Ian Yankwitt

Memorial Fund

The Ian Yankwitt Memorial Fund

The Ian Yankwitt Memorial Fund was created in 2021 in honor of Gideon's Promise Board Member, Ian Yankwitt. This scholarship offers participants financial funds for 3 years during our Future Indigent Defense Leaders Program. Ian Yankwitt was deeply committed to equal justice for all. In particular, his work as a public defender gave Ian a connection to people in need and a hand in improving their experience in the criminal justice system. When Ian left the Federal Defenders, he left behind a piece of his soul. His obligation to provide for his family became paramount when his son, Casey, was diagnosed with autism, but Ian’s deep need to “do good” in the world continued. When he was introduced to Gideon’s Promise, Ian found a way to continue making his contribution to the betterment of the criminal justice system. He was passionate about the work of Gideon’s Promise and committed to supporting their mission. Through his final days, Ian pondered whether he had done enough “good” in the world.

About Ian Yankwitt

For so many people, Ian was the first person to call for advice, whether in his role as financial and investment advisor, criminal defense attorney, or simply as the person who gave the most thoughtful and helpful advice in matters ranging from professional development to personal relationships. Ian modeled what it meant to have a listening ear for all problems, big and small. No one was trusted more by more people. Imagine never having a person to call when the when the biggest crisis in your life arises. This is the situation for four out of five people in America accused of crimes. Unable to afford a lawyer, 80% of those in our criminal justice system are forced to rely on public defenders. Many are so overwhelmed, under-resourced, and beaten down that they provide little comfort to those who need them. Gideon’s Promise is committed to training and supporting public defenders to be able to provide the counsel their clients desperately need. Ian understood that no one should be abandoned during their time of greatest need. It is why Gideon’s Promise meant so much to him.

Meet the Community

Ian Yankwitt Scholarship Recipients

These dynamic lawyers were because they exemplified ..

Vera Attaway

District 3A Pitt County Public Defender's Office

North Carolina Central University

Dominique Barile

Mecklenburg Pubic Defenders

St. Thomas University

Akruti Chandrayya

Shelby County Public Defender's Office

University of California, Los Angeles

Darren Chester

North Carolina Wake County Public Defender's Office

Charlotte School of Law

Margaret Greenway

Knox County Public Defender Community Law Office

University of Tennessee

Halle Hammond

Knox County Public Defender Community Law Office

Christopher Harper

Office of the Public Defender for Montgomery County

University of Michigan

Nathan Hartman

Luzerne County Public Defender

George Washington University School of Law

Abigail Hester

Mecklenburg Public Defenders

The University of Michigan

Deanna Hobbs

Lancaster County Public Defender's Office

University of Nebraska

Hunter Holtzclaw

North Carolina Wake County Public Defender's Office

Campbell University

Catherine (Cat) Kearney

Orleans Public Defender

University of Pennsylvania

Aiesha Krause-Lee

Center for Death Penalty Litigation/Indigent Defense Services (NC)

New York University

Sarah Langer

Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy

Washington University

Courtney Lewis

Office of Capital and Forensic Writs (TIDC)

Penn State Dickinson Law

Jacob Margolis

Cuyahoga County Public Defender Office

Cleveland State University

Kate McMurchie

Metropolitan Public Defenders (Portland, OR)

New York University

Rasheed. Merrell

Office of the Fulton County Public Defender - Atlanta Judicial Circuit

Mercer University

Kaitlynn (Katie) Morford

Cuyahoga County Public Defender's Office

Cleveland State University

Ashley Needham

Metropolitan Public Defenders (Portland, OR)

Lewis & Clark Law School

Kyle Obiora

Office of the Stone Mountain Circuit Public Defender (Dekalb County)

Emory University

Rasahn Perry

Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy

University of Kansas

Elizabeth Ponder

Carteret County Public Defenders Office

Suffolk University

Elana Samuels

Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy

University of Tennessee

Dillon Sharpe

Mecklenburg Public Defenders

North Carolina Central University

Marisa Skillings

Knox County Public Defender's Community Law Office

Harvard Law School

Demetria Stuart

Chatham County Public Defender's Office - North Carolina District 15B

North Carolina Central University

Darceny Winston

Hamilton County Public Defender

University of Cincinnati

Elizabeth (Lizzy) Wolozin

Metropolitan Public Defenders (Portland, OR)

New York University

About Us

A Change is Coming

We defend our most vulnerable communities from the effects of mass incarceration -- keeping families together with dignity. Our Mission To transform the criminal justice system by building a movement of public defenders who provide equal justice for marginalized communities. Our Vision  We envision a nation where every person has access to zealous, outstanding representation necessary to ensure “equal justice for all" in the criminal justice arena.

Protecting This Promise

You don't have to be a public defender to protect the promise of zealous counsel for all. Your monthly contribution--no matter the amount--will directly impact the fate of a client accused of a crime, who didn't know they needed you.