The Foundation at Work

The Foundation of the Federal Bar Association supports the following programs and initiatives.


The Robert A. McNew Law Student Scholarship - promotes the practice of federal law by awarding a scholarship to a law student attending an ABA accredited law school. The scholarship is awarded to a current law student who is a Federal Bar Association law student associate member in good standing. Applicants must exhibit professionalism and high character in their personal and professional lives as demonstrated in application materials. An award will be based on student participation in the FBA, law school, community activities, and academic achievement.

Foundation of the FBA Public Service Scholarship – The Foundation provides a scholarship to a graduating high school senior planning to attend a four-year college or university. At least one of the parents (or guardians) of the student must be a current federal government attorney or federal judge and a member of the FBA. The scholarship is $5,000 and can be used for tuition, books, fees, or housing.

Community Outreach

Chapter Community Outreach Grants – The Foundation provides funding to support community service or outreach projects that involve FBA chapter participation. Projects must address the need for legal services in the community or fall under any component of the Foundation’s mission. Each grant can be up to $5,000, with a total of up to $30,000 in grant monies awarded in any given year.
National Community Outreach Project -  2016 marked the inaugural year of this program. The Foundation provided grants to support civics-focused programs geared toward middle and high school students, with educational topics such as "Law Day", "The Bench in your Backyard", and "Schoolhouse to Courthouse". The Foundation continues to make an impact at the local level through these programs. 

Diversity Grant - This grant program, new for 2017, supports educational, community service, or outreach projects or programs with a diversity focus. FBA Chapters, Sections, Divisions and Members are encouraged to participate. This grant was designed to address an ongoing need within local communities. 

Minnesota Chapter Donor Advised Fund – This donor advised fund was established by the FBA’s Minnesota Chapter. While distributions from the fund are made at the Foundation’s discretion, the Minnesota Chapter may submit advice or recommendations with respect to distributing monies from the fund to programs in its state.

Research and Education

Judicial Research and Education – From time to time, the Foundation provides support for the conduct of research, programs, and education relating to the federal courts and federal jurisprudence. This program provides funding and other support for analytical research and educational programs and activities on a broad range of subject matters, including the history and role of the federal court system and the judiciary, the structure and operation of the courts, the independence of the judiciary, federal jurisprudence, and the relevance of the rule of law to society.

Moot Court Competition – The Foundation provides financial support to the Thurgood Marshall Memorial Moot Court Competition, sponsored by the Federal Bar Association’s Younger Lawyers Division.

Awards and Recognition

The Foundation funds the following FBA awards and recognition, through generous donations given specifically for these purposes:

Elaine R. “Boots” Fisher Award –This award is intended to stimulate, encourage, and recognize exemplary community, public and charitable service by members of the FBA. The Foundation makes an annual charitable contribution of $1,000 to an organization for which an FBA member has performed outstanding public service.

Ilene and Michael Shaw Public Service Award– This award is designed to assist and encourage FBA chapters in providing service to their communities. The Foundation provides $5,000 in needed funds to continue worthwhile efforts and/or provides seed money to plan and implement public service programs.

Ilene and Michael Shaw Younger Lawyer Public Service Grant – This $5,000 grant enables FBA chapters to provide service to the public through the development and implementation of public service projects and pro-bono law-related services. In order to encourage an increased and continued commitment to public service responsibility by young lawyers, these projects must be administered under the auspices of a chapter Younger Lawyers Committee.

The Foundation of the Federal Bar Association gratefully acknowledges Ilene Shaw for her continued support of these FBA awards and recognition opportunities.