July 2015 Ca Bar Exam Essays For Scholarships

UCI Law students recognized with scholarships, awards

Over the course of the academic year, UCI Law students have continued to earn top honors by winning competitions, scholarships, fellowships and grants, including the following:


  • Nefi Acosta ’16. Acosta is the recipient of a 2015-16 MALDEF Law School Scholarship, granted to law students who will further MALDEF’s mission of advancing the civil rights of the Latino community in the United States. Acosta also received the California Bar Foundation 3L Diversity Scholarship co-sponsored by the Mexican American Bar Foundation. Designed to alleviate the costs associated with taking the California Bar Exam, 3L Diversity Scholarships provide a free BarBri review course (valued at $4,000) and a living stipend. In awarding stipends of up to $2,000, the MABF scholarship committee considers the applicant’s financial need, academic achievement, community service and leadership experience.
  • Aaron J. Benmark ’16. Benmark received the Paul Miller Scholarship Award from the Los Angeles Copyright Society, a members-only organization of attorneys who practice in copyright, trademark, communications and related areas. The scholarship is given to outstanding students in copyright and entertainment law.
  • Michelle Chung ’16. Chung received the 2016 Outstanding Student Award from the Orange County Asian American Bar Association (OCAABA). The $500 award is given annually to a law student who has made significant contributions to the OCAABA and the Orange County legal and general community.
  • Tawny Do ’16. Do is the recipient of a July 2016 Bar Stipend Award from the Orange County Women Lawyers Association. The award is offered twice a year to worthy law students about to take the bar exam. Awardees are chosen based on a connection to Orange County and a commitment to scholarship, community service, advancement of women or women’s issues and financial need. Do also received a California Bar Foundation 3L Diversity Scholarship co-sponsored by the OCAABA. Valued at $5,000, the scholarship provides a free BarBri prep course and a living stipend. It is awarded to a third-year law student who shows leadership and service commitment within and beyond the Asian Pacific American community; demonstrates academic and extracurricular excellence and achievement in law school; and intends to practice in the legal profession in Orange County.
  • Tilman Heyer ’16. Heyer won the California State Bar Public Law Section Student Writing Competition with his article, “Santa Brought Measles: California’s 2014 Measles Outbreak and the Constitutionality of Mandates and Religious Exemptions,” published in the fall 2015 edition of Public Law Journal as part of his award. Submitted essays are judged by the executive committee of the Public Law Section based on the quality of writing, complexity of topic, timelessness of topic to current developments in public law, originality, compliance with contest rules, and the relevancy to one or more of public law. Heyer also won a cash prize and an all-expense paid trip to the 2016 State Bar Annual Meeting.
  • Nick James ’16, Stephanie Johnson ’16. The team of James and Johnson won first place at UCI Law's 2016 Ballard Spahr LLP Mock Trial competition, which featured a criminal murder case. U.S. District Court Judge Josephine Staton presided over the trial.
  • Shirley Kim ’16, Zoe McKinney ’16. Kim and McKinney were part of the UCI Law team that advanced to the Pacific Region quarterfinal round of the 2016 Jessup International Moot Court Competition. The team also received special recognition for their brief.
  • The article was published in the Oxford Journal of International Economic Law.
  • Vinhcent Le ’16. The article “Can Informal Law Discipline Subsidies?” co-authored by Le, UCI Law Prof. Gregory Shaffer and Queen’s University Prof. Robert Wolfe, won the Oxford Journal of International Economic Law’s inaugural John Jackson Prize.
  • Lawrence Liu ’16. Liu won the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Law Foundation Scholarship. In addition to his activities with UCI Law's Asian Pacific American Law Student Association, Liu co-founded the Business Law Society, which aims to provide leadership training and networking opportunities for law students.
  • Ricardo Lopez ’16. Lopez is the recipient of a 2015-16 MALDEF Law School Scholarship, granted to law students who will further MALDEF’s mission of advancing the civil rights of the Latino community in the United States. Earlier, an article by Lopez proposing specialized health care courts was a winner in the The National Law Review May 2016 student writing competition. “Terminally Ill Minors and the Right to Refuse Life-Sustaining Medical Treatment” by Lopez was also selected for a $500 honorable mention prize by the Beverly Hills Bar Association in its 7th Annual Rule of Law Competition. Lopez wrote “Terminally Ill Minors” under the guidance and supervision of Prof. Michele Goodwin. Lopez also took top place in the annual Greenhalgh National Writing Competition sponsored by the ABA Criminal Justice Section, for his paper “An Impenetrable Shield: How the Supreme Court’s Reformulation of the Qualified Immunity Doctrine Undermine Constitutional Rights.” He is also among the Orange County Hispanic Bar Association’s 2016 Wally Davis Scholarship recipients. The scholarship provides financial assistance to Orange County Latino students currently enrolled in law school, who have demonstrated involvement in the Latino community. It was named in honor of the late Wallace (Wally) R. Davis, one of the first Hispanic attorneys in Orange County and co-founder of the HBA. A team that includes Lopez, Samantha Rodriguez ’16 and Eric Vera ’16 also won Best Petitioners Brief in the National Latino/a Law Students Association Moot Court competition held October 2015 in Chicago.
  • Lauren Mendelsohn ’16. Mendelsohn was elected Chair of the Board of Directors for Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP); the board represents SSDP's chapters at the national level. Mendehlson is the founder and past president of Law Students for Sensible Drug Policy at UCI.
  • Kellye Ng-McCullough ’16. Ng-McCullough won Student of the Year at the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPALSA) Convention held November 2015 in New Orleans. She serves as the Pacific South Regional Director for NAPALSA and has dedicated numerous hours of pro bono work to become involved in political and legal processes to create much needed protections for Asian Pacific Americans.
  • Bree Oswald ’16. Oswald has been awarded a Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims Bar Association Scholarship for law students. Awardees received paid registration to the Association’s 13th Judicial Conference in Washington, D.C., a sold-out event that featured presentations from notable authorities in the field of veterans law.
  • Ariela Rutkin-Becker ’16. Rutkin-Becker was selected to attend the most recent Osnabrück Summer Institute on the Cultural Study of the Law. Held at the University of Osnabrück in Germany, the Summer Institute brings together doctoral and postdoctoral students from various academic fields all over the world whose research interests rest at the intersection of law and humanities. “The incredible week-long workshop is a dream come true for any students interested in thinking about the law from an interdisciplinary perspective,” said Rutkin-Becker, one of just a handful U.S. students who attended the 2015 institute and the only J.D. candidate.


