David Benowitz Recognizing Public Servants Scholarship

Washington, DC defense attorney David Benowitz firmly believes in the importance of public service, having started his legal career as a Staff Attorney at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS). He was with PDS for six years before moving into private practice and co-founding his own firm.

Although he now works in private criminal defense, David has a profound appreciation for his experiences while working for PDS. Through his work as a public defender, David gained an admiration for those who choose public service, particularly their tireless work ethic and passion. David has consistently tried to adhere to those values in his work and life.

Public defenders are often the first line of defense for a person charged with a crime. They work diligently to make sure their client’s constitutional rights and privileges are protected. Regardless of the type of work they do, public servants dedicate their time to ensuring that people in this country can live freely and safely.

Unfortunately, public service is not always the most popular route for many young professionals. Often, public servants are tasked with grueling and demanding work, with relatively small rewards in comparison to working for private corporation.

Due to David’s passion for public service and his desire to encourage those considering entering this arena, we are honored to present the David Benowitz Recognizing Public Servants Scholarship. The scholarship will award $500 to the student that best expresses their thoughts with insight and creativity on the importance of public servants and their work.

Eligibility & Selection Criteria:

  • This scholarship is offered to any student currently enrolled in an accredited community college, undergraduate, or graduate program in the United States. This includes incoming first-year college students who are high school graduates or possess a GED.
  • The scholarship candidate must possess an interest in public service, as demonstrated by past and present volunteer, professional, and educational experiences.
  • All eligible candidates must be in good academic standing, with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above.

Application Requirements:

  • An updated résumé and completed cover sheet.
  • A 750-word essay discussing the following: Discuss the importance of public servants and public service in our society. Why are public servants, and especially public defenders, important in our legal system? A current unofficial transcript from the applicant’s school (NOTE: First-year college students must submit an unofficial transcript from their most recent school, as well as an unofficial transcript from their current post-secondary institution.)

Application Deadline & Instructions

In order to be eligible, scholarship applicants must submit their FULL application (personal statement, cover sheet, transcript(s), and résumé) by email to scholarships@criminallawdc.com. The official deadline for all application materials is May 31, 2017.


Subject Line: Name of the Applicant — Name of the Scholarship

Attachments: Personal Statement, Transcript, Cover Sheet and Resume