law.  APABA-MD congratulates these students for their accomplishments and commends the firms for fulfilling their commitment to diversifying their hires.  


The Program connected minority law students to attorneys and judges in Montgomery County, Maryland. Firms involved in the program truly value enriching our legal community by bringing diversity into their firms.
— Nida Kanwal


Summer Scholar Success Story: Kyle Y. Dechant

"My summer experience at Whiteford, Taylor & Preston as a Summer Scholar was one of the most valuable experiences of my legal education.  At Whiteford Taylor, I had the opportunity to explore a variety of practice areas that I was interested in.  I was also introduced to new ones—which previously hadn’t been on my radar, but are now part of my future career plans.  My summer mentors, Ari Ghosal and Michelle LaRue, provided excellent support to ensure I had a successful and rewarding summer experience.  I also learned that the Summer Scholars Pipeline Program is so much more than simply an entry point to a summer job.  Support from APABA-MD, occasions to meet attorneys and Scholars at other firms, and opportunities to learn from and speak with judges at their chambers or over a breakfast meal—all taught me valuable lessons that can’t be learned from a class or legal assignment."


Summer Scholar Success Story: Priyanka Cohen

"My summer law clerk experience at Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A. through the Summer Scholars Pipeline Program was invaluable. Without this program, I would not have connected with students from other law schools or lawyers and judges in Montgomery County. I have found lifelong mentors and have had the opportunity to work in a community where I hope to develop my legal career. Attorneys at Shulman Rogers continue to provide ongoing support and guidance in navigating through the Montgomery County legal community as a minority. My experience at Shulman Rogers has prepared me to manage the challenges of being a young lawyer. I am thrilled to enter the Montgomery County legal community in the near future because Summer Scholars Pipeline Program opened a door that would not have opened otherwise.” 

Priyanka Cohen received my undergraduate degree in English literature from Boston University. She joined Teach for America after completing her undergraduate education. In law school, Priyanka is involved in many extracurricular activities. She is a member of the Moot Court Honor Society, a Dean’s Fellow for the Legal Rhetoric Department, and the Senior Note & Comment Editor of Administrative Law Review. Outside of law school, Priyanka  trains for marathons and is attempting to finish a stack of novels on her bookshelf.