UMass Amherst Department of Political Science

Paul R. Shuldiner Memorial Scholarship

The Paul R. Shuldiner Memorial Scholarship was established by Professor Paul W. Shuldiner and the Shuldiner Family in memory of Paul R. ("Randy") Shuldiner '75. Applicants are required to submit an essay, the topic of which changes each year. For information on this year's competition and to submit your application, see below.


Paul Randall Shuldiner was born in 1953 in Urbana, Illinois to Margot V and Paul W Shuldiner. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 1975 with a B.A. in English and from the University of Toledo College of Law with a JD in 1979. While there, he served as an Associate Editor of the Law Review, earned an ASCAP essay award and participated in the Moot Court Program, an early sign of his interest in advocacy and debate.

Following graduation, Paul took a position as Instructor in Legal Writing at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago. In the course of preparing a Law Review article on strip search, "Visible Rape: A Look At The Dubious Reality of Strip Searches", he filed an amicus curiae brief in Tinetti v Wittke with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, which was affirmed by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in 1980. This much-cited work is representative of a life-long interest in personal liberties and of his professional dedication to combating the routine violation of those liberties by various authorities.

Paul went on to clerk for Judge Phil McClellan McNagny Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, subsequently taking a position in the litigation division of Washington National Insurance Company in Evanston, Illinois. In 1988 he opened a solo litigation practice in Chicago, which he managed until his death. In addition to his professional practice, he volunteered weekly with the Cook County Legal Assistance Foundation, an advocacy group working for the poor, was a member of  the board of his local Boys & Girls Club, and from 2003-2004 served as president of the North Suburban Bar Association.

His dedication to the Law, which he believed to be the fundamental civilizing force in human society, combined with an abiding sense of outrage at the casual and widespread abuse of authority he perceived, inspired him to become a tireless defender of the defenseless and champion of the underdog.

Paul Randall Shuldiner died suddenly in February 2011, leaving behind his wife of 25 years, Amy, and their children, Mark and Katherine. He is deeply missed, and in his honor, sharing in the belief that only the most active defense of personal liberties will serve to preserve them, we, his family, in loving memory establish this prize.



2014 Competition:

DEADLINE: February 15, 2014 @ 12:00 noon

HOW TO SUBMIT: Submit your application HERE as a .doc, .rtf, or .docx file. Do not upload a PDF.

ELIGIBILITY: The scholarship is open to all sophomore, junior and senior legal studies majors. 


THE ESSAY: Applicants should respond to the following questions:

Paul R Shuldiner devoted his career to defending the personal and civil liberties of his clients and to resisting government encroachment into the private lives of individuals generally. One example of such encroachment is the rapid growth in the use of electronic surveillance technologies across a wide variety of communications channels and the indiscriminate collection of data via these means. Despite assurances that analytics techniques are applied to ensure that the private communications of non-targeted individuals are never directly monitored, there is ample reason to treat this as an intrusion into personal privacy and a threat to civil liberties. That threat, it is argued, is balanced by the enhancement of the government's ability to preserve public safety and national security. How would you seek to balance these two views? What safeguards should limit, or at least guide, the application of these technologies?  

All papers should have 1 inch margins and use a 12pt Times font. They should be no more than 4 pages long, and double spaced.

Frequently asked questions:

1. Do I have to cite other papers in my commentary?
No, although strong papers will show evidence that you have thought through the literature on these topics and considered the topics carefully and seriously.

2. How will my paper be evaluated?
In general, the scholarship committee expects well-written, thoughtful commentary on the essay topic. You should answer the specific questions addressed above. Consider what the main arguments for or against surveillance are. When is surveillance justified? What evidence can you point to strengthen your claims? The essay should be 3-4 pages.

If your question is not answered here, please contact Michelle Goncalves for help.

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