IABA NorCal Public Interest Scholarship Recipients

Yasmin Kouchesfahani (UC Hastings Law)

Yasmin Kouchesfahani (she/her) is a rising second-year law student at UC Hastings Law. Before attending law school, Yasmin was a paralegal at two immigration law firms where she worked on asylum cases and family-based immigration applications. In 2018, she graduated magna cum laude from the University of San Francisco with a B.A. in International Studies. Currently, Yasmin was a  summer law clerk at the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) where she is working on civil rights cases and federal policy. Throughout her career, she has held various internships and positions across the public sector such as in non-profit organizations, city government, and community justice spaces. Yasmin is passionate about a law career in civil rights, specifically asylum law and LGBTQ issues. She is a proud Zoroastrian, and her commitment to justice is inspired by her community’s values and migration experiences. She is also serving as the 2020-2021 President of the Iranian Law Student Association at UC Hastings Law.


Sam Atabay Bidgoli  (UC Hastings Law)

Sam Atabay Bidgoli is a rising 3L at UC Hastings. He served as President of the Iranian Law Students Association (ILSA) at UC Hastings Law during the 2019-2020 academic year where he spearheaded ILSA’s efforts to ensure that its members were empowered with resources, connections, and guidance to excel academically and professionally. Thanks to his work with ILSA, both Sam and ILSA were recognized as leaders in the community and each were recipients of Leadership Awards from UC Hastings Law this past year. Furthermore, Sam’s unwavering commitment to pursuing a career in the public sector is evident by his experience in the nonprofit field, in addition to all the various levels of government— federal, state, county, and city. This summer, Sam was an intern with the California Department of Justice where he worked on defending COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, amongst other matters. He hopes to use this wealth of professional experience to pursue a career in public service where he plans to serve both as a voice for the Iranian-American community, and other marginalized communities, and as a resource for the next generation of minority students. 


Ariana Abedifard (UC Berkeley Law)

Ariana Abedifard is a 2L at UC Berkeley School of Law. She graduated from UC Davis with a B.S. in Environmental Policy Analysis & Planning. During her time at UC Davis, she interned at a farm, where she was able to glean and distribute produce to the community to advance food access. During her 1L summer, she interned at the Center for Food Safety, an environmental non-profit focusing on sustainable agriculture and pesticide use. As a 2L, she is currently a part of the Food Justice Project and Environmental Law Clinic at Berkeley Law, working towards an environmental public interest career.


Inaugural Judge Iravani-Sani Public Interest Scholarship Recipient











Helia Bidad (Yale Law School)

Helia Bidad is a 2L at Yale Law School (YLS) who is passionate about using law and policy to advocate for environmental justice and human rights, particularly as they relate to the food system. She was born in Iran and immigrated to the United States with her family when she was four years old. She received a Bachelor of Science in Society and Environment and a minor in Geospatial Information Science and Technology from the University of California, Berkeley in 2017. She conducted research for her honors thesis on “The Resilience of Saffron Farmers in the Khorasan Province of Iran to Climate Change and Technological Development” and conducted fieldwork in Iran. After graduating college, she worked as a Research Associate at California Environmental Associates, where she worked on issues ranging from biofuels policy to grassroots climate solutions. At YLS, Helia is part of the Peter Gruber Rule of Law Clinic’s climate team, helping write amicus briefs in various climate tort suits across the country. In the clinic, she also spearheaded projects related to the human rights of Iranians and Iranian Americans. 

IABA would like to thank Judge Iravani-Sani for her generous contribution and for being a role model to Iranian-American law students. 


IABA NorCal General Scholarship Recipient

Paymaneh Parhami (UC Berkeley Law) 

Paymaneh Parhami is a 2020 graduate of UC Berkeley School of Law with a certificate in Law & Technology. She graduated cum laude from Barnard College of Columbia University, earning a B.A. with honors in Political Science and a minor in Chemistry. Between college and law school, she volunteered at the Bahá’í World Centre in Haifa, Israel for a year. During Paymaneh’s time in law school, she focused on intellectual property law and participated in hands-on experiences such as working in the Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic, being a member of the Berkeley Technology Law Journal, and conducting research for leading copyright scholar, Professor Pamela Samuelson. She recently published a Note in the Berkeley Technology Law Journal in April 2020, entitled Williams v. Gaye: Blurring the Lines of Copyright Infringement in Music. After the Bar Exam in October, Paymaneh will work as an associate at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP in San Francisco in the firm’s Trademark & Copyright group. 



Daniel Barlava (Columbia University Law School)
Daniel Barlava is a third-year law student at Columbia University Law School. He received a B.A. in History and Economics from Northwestern University, and followed his graduation by working for the U.S. Treasury Department. There, he supported law enforcement agencies’ efforts to conduct complex financial investigations. In his time at Columbia University, Daniel has focused on immigration defense, criminal convictions, and environmental litigation. Following law school, he will be working as an associate at the Irell & Maniella law firm in Los Angeles, focusing on public services.






Fatemah Shahkolahi (George Washington University Law School)
Fatemah Shahkolahi is a third-year law student at the George Washington University Law School. She earned a B.A. with honors in English from Notre Dame of Maryland University and an M.A. in International Communication from American University. After receiving her M.A., Fatemah worked at an international NGO on addressing the refugee crisis in Lebanon. Throughout her time at law school, she has worked as a judicial intern to Judge Robert McDonald in the Maryland Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court.






Hirsa Admin (Yale Law School, 1L)
Salman Ameri (Georgetown University Law Center, 1L)


Sara Ehsani-Nia (UC Davis, 3L)
Neda Hafezi (UC Hastings, 3L)


Neda Tolooi (Loyola University)
Neda Saghafi (University of Maryland)
Laily Sheybani (UPenn,1L)
Seyyed Mohammad Hossein Sajjadi (Santa Clara University, 3L)
Sara Movahed (University of Maryland, 3L)


Sam Sadeghi (UCLA School of Law)
Anita Bamshad (University of California, San Diego)


Ava Badiee (University of California, Irvine School of Law)
Setareh Homayoninejad (UC Berkeley, School of Law)


Rachel Khalili (University of California Irvine School of Law $2500)
Sahar Maali (University of California Berkeley School of Law $2500)
Barzin Pakandam(University of Southern California School of Law $2500)


Z. Payvand Ahdout (Columbia University School of Law $2500)
Ramin Montazeri (Columbia University School of Law $2500)
Sima Namiri-Kalantari (University of California Los Angeles School of Law $2500)


Nima Rahimi (University of California Davis School of Law $3000)
Roxana Rahmani (Harvard Law School $3000)

San Diego Chapter Scholarship

Ashkaan Hassan (University of San Diego School of Law $2500)
Naziol Nazarinia (Thomas Jefferson School of Law $2500)


Pouneh Aravand (Yale Law School $3000)
Mehrdad Bokhour (Loyola Law School of Los Angeles $3000)


Siavash Alavi (University of Southern California School of Law $2000)
Arash J. Fuladian (University of San Diego School of Law $2000)
Sara Rezvanpour (University of California Berkeley School of Law $2000)


Tala Rezai (Emory University School of Law $1500)
Maryam Moravvej Farshi (University of Baltimore School of Law $1500)


Elham Kayvani (University of California Berkeley School of Law)


Mani Ahmadi (Loyola Law School of Los Angeles)
Sara Mahdavi (University of California Los Angeles School of Law)