The Grunin Center provides NYU Law students with a demonstrated interest in social entrepreneurship with several scholarship opportunities to help them pursue a career in social entrepreneurship.

Nordlicht Family Scholarship 

The Nordlicht Family Scholarship in the Grunin Center for Law and Social Entrepreneurship is part of NYU’s innovative initiative to support social entrepreneurship through legal studies. The Scholarship is awarded to J.D. students who intend to pursue a career in social entrepreneurship by following a curriculum which combines legal and business skills with the ultimate goal of creating innovative solutions to pressing social problems. The scholarship is limited to J.D. applicants with financial need as defined by the Law School. Nordlicht Family Scholars are fully integrated members of the Jacobson Leadership Program.

The Nordlicht Family Scholarship is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Nordlicht Family.

Impact Scholarship 

The Grunin Center for Law and Social Entrepreneurship annually awards one merit-based scholarship to a rising 3L law student or an incoming LL.M student with a demonstrated interest and/or achievement in creating innovative solutions in emerging markets, with a focus on the field of natural resources. This scholarship provides $10,000 in partial tuition support for the full-time J.D. or master’s degree programs.

Current Scholars

Nordlicht Scholar: Tanya Bansal JD'25

Nordlicht Scholar, JD '25

Tanya joins NYU Law after 4 years in the Middle East across strategy, policy, and government. 

Tanya was the first and the youngest person to be hired into the strategy team advising His Excellency the Director General of Economic Affairs at the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, the principal entity responsible for economic strategy, policymaking, and regulation in the UAE’s capital. In her role, she supported the design and implementation of various strategic projects to increase Abu Dhabi’s competitiveness, including drafting the proposal for the first ever regulatory framework for SPACs (special purpose acquisition vehicle) in the Arab world, launching a USD 1.3bn Abu Dhabi IPO Fund to support public listings on the local stock exchange, expanding development finance options available to small and medium enterprises, and designing a USD 2.7bn industrial strategy to double manufacturing GDP in Abu Dhabi by 2031. 

Prior, she spent three years as a management consultant with Monitor Deloitte’s Government and Public Services practice, where she advised government clients in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on multi-million-dollar economic development programs to increase economic diversification away from oil and improve the quality of life for citizens and workers. The most rewarding moment in her career was when three female athletes she had interviewed to design a USD 60mn Paralympic sports strategy, represented Saudi at the Tokyo 2020 Games.

A proud “senior member of the mission”, Tanya graduated from NYU Abu Dhabi, where she was the recipient of a full merit-based scholarship and graduated with honors in Economics and Finance. Tanya is thrilled to start NYU Law with her identical twin, Megha, during fall 2023. She is also honored to be a Jacobson Leadership Program in Law and Business Scholar, and looks forward to exploring how the right legal frameworks, policy and business incentives can accelerate inclusive economic development. 

Impact Scholar: Odunugaoluwa (Tumi) Odunuga LLM ’24

Impact Scholar 2023

Prior to commencing his LL.M at NYU, Oluwatumininu attended Osun State University, Nigeria, where he obtained his Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) degree in 2016, and graduated as the third best law student. During his time at Osun State University, Oluwatumininu offered Energy and Environmental Law and explored various topical issues, including the environmental rights of oil-producing communities, Nigeria’s reliance on fossil fuels and the means of tackling climatechange.

Following his degree completion, Oluwatumininu proceeded to the Nigerian Law School in 2017, where he graduated with First Class honors in 2017 in the top 0.1% of his class and received the Director General’s Prize for First Class Students. Upon graduating from the Nigerian Law School, he joined the Oil & Gas team of Olaniwun Ajayi LP – Nigeria’s foremost and largest commercial law firm, where he advised both local and international clients on several landmark transactions across the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors of the Nigerian oil and gas industry. He has also continued to garner experience advising on renewable energy transactions in Nigeria.

Former Nordlicht and Impact Scholars

Nordlicht Scholar: Kevin Kuate Fodouop JD'23

Nordlich Scholar

Originally from Paris, France, Kevin studied math, computer science, and statistics at Ecole Polytechnique and Harvard University before spending 6 years in the tech industry. Throughout his tech career, he shifted his focus from initially working on technology-centered products to ventures driven by societal impact, most recently leading product and growth teams in health tech and education tech. Prior to law school, Kevin was the Head of Growth at, an education-tech startup that helps alleviate the student debt crisis by making college funding more accessible to students across the US.

At NYU, Kevin focused on technology policy and regulation and explored how law and policy can get ahead of complex innovations to design business rules and incentives capable of fostering an equitable tech-enabled society. Kevin spent his 1L summer with the Antitrust Bureau of the New York State Attorney General's Office and his 2L summer at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP. Kevin served as an Executive Editor on the NYU Law Review and as the President of student groups Rights over Tech and the Asia Law Society. Kevin is now an antitrust law clerk at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. 


Impact Scholar: Natalia Paola Guillen LLM '22

Natalia Guillen Portrait

Natalia received her law degree at Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (UNC) Law School and was awarded an Honors Diploma and the UNC Law School Outstanding Graduate Award. Natalia holds a Master in Law and Economics from Universidad Torcuato Di Tella Law School and a Diploma in Arbitration from Universidad Austral Law School. To pursue these two graduate degrees, she was granted partial academic scholarships.

