The James Brosnahan Fellowship was established through resolution of the then Volunteer Legal Services Program (now known as the Justice & Diversity Center [JDC]) board in December of 2012. Creation of the fellowship was made possible because of the generosity of Joseph Cotchett, Cotchett Pitre & McCarthy, who made a significant gift to support ongoing funding of an annual stipend to recipients.
The fellowship is named after Past BASF President James Brosnahan, Morrison & Foerster, at Cotchett’s request, as Cotchett wanted to recognize Brosnahan’s extraordinary service to the bench and bar and his lifelong commitment to justice for disadvantaged and historically underrepresented people.
In December 2013, longtime Homeless Advocacy Project (HAP) Supervising Attorney Ramona HolguÍn, was announced as the fellowship’s first recipient. In her more than 20 years of employment at HAP, HolguÍn has served more than 6,000 clients.
Upon learning that HolguÍn was chosen, Cotchett had this to say, “The Brosnahan Fellowship Award is going to a person who best represents the qualities of decency, integrity and commitment to our profession. Ramona represents the very best of our profession after giving 20 or more years with the Homeless Advocacy Project, representing people with no voice.”
One fellow staff member commented, “The services that Ramona provides are not available anywhere else in the community, and are difficult to replicate, as they involve her unique combination of knowledge, experience, connections, and some kind of indefinable special magic. Recognition through the James Brosnahan Fellowship rewards her many years of exemplary service, and brings well reserved recognition to both Ramona, and to her critical work for HAP and the JDC.”
Visit www.sfbar.org/HAP to learn more about the Homeless Advocacy Project.