  • Jiaxiao Zhang ’17. Zhang was awarded the inaugural Outstanding Student Scholarship from the Howard T. Markey Intellectual Property Inn of Court, an Orange County-based American Inn of Court focused on Intellectual Property Litigation, and dedicated to upholding the standards of the legal profession, practicing law with dignity and respect, and encouraging respect for our system of justice. Zhang applied to the organization and became a “Pupil” member in September 2015, on the recommendation of Professor Dan Burk. She has been active with the Markey Inn since then, helping plan and present a program on Ethics in IP with her Pupilage Group in February, which incorporated an interactive polling feature suggested by Zhang. The group, also comprising Associate, Barrister, and Master of the Bench members with over 20 years of experience, won “Most Outstanding Program of the Year 2015-2016,” and Zhang was named “Outstanding Student Member 2015-2016.”
  • Robin Gray ’17. An Equal Justice America Law Student Fellowship enabled Gray to work at Bet Tzedek Legal Services last summer. In a letter about her EJA Fellowship experience, Gray wrote: “I spent much of the summer working to help clients living in some of the most uninhabitable buildings in Los Angeles... One of our cases involved a building where the units consisted of mostly low-income families … living in a building with inadequate plumbing, vermin infestations … inadequate fire safety equipment, broken locks on the front door, and more. We were able to help the families finally leave these terrible conditions by getting them large settlement funds to aid with their relocation. Getting to participate in such a life-changing event for these families was truly one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.”
  • Harvey Meza ’17. Meza has been awarded a Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund Law School Scholarship, given to law students committed to advancing the civil rights of the Latino community in the United States. Meza volunteers his time to assist detained indigent clients seeking asylum. Prior to law school, he interned at the Catalonia Department of Justice in Barcelona, Spain, where he conducted award-winning research on comparative mediation alternatives for alleged juvenile offenders.
  • Boanerges Rodriguez ’17. Rodriguez has been selected as a summer 2016 Employee Justice Fellow by the Foundation for Advocacy Inclusion and Resources. As part of this prestigious fellowship, Rodriguez will receive a supplemental stipend while working to advance workers' rights as a summer clerk at Weinberg Roger & Rosenfeld. He is one of only 13 students in California to receive this fellowship. He also received a scholarship from the Mexican American Bar Foundation, awarded annually to deserving law students based on their academic achievement, community service, leadership, financial need, and success in overcoming hardships. This year’s awardees were honored at MABF’s Annual Gala on June 11, 2016.
  • Ann Tran ’17. Tran received an AABA Law Student Summer Grant from the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area. Selection criteria include community service or public interest work for the Asian Pacific American (APA) community or other underrepresented communities; demonstrated leadership in the APA community; demonstrated financial need; and commitment to the Bay Area. Tran’s grant enabled her to work with the Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus.
  • Enid Zhou ’17. Zhou received the Dick Osumi Civil Rights and Public Interest Scholarship from the Japanese American Bar Association Educational Foundation. Mr. Osumi was a prominent civil rights and labor attorney who served as JABA President in 1992 and was a founding member of JABA’s Community Education Committee, and one of the founders of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center. This scholarship is intended for those law students interested in practicing in the areas of civil rights, public interest law, and/or public policy. Zhou is an editor of UC Irvine Law Review, pro bono chair of APALSA, and publicity chair of the Public Interest Law Fund.


