January 21, 2022
Marilyn Askin RLAW '70, is helping student caregivers succeed at law school.

Marilyn Askin had three children when she entered Rutgers Law School in 1967, ages 4, 3 and 3 months.  She struggled to find child care while attending classes and completing her assignments, at one point hiring then-Prof. Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s housekeeper to babysit. 
“Contracts, torts, criminal law, that was all a breeze. The most challenging thing for me in law school was finding people to take care of my kids,” she recalled. 

Askin RLAW ’70, the wife of Professor Emeritus Frank Askin, who died last July, has decided to help lower the barrier to entry for the next generation of caregiving attorneys by creating an endowed scholarship for student caregivers attending Rutgers Law School in Newark.

Starting this year, student caregivers can apply for scholarships and emergency assistance, based on financial need, to help offset the cost of their legal education so they can continue to meet their loved ones’ needs.  Askin’s gift also will support the launch of a dedicated website to help connect caregivers to resources within the school. 

Askin worked closely to develop the scholarship with another alumna, Carly Rothman Siditsky RLAW ’21, now an associate at Troutman Pepper, who gave birth to her third child during her 2L year.  Siditsky started the Rutgers Association of Student Caregivers (RASC) in 2019 to support and advocate for student caregivers, many of whom faced acute needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“For generations, Rutgers Law School has been a place that welcomed caregivers determined to pursue a legal career,” she said. “This scholarship will, hopefully, make that dream more attainable for even more students.” 

“Rutgers Law School is proud of its diverse student body, including parents and other caregivers,” said Interim Co-Dean Rose Cuison-Villazor. “They contribute to the vibrancy of our law school and bring an important perspective to the legal profession. I’m glad we’re able to offer them more support through the Askin Scholarship.”

Current RASC leaders, Brenda Milouchev and Danielle Prebor, both RLAW'23, said the scholarships will help caregiving students who frequently struggle to make ends meet during law school.

“Balancing our own demanding schedules as law students and the sometimes costly needs of the people who rely on us is one of the biggest challenges our members face,” said Prebor.  “We are certain this scholarship will be appreciated and helpful for many.” 

Askin, who had a storied legal career as an elder law professional and advocate, said her dream is for other law schools and legal organizations to adopt the mission of the Askin Caregivers Scholarship. “That’s what I want to see: lower barriers for caregivers who want to go back to school and join the profession,” she said.  “This should be a national phenomenon, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”

To donate to the Askin Caregivers Scholarship, click here
 

Rutgers Law Media Contacts:
Camden: Toni Mooney Smith
Newark: Peter Englot

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