Before attending NYU, Natalia worked at the Treasury Attorney General’s Office of the Argentine Republic. First, she served as legal advisor to the Treasury Attorney General, head of the highest advisory body of the Executive Branch and all Ministries. As a member of his team, she provided strategic policy and legal advice in diverse portfolio areas focusing on public, regulatory, and international matters and high-profile controversies and international investment arbitrations. Afterward, she joined the Directorate of International Affairs and Controversies at the Treasury Attorney General’s Office. She focused her practice on international investment arbitrations and controversies pending before foreign courts. Before joining the public sector, Natalia worked at a leading law firm in Argentina, Bomchil, as an associate attorney in its Litigation, International Arbitration, and Economic Regulation Departments. She counseled and represented private parties across a variety of fora.

Natalia also served as Assistant Professor of Contract Law at Universidad Torcuato Di Tella Law School. She coached the students’ teams representing Universidad Austral Law School in international arbitration moot competitions, including the William C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot.

In addition to the Impact Scholarship, Natalia received the Dean Scholarship and the Fulbright Scholarship with the Ministry of Education of the Argentine Republic. Natalia completed her LL.M. in International Legal Studies in May 2022. Natalia is now an associate at Foley Hoag LLP focused on international arbitration and litigation.  

Impact Scholar: Abiodun M. Rufai LLM '21

Photo of Abiodun Rufai

Before joining NYU for his LLM program, Abiodun attended Osun State University, Nigeria and the Nigerian law school. At Osun State University where he obtained his LL.B degree in 2016, he graduated as the best law student with First Class honors and received many awards. At the Nigerian law school, he also graduated with First Class honors in 2017.  

During his undergraduate years, Abiodun devoted substantial time to the study of Energy Law. Specifically, he focused on the rights of indigenous people over natural resources and how natural resources in Nigeria could be optimally managed and commercialized for the benefits of all Nigerians.

Following his successful study at the Nigerian Law School and upon being called to the Nigerian bar, Abiodun joined one of Africa’s leading law firms, Olaniwun Ajayi LP, as an associate. He advised on many transactions, significantly those related to foreign investment in the Nigerian energy industry and concessions of mining assets by the Nigerian government. Abiodun also worked with private sector initiatives set up to assist the Nigerian government and people in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Abiodun is now an associate at Gunderson Dettmer.

Nordlicht Scholar: Logan Cotton' 22

Photo of Logan Cotton

Logan joined NYU Law School after four years in Washington, DC, as part of Deloitte Consulting’s Government and Public Sector practice. In his work as a strategy consultant, Logan supported government clients and socially-minded private sector clients as they developed new products, revised business strategies, and worked to bolster their impact on end-users. Logan is especially proud of opportunities he had to work with social entrepreneurs in Uganda, India, and Chile. Each of these projects demonstrated the immense creativity of entrepreneurs around the world, in addition to the potential for the public and private sectors to collaborate for productive outcomes.

Prior to Deloitte, Logan taught 6th-grade English in Houston, Texas, through Teach for America. His students were thoughtful and curious, seizing upon opportunities to read and discuss texts that tackled topics of interest and significance to their lives. In addition to teaching, Logan coached the 7th-grade football team, community organized through Leadership for Educational Equity and Black Lives Matter, and explored Houston’s taco scene.

Logan attended Tufts University for his undergraduate degree and is a proud Chicago native. In his spare time, he reads about housing policy, plays rugby, and has a fledgling collection of comic books.

Nordlicht Scholar: Michael Strother '21

Photo of Michael Strother

Michael was born and raised in the Philadelphia area, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in English concentrating in Medieval Literature. Prior to law school, he worked as an editor for several major publishers in New York. At NYU he holds leadership positions in several student groups including First Generation Professionals (President), Health Law and Policy Society (Treasurer), and the Social Enterprise and Start-Up Law Group (Alternative Break Co-Chair), and is a member of both BALSA and OUTLaw. He spent his 1L summer at Cleary Gottlieb, his 2L summer at White & Case, and worked as an associate at White & Case for almost two years. 


Nordlicht Scholar: Riley Jones '20

Photo of Riley Jones

Hailing from Chicago's South Side, Riley is a social entrepreneur with a passion for creating pathways to opportunity. In 2015, he co-founded Bloc, a company using emerging technologies to prepare young people for the future of work. He was recognized by Forbes as a 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneur in 2019. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and American Studies from Columbia University. Since graduating from NYU Law, he has served as a Director of Ventures at CityBridge Education and an Advisory Board Member for the Margaret Walker Center at Jackson State University. 




Impact Scholar: Viola Echebima LLM '20

Photo of Viola Echebima

Viola received her LL.B. degree with First Class Honors from the University of Nigeria in 2016. She received the prize of the Best Graduating Student of the Faculty of Law, as well as other academic and leadership excellence awards. In 2017, she received a First Class Honors from the Nigerian Law School and was the second recipient of the Stephenson Harwood LLP award for the Best Graduating Student of the Nigerian Law School.

Prior to commencing her LL.M at NYU, Viola was an associate in the Energy and Natural Resources practice group of Banwo & Ighodalo, a tier one commercial law firm in Nigeria, where she advised a wide array of public and private sector clients on a broad range of legal transactions relating to the structuring of investments and transactions in the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors of the Nigerian oil and gas industry. She has also done considerable work in the development of renewable energy in Nigeria. Also, Viola had a brief stint at the London offices of the prestigious Stephenson Harwood LLP. In her spare time, Viola mentors law students.

As the inaugural Grunin Impact scholar, Viola pursued an LLM in Energy and Environmental Law at NYU. Viola is now the Principal Legal Counsel at C2 Energy Capital in New York.  

Nordlicht Scholar: 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. Eliza is now an associate at Goodwin.