  • Thea Alli ’18. Alli was selected by the Thurgood Marshall Bar Association  to serve as a Law School Ambassador for UCI Law.
  • Robert Winson ’18. Winson attended the National LGBT Bar Association’s Annual Lavendar Law Conference in D.C. in August, and has been selected for a national mentorship program led by National LGBT Bar Association Board Member and former Vice President and Assistant General Counsel at Goldman Sachs, Bendita Cynthia Malakia.
  • Zackory Burns ’18. Burns was named the 2016 M. Katherine Baird Darmer Equality Scholarship winner at the OC Lavender Bar Association 6th Anniversary Party on July 13. The annual scholarship is named after the late Chapman Law Professor Darmer, a passionate advocate for LGBT equality, and is given to students who share her vision of a just society and a progressive Orange County. Zackory is currently the co-chair of the Transgender Name and Gender Marker Change Clinic launched by UCI Law students to serve the legal needs of the transgender population in Orange County. In addition to his passion for community activism, his interests span the intersection of science and the law, including the environment, biotechnology, Big Data, health care, and intellectual property.
  • Emma Gunderson ’18. Gunderson was awarded the Orange County Lavender Bar Association’s 2015 M. Katherine Baird Darmer Equality Scholarship and is the third UCI Law student to receive the scholarship since it was established in 2013. Named after the late Chapman Law Professor Darmer, a passionate advocate for LGBT equality, the scholarship is given to students who share her vision of a just society and a progressive Orange County.
  • Shunya Wade ’18. Wade received a California Bar Foundation Diversity Scholarship, which financially supports first-year California law students with the goal of furthering diversity in the legal profession. According to the foundation’s 2015 Diversity Scholars page, as the Klinedinst PC Scholar, Wade’s goals include continuing to empower people of color by bringing needed resources to underprivileged communities.
By 2050, the majority of Californians will be people of color. However, nearly 80% of lawyers today are white. Our vision has always been to see more lawyers who look like the people of California.

​These scholarships are just the beginning.
1L scholarship application available March 2018
Future lawyers 
from 19 Law Schools
We invest
in the lawyers
of tomorrow.
This is what the
​future looks like.
First generation
Children of the incarcerated
California's top law firms, companies, and organizations sponsor our scholarships because they understand that an investment in diversity is a smart investment in the future.
Future Changemakers

​Meet the 2017 Scholars
Olamide Abiose
1L/Stanford Law School
scholarship sponsored by 
California Bar Foundation
I remember my social studies teacher ranting about the “backwardness” of Muslims, all while being fully aware that there was a Muslim in her class. My commitment to public service has been driven by a deep-seated desire and search for community.
Olamide Abiose is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and the Harvard Graduate School of Education.  She has worked with Codman Academy Public Charter School and at the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Law, Brain & Behavior.  Born in Nigeria, Olamide and her family immigrated to a small rural town in Iowa when she was 2 years old.  As a Nigerian-Muslim immigrant, she faced humiliating classroom experiences that ultimately led her to gravitate towards an St. Louis Afrocentric community organization.  She credits this search for community for helping shape her commitment to social justice.  

Muslims, Blacks, Hispanics or immigrantsneed lawyersand people committed to their cause now more than ever...instead of being mad about the injustice, I want to use my law degree as my platform to help fight for social justice.

Rosan Agbajoh
3L / USF Law
scholarship co-sponsored
 California Association of Black Lawyers
Rosan’s undocumented status has motivated her to fight for social justice.  Rosan has been the face of DREAMers at USF School of Law, becoming an active partner in helping other undocumented individuals raise funds for law school tuition.  Rosan intends to continue serving her community as a personal injury plaintiff attorney in the Bay Area.
What bothered me the most was the amount of young Black and Latino males from my community that frequently entered and exited the criminal justice system.
Deborah Awolope
3L / UC Hastings
scholarship co-sponsored by 
​California Association of Black Lawyers

Raised in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, Deborah witnessed too many of her peers entering the prison system.  She refused to believe that her environment defined her or her community.  In law school, she dedicated herself to learning about the mass incarceration of young and low-income people.  Deborah is determined to return to Los Angeles and work at the Public Defender’s Office.  There she hopes to engage in work that will decrease the level of injustices faced by low-income and communities of color.

My experience working with low-income communities as a child support analyst for San Mateo’s Child Support Services Department pushed me to attend law school.
Allyson Bankhead
​3L / USF Law
scholarship co-sponsored by
Charles Houston Bar Association

Allyson is a former recipient of the Kenneth O. Lloyd Award at USF School of Law.  She was inspired to attend law school after working with low-income children at San Mateo’s Child Support Services Department.  She is currently pursuing a career as a prosecutor, and has accepted a post-bar position at the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office.  Allyson hopes to fight for justice for crime victims, while remaining empathetic to the hardships faced by defendants.
Estela Barajas
1L / UC Davis
scholarship sponsored by
Downey Brand

I have witnessed the impact of racial and ethnic disparities on access to legal resources and representation...I have also learned that if given an opportunity and the necessary resources, marginalized communities can transcend barriers and thrive. 
Estela graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles and has spent the last ten years serving the most underserved communities in California.  Growing up as a daughter of immigrant parents who supported their family working in the fields, Estela still remembers her mother stressing the importance of serving those in need.  Most recently, Estela has worked with Asian American Drug Abuse Program Inc, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping formerly incarcerated individuals re-enter society.  Estela became interested in learning about the legal remedies for the social issues faced by the formerly incarcerated and their families.  This desire to learn led her to pursue a legal career.  
My goal is to better position my work to be in service of my community -- the poorest, the blackest, the queerest, the disabled, the incarcerated, the womyn.
Rebecca Berry
3L / USC Gould
scholarship co-sponsored by
Black Women Lawyers Association 
of Los Angeles Foundation
Rebecca is a dedicated advocate for racial justice and educational equity.  As a Black woman and first generation law student, she recognizes the barriers of access to education.  She has fought for marginalized students through her work at Street Law, as a law clerk with Public Counsel on their education class action case in Compton, CA, and in Washington, DC at the Advancement Project helping to end discipline policies that disproportionately lead students of color to the school to prison pipeline.  Rebecca will continue to advocate for communities of color as a public interest lawyer.
Christine Brito
3L / Loyola
scholarship co-sponsored by
Latina Lawyers Bar Association
I am confident the past eight years of public service will help me open a law firm in my hometown serving the monolingual, working undocumented community.
Christine has over six years of experience serving immigrant and LGBTQ communities.  Through her work as a clinical student with the Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic, Christine has gained invaluable experience in legal advocacy for immigrants fleeing violence, persecution, and gender and sexual identity-based discrimination.  She also served as Vice President of the Immigration Law Society at LMU.  Christine is currently working for Olmos and Reynolds Law Group, a private law firm where she focuses on immigration law and criminal defense.
This was the story of all the males in my family. You grew up, dealt drugs, and went to jail or prison. It was an endless cycle...turns out, 
I broke the cycle.
Jory Burks
scholarship co-sponsored by
Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles Foundation 

Growing up, Jory was determined to dedicate himself to public service.  He became the first in his family to graduate from high school and go onto college and eventually graduate from law school.  Jory is a graduate of the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy at UCLA School of Law.  He has worked extensively with vulnerable populations, including the mental health community, at-risk youth, and defendants who have become entangled in the criminal justice system.  Jory hopes to continue advocating for vulnerable communities through a career in public interest law.
Martha Cardenas
1L / UC Berkeley
Uber Diversity Scholar 
sponsored by Morrison & Foerster LLP

My mother let me know early on, that we had no “papeles”...I might be in limbo again under the current administration, but something that I learned from my situation is that the law is a very powerful tool. It is through the law that I can fight back and protect my community.
Martha graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with High Honors.  Growing up Martha’s mother explained to her that the family was undocumented and so from a young age she learned to be wary of police officers and the institutions they represented, the very institutions that were meant to protect her and her family.  These early experiences have motivated her to pursue a career in the legal field.  She knows that someone's legal status should not define who they are or limit who they become.  She believes our legal system is the best avenue by which to protect vulnerable communities in California.  Martha hopes that her training as a lawyer coupled with her personal experiences will make her a more effective advocate for her community.
My personal experiences with poverty, racism and homophobia have driven me attend law school and to serve as a legal advocate for disenfranchised communities. 
Saxon Cropper-Sykes
1L / UC Berkeley
Hewlett Packard Enterprise Diversity Scholar
sponsored by WilmerHale

Saxon graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with High Honors. Growing up within a working class community, Saxon has used his experiences at the intersections of race, class, and sexual identity to redirect and channel institutional and educational resources back into marginalized communities. Saxon is the director and founder of the Black Student Engagement Program, a multifaceted program founded on educational equity, and increasing academic and professional development opportunities for Black undergraduate students.
My foster mother was my hero, who saved my brother and me from a system of abuse and neglect. She is the reason I will become a foster parent. I want to do what she did for me, change the life of kid who would have remained lost otherwise.
Terrell Davis
1L / Thomas Jefferson School of Law
scholarship sponsored by
California Bar Foundation

Terrell Davis was placed in foster care at the age of three.  He and his brother were placed in many foster homes until he was 9 years old.  It was at that age when he was placed with the woman he considers to be his mother.  Thanks to her, he has the ability to give back to the less fortunate by volunteering and becoming an attorney.  He wants to one day become a foster parent. Terrell graduated from California State University San Bernardino with a degree in Criminal Justice.
As a gay Haitian black male in South Florida, growing up in a broken home was a unique experience...these are the types of students that are not majorly represented across many college campuses.
Karlens Direny
1L / UC Hastings
UPS Diversity Scholar 
sponsored by Morrison & Forester LLP

Karlens graduated Cum Laude from the University of Florida.  Born in Haiti, Karlens immigrated with his mother to the United States as a young child.  College never seemed like a feasible option for Karlens based on his socioeconomic background.  Now a first-generation college graduate, Karlens still remembers his impoverished upbringing in Haiti, and inspired by the assistance his family received through public service programs, Karlens hopes to be part of the solution rather than simply a recipient.  He has dedicated his time to mentoring low-income students who will be the first in their families to attend college.  By achieving his dream of becoming a lawyer, Karlens hopes to continue to be a role model for LGBTQ and underprivileged students who often feel overlooked.
As an American Muslim woman with immigrant parents, my entire identity, and the very intersectionality that makes me who I am, is being challenged. I know that my role in the legal community will be more important than ever.
Lana El-Farra
​1L / UC Berkeley
scholarship sponsored by
Latham & Watkins

Lana graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles.  Her commitment to social justice stems from her experiences as a Muslim-American woman, the eldest daughter of a single mother, a first-generation college student, and the daughter of immigrants.  As an undergraduate student her advocacy expanded beyond her family and she actively advocated for increased diversity and access to higher education.  She spent the last two years working at Asian Americans Advancing Justice-LA where she was a Community Legal Advocate working on issues that protect the Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian communities.
No member of my family has ever graduated college and my entire family has had arranged marriages. When I first told my parents that my dream was to go to Berkeley someday and become a lawyer, I was ridiculed.
Chante Eliaszadeh
1L / UC Berkeley
Apple Diversity Scholar 
sponsored by WilmerHale

Chante graduated from the University of California, Berkeley and by taking college courses in high school, she earned her degree in a year and a half.  Raised in a Persian immigrant household, Chante is the first in her family to obtain a college education and pursue a graduate degree.  Chante had to learn to navigate the educational system on her own while also financing her own education.  Chante hopes to specialize in cyber law and that her personal experiences will inspire other women to follow their own dreams.
I sat in disbelief as my older cousin was carried away in shackles. I made a promise to myself to live a life where I am able to help and make a positive impact on society and people.
Hasib Emran
1L / UC Hastings
scholarship sponsored by
Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Hasib graduated Cum Laude from San Francisco State University.  The son of Afghan immigrants and the first in his family to go to college, Hasib understands the significance  higher education can carry and was motivated to succeed despite not having the traditional resources to achieve his academic endeavors.  His family’s experience as immigrants inspired him to pursue legal studies.  While working at San Francisco City Hall and teaching at the highschool level exposed Hasib to the limitations of the public educational system.  Hasib hopes to continue to be a force for change in the Bay Area and that his experience will encourage others to pursue their own dreams.

While seeking to better myself and improve my family’s prospects, I also strive to give back to the communities and institutions that have offered me so much. The best way I can do this is by becoming an attorney.
Alexander Fung
Jim Pfeiffer Memorial Scholar

Alexander graduated Summa Cum Laude from  the University of California, Los Angeles.  As an undergraduate student, Alexander juggled college life and full-time work to provide for his family.  Alexander's commitment to social justice stems from his personal experiences of being raised by a single mother in an impoverished household and overcoming the hardships associated with such a background.  Alexander spent his time after graduating from UCLA working at Irell & Manella where he assists attorneys in pro bono and corporate matters.
After attending one of the children’s court hearings, I saw first-hand how critical the legal system was for children; witnessing this brief interaction in court stirred in me a desire to become an advocate for youth involved in the legal system.
Jaclyn Gomez
3L / Loyola
scholarship sponsored by
Herbert M. Rosenthal

It was Jaclyn’s passion and dedication to working with foster youth that led her to law school.  Her desire to serve the foster community began when she served as a social justice intern at a children's shelter.  Working directly with children and attending court hearings inspired her to pursue a career in dependency law as a public defender.
Passion for change drives my desire to attend law school, but it is the lessons of compassion, resiliency, and integrity that I learned from my mother years ago that to this day continue to fuel my dedication.
Nestor Cerda Gonzalez
1L / UC Berkeley
Nossaman LLP/Kaiser Permanente
​Diversity Scholar 
sponsored by Nossaman LLP

Nestor graduated with Latin Honors from the University of California, Santa Cruz.  He is the first in his family to go to  college, and the first to pursue graduate education.  For the last 3 years, Nestor has worked in the non-profit sector helping people access health care.  He is dedicated to ensuring people have adequate access to healthcare and  their medications despite obstacles such as immigration status, housing status, or cost. He believes law should be practiced compassionately, humanly, and inclusively and plans to study healthcare related law or intellectual property and pharmaceutical regulations. Nestor hopes to work at a larger law firm and help expand their pro bono efforts.
For a large part of my life, I felt shame for being an LGBT person, for growing up in poverty, and for the stereotypes people associated with Mexican immigrants. I am only where I am today because of the power of community and education, both of which taught me not to feel shame for who I am, but instead
​pride and strength.

Nicholas Gonzalez
1L / UC Hastings
scholarship sponsored by
Fenwick & West LLP

Nicholas graduated from the University of California, Berkeley where he studied History and Political Science.  He is the son of Mexican immigrants and the first in his family to attend college.  Given his family’s socioeconomic background, Nicholas has had to help support his family financially while in school.  Since graduating in 2012, Nicholas has dedicated himself to working for the Bay Area’s LGBTQ and immigrant communities through volunteer service and his professional work.  He is driven by the power of his community, which he credits for the opportunities and successes he has enjoyed in his life.  He hopes to use his skills as a lawyer to help others attain their own goals.
I decided to be a lawyer on the day Ricky, a gang member from Inglewood Families, chased me all the way to school and escorted me to my classroom seat. Later he explained he needed me to succeed, that he and everyone else in the community believed in me.
Tatiana Howard
1L / USF Law
scholarship sponsored by
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP
Tatiana graduated Cum Laude from Holy Names University.  Growing up in South Los Angeles, Tatiana was exposed to the negative relationship between her community and the police forces who patrolled it.  Her athletic talent and academic aptitude provided Tatiana with new opportunities.  She now wants to help open up opportunities for others from similar neighborhoods and backgrounds.  She is inspired by the resilience of her community and the faith they have placed in her to give back.  As an undergraduate student in the