HARRISBURG (Jan. 26, 2021) — The Pennsylvania Bar Foundation named second year law student Victoria E. Sanchez, University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, Philadelphia; and second year law student Vijay Johnson-Tanco, University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Pittsburgh, as 2020 James W. Stoudt Memorial Scholarship Fund award winners. Each recipient will receive $3,000.
The scholarship was named to memorialize a steadfast supporter of the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation, James W. “Jim” Stoudt, who was instrumental in the creation of the Pennsylvania Bar Trust, where he served in many capacities for more than 40 years. Awarded annually, it offers up to three $3,000 scholarships, two of which are specifically designated to support minority law students, to candidates attending any of the nine accredited law schools serving Pennsylvania.
With career ambitions of pursuing public interest election law, Sanchez currently interns at the Federal Election Commission (FEC). There she works with a team to support the commissioner’s public communications, responds to research requests and handles pending enforcement matters before the FEC. In addition, she is co-president of the Democracy Law Project (DLP), a Penn Law student-run pro bono organization. During the most recent election, over a fifth of the law student body was recruited to work on nonpartisan election protection efforts with 10 partner organizations in seven different states. She also worked with Penn Law’s Toll Public Interest Center over the summer to expand DLP's work into movement lawyering. Other Penn Law activities include serving as associate editor of the Journal of Law and Social Service, as co-president of Latinx Law Students Association and as a member of the Office of Inclusion and Engagement Student Advisory Board in ’19-20, Penn Law Lambda and Penn Law First Generation Professionals. In addition to her internship with the FEC, Sanchez was a judicial intern for Justice Karen L. Valihura at the Delaware Supreme Court. Sanchez received a B.A. from Yale University in 2013.
Johnson-Tanco enjoys helping people and that trait has propelled his ambitions in law school. Currently, he researches relevant case law and other information to assist defense attorneys in their representation of Pennsylvania inmates who lack the resources for representation through the university’s Prisoner Letter Support Program. Johnson-Tanco has helped several prisoners through the program, both in communicating with them through letters about the severity of their situation and providing key cases, secondary sources and authorities of law with corresponding histories. He also clerks for a criminal defense firm, where he reviews client documents and conducts research and offers analysis on litigation strategies. While he’s more interested in pursuing tax and financial law going forward, Johnson-Tanco hopes to continue assisting people in need by participating in a legal clinic for low-income taxpayers. At Pitt Law, he is a member of the Latino Law School Association. Johnson-Tanco received a B.A. from the University of Oregon in 2017.
The James W. Stoudt Memorial Scholarship Fund is administered by the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation, the charitable affiliate of the Pennsylvania Bar Association. For more information on this and other scholarships, visit www.pabarfoundation.org.