“Lawyers have a unique responsibility as part of this profession to give something back. We are the leaders. We are very privileged. I think we need to give some of that back by way of help; monetary and actual help and assistance to people who are less fortunate. "
- Frederick B. Abramson
The Abramson Scholarship Foundation was founded in honor of Frederick B. Abramson, a distinguished member of the Washington legal community with a deep commitment to giving back to his community. Fred grew up in Harlem and graduated from Yale University and the University of Chicago Law School. He had a rich and varied legal career, which included serving as President of the District of Columbia Bar.
In many of the academic and professional settings in which Fred found himself, he was a trailblazer; there were few or no African-American male role models. After Fred’s untimely death in 1991, friends and colleagues sought to honor his memory through the creation of a scholarship program, formerly known as the Frederick B. Abramson Memorial Foundation. The goal was to weave together many themes of Fred’s life — respect for higher education, promotion of mentoring to help young people achieve their goals, and encouragement to engage in community service.
In its original conception, the Foundation provided financial and mentoring support to graduates of D.C. public high schools during their first year of college. It also funded one-year Fellowships, which provided financial stipends to supplement the salaries of recent law school graduates who worked in legal fields that provided service to our community. Following the economic downturn in 2008-2009, the Foundation revamped its mission to focus its resources on providing financial support and mentoring to college students throughout their college years.