White & Case Award in Law and Social Entrepreneurship

The Grunin Center annually awards the White & Case Award in Law and Social Entrepreneurship to a graduating JD student and LLM student who exhibit academic excellence and demonstrate commitment to the field of law and social entrepreneurship.

The White & Case Award in Law and Social Entrepreneurship is made possible thanks to the generous support of the White & Case Social Entrepreneurship Fund.

2021 Award Recipient

Hannah Yang, JD '21

Hannah Yang Headshot

Hannah is honored to be the JD recipient of the 2021 White & Case Award in Law and Social Entrepreneurship. As an undergraduate, she developed an interest in sustainability and environmental science. After graduating from Princeton University in 2017, she worked as a paralegal at Simpson Thacher. There, she became intrigued by the interconnections between business and law.

She continued to explore this interest throughout her time at NYU. Each year, Hannah has enjoyed working closely with local small-business owners, providing legal support to grow their businesses through a collaboration with Rising Tide Capital, the Social Enterprise & Startup Law Group, and Lowenstein Sandler. As a Tepper Fellow in the Grunin Center, she co-authored the annual reports on the State of Social Enterprise and the Law in her 2L and 3L years. This research ignited her passion in the exciting field of social entrepreneurship, which combined her interests in business, innovation, and sustainability. In her final year, she published a post proposing a voluntary system of extended producer responsibility to address ocean plastics through the Environmental Law Review Syndicate.

After graduation, she looks forward to returning to Morrison & Foerster, where she worked during her 2L summer, and hopes to continue practicing in the field of social entrepreneurship.
 

2020 Award Recipients

Elizabeth Damaskos, JD '20

Portrait of Elizabeth Damaskos

Elizabeth is thrilled to be the JD recipient of the 2020 White and Case Award in Law and Social Entrepreneurship. Following her graduation from Wesleyan University in 2012, she worked as a corporate paralegal at Paul Weiss. It was during that time that she developed an interest in impact investing and social entrepreneurship, areas where she believes an exciting fusion of needs, skills and creativity can be harnessed to unlock potential and increase equity. This passion was further ignited during roundtable discussions around sustainability, socially responsible investing, and corporate governance led by NYU alumna Keren Raz ’10. Ever since, Elizabeth has endeavored to work at the nexus between law and business to create positive social and environmental change.

Once at NYU, she aided low-income entrepreneurs to bring their businesses to fruition through a  partnership between Rising Tide Capital, the Social Entrepreneurship and Start-up Law Group (SE-SL), and Lowenstein Sandler. During her 1L and 2L years, Elizabeth collaborated with a committee of NYU Stern Business School and Wagner School of Public Service students to produce the Social Innovation Symposium in order to further harness the drive of the NYU community to promote social innovation. As an active member of SE-SL and executive board member in her 2L and 3L years, she fostered growth and community at NYU through moderating panels, developing communications tools for the group and encouraging inter-scholastic exchange. During her 3L year, Elizabeth was delighted to be a clinician of the International Transactions Clinic, which she was able to use as a capstone experience to learn and practice legal skills in service of international mission-based organizations.

Elizabeth was an SEO Fellow at Simpson Thatcher in the summer prior to her start at NYU. She spent her 1L Summer at Orrick in New York, where she assisted in several projects with the Impact Finance and Investment practice, including a presentation in conjunction with the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest on Social Enterprise Formation, and she spent her 2L summer at Debevoise and Plimpton. Elizabeth will be returning to Orrick following graduation, and she hopes to continue practicing at the intersection of social entrepreneurship, impact investing and law.


Julia Kaplan, LLM '20

Portrait of Julia Kaplan

Julia Kaplan is the LLM recipient of the 2020 White & Case Award. Prior to her LLM, Julia worked as a corporate attorney at one of the most prominent business law firms in South Africa. There she gained experience in mergers and acquisitions (both local and cross border), capital markets and debt and equity funding transactions. A highlight of her career thus far was advising South Africa's leading cellular network provider in a listing on the Black Economic Empowerment Segment of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. The Black Economic Empowerment Segment caters for companies that have implemented empowerment share schemes, giving previously disadvantaged South Africans the opportunity to own a stake in a company and participate in its growth.

Julia has a strong interest in exploring the positive impact that business activities and transactions can potentially have on the broader community. The International Transactions Clinic at NYU gave Julia the opportunity to further develop and channel her legal skills in this direction. Through the clinic, she was able to assist clients operating in emerging markets – clients with a common intent of addressing pressing societal issues and challenges through innovative business models, products and services. Julia would ultimately like to have a career within this framework, representing clients that understand broad societal need and appreciate that their relationship with all of their stakeholders is a key determinant of corporate value.

Julia is a member of the South African bar. She plans to sit for the New York bar in September.

 

2019 Award Recipients

Eliza Chute, JD/MBA '19

Portrait photo of Eliza Chute

After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010, Eliza moved to Prey Veng, Cambodia where she conducted a research project on rural women’s health and sanitation.  She then moved to Thailand to work for the EarthRights School Myanmar.  It was this experience that first sparked her interest in business as a tool for social change.  She built upon that interest by training social entrepreneurs in Cambodia. She received her JD/MBA from NYU. During school she was involved in the Social Enterprise and Start-up Law Group, the Sustainability and Social Impact Association and wrote her substantial writing paper on economic incentives for impact as a form of mission lock in private equity deals. She spent her 1L summer at Comar law, creating model investment terms for impact investments.  She spent both her 2L and 3L summers at Goodwin Procter in San Francisco and will return there as a full time associate in the fall.


Theodore Manggala Amarendra, LLM '19

Portrait photo of Theodore Amarendra

Theodore Amarendra (Theo) is the LLM recipient of the White & Case Award. At NYU, he was significantly exposed to the world of impact investment and social entrepreneurship by his participation in the International Transactions Clinic. Through the clinic, Theo was able to further develop and channel his legal skills to assist a wide-range of clients operating in emerging markets of the world that share the common intent of addressing pressing societal issues through innovative business models.

Prior to his LLM, Theo worked as an Indonesian attorney in several prominent firms, representing various high-profiled clients, from multinational corporations to State-owned enterprises, in dispute resolution, corporate and M&A matters. In his spare time, he helped the founding of a non-profit that aims to create legal awareness and provide legal aid to Indonesian micro-small enterprises engaging in the creative economy field.

In his next stage of professional career, Theo will intern at the Office of General Counsel of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) as part of the International Finance & Development Post-Graduate Fellowship Program from NYU Law.

He is a member of the Indonesian bar and plans to sit for the New York bar.