News & Events
Ohio State Law Grad Awarded Equal Justice Works Fellowship
Mónica Ramírez will work with migrant farm worker women
April 24, 2003
More than 70,000 farm worker women in Florida will benefit from the work of Fremont, Ohio, native Mónica Ramírez after she graduates from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law this spring. Ramírez has been awarded a post-graduate fellowship for her work with migrant farm worker women through a national public interest organization, Equal Justice Works (EJW).
“As a future public interest lawyer, my job is to provide access to justice to individuals who would otherwise not be afforded such representation.” Ramírez said. “Farm worker women fall squarely in this category and I am honored this fellowship will grant me the opportunity to work to cure the injustices that they face."
This year, EJW awarded 31 Route A fellowships and approximately 20 Route B fellowships throughout the nation. Route A fellowship applicants create their own topic, establish their own plan of action for carrying out their proposal, and select a sponsoring organization to host their project. Route B applicants apply through a sponsoring organization to work on the project that the host organization has created.
Ramírez received a Route A Fellowship for her proposal to represent migrant farm worker women who have fallen victim to gender discrimination. She will focus her efforts on victims of sexual harassment, along with those who suffer other inequities existing in farm labor, such as lower wages and discriminatory job placement.
“Based on my experience as a farm worker advocate and through other research, sexual harassment and other forms of gender discrimination are wide-spread problems among this population,” Ramírez said.
Her project will be the first targeted effort to comprehensively and systematically deal with gender discrimination among farm workers. Due to the fact that her project will be the first of its kind in the nation, she intends to create a template that can be used by farm worker legal services throughout the country.
The Florida Bar Foundation will provide the Migrant Farmworker Justice Project with the financial aid necessary for Ramírez to create this program. Ramírez is one of only four individuals who were awarded Route A fellowships for the entire state of Florida for the upcoming fellowship term. The fellowships last two years and will run from 2003-2005.
According to Amee McKim, the assistant dean for professional development at the Moritz College, two Ohio State law graduates received Route B fellowships last year. However, Ramírez is the first Moritz student to receive a Route A fellowship since its creation in 1992.
“This is very exciting for Mónica and the entire Moritz College of Law,” McKim said. “Our students have consistently shown a commitment to public interest work and it is wonderful that they are getting national recognition for their efforts.”
McKim stated that the fellowship process is long and arduous. Prior to the actual application process, a candidate often spends many months and years developing their proposal. Further, she said that only individuals who are particularly focused and passionate are ultimately selected from the national pool.
“Mónica is particularly deserving of this opportunity due to her great passion for her work, her longstanding commitment to farm worker women and her extreme focus and dedication throughout her three years here,” McKim said. “Mónica has exhibited strong leadership skills and legal talent throughout her time at Ohio State. I have no doubt she will excel and make a real and tangible difference for these women.”
Mónica is the daughter of Jose A. and Margaret V. Ramírez, Fremont. She is a 1995 graduate of St. Joseph Central Catholic High School, Fremont, and a 1999 graduate of Loyola University, Chicago.
The Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University is Ohio’s flagship law school. Approximately 650 students attend classes at the school’s John Deaver Drinko Hall, located at 55 West 12th Avenue, Columbus.