Each year Owners’ Counsel of America awards the Toby Prince Brigham OCA Scholarship to a second or third year law student in honor of Toby Prince Brigham, the lawyer who founded OCA in 2000 based on the belief that the right of private property ownership is a fundamental constitutional right which warrants protecting and defending by the most experienced lawyers in the United States. Scroll down to see all past recipients and their profiles.
The scholarship funds the selected student’s travel, lodging and attendance at the premier property rights conference in the country, known as the ALI-CLE Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation conference, and associated OCA events held annually in January. This distinctive opportunity is designed to facilitate student interaction with experienced property rights lawyers and other professionals, while deepening comprehension of substantive issues and best practices, with the overall goal of inspiring the next generation of property rights defenders.
If you are a U.S. law student with a demonstrated interest in property rights and would like to learn more about or apply for the Toby Prince Brigham OCA Scholarship, please contact Leslie Fields, Executive Director of OCA. You can reach Ms. Fields by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 303-806-5155. Note that the deadline for submitting the complete application is October 1st of each year.
Shelly Vallone, a third year law student at William & Mary Law School was selected by the OCA Board of Directors and Scholarship Committee after extensive outreach to several law schools across the country. Personal recommendations were sought from deans, law professors and others with knowledge of students possessing a genuine interest in private property rights. “Shelly received a glowing recommendation from Robert Thomas, her Property Rights professor at William & Mary,” says OCA Executive Director, Leslie Fields. “In this upper-division advanced course she stood out for her thoughtful and insightful contributions on the subjects of eminent domain, inverse condemnation and regulatory takings.” During law school, Shelly was a summer associate with the law firm of Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley & Walsh where she worked on a variety of land use and property matters, including entitlements, zonings, re-zonings, and special use permits and exceptions. Shelly also worked with the real estate transactional team on various real estate contracts and documents, such as reciprocal easement agreements and condominium bylaws. In 2022 Shelly attended the Brigham Kanner Property Rights Conference at William & Mary, where members of the bench, bar and academia come together to explore recent developments in the law of property rights and to advance the cause of property rights in the broader scheme of individual liberty.
As a second year law student attending Denver University Sturm College of Law, in 2022 Nina Sawaya became the very first recipient of the Toby Prince Brigham OCA Scholarship. Ms. Sawaya was selected after an extensive outreach effort to several law schools across the country. Personal recommendations were sought from deans, law professors and others with knowledge of students possessing a genuine interest in private property rights. “In selecting Nina Sawaya,” says OCA Executive Director, Leslie Fields, “both the Scholarship Committee and Board were impressed with her academic record, proven interest and commitment to private property rights, and her prior work experience in the area of real estate. They felt in the end that she was the ideal candidate. OCA is thrilled to make this professional experience available to such an outstanding student.” During law school, Nina served as the Research Assistant to Professor Jan Laitos who holds the Joe T. Juhan Endowed Professorship in Property Rights and Policy at the Sturm College of Law. “It is wonderful to know that there are professional organizations like Owners’ Counsel of America that can take the interest which Nina exhibited in law school and show her how it can be cultivated into a full-blown practice area as part of developing a rewarding legal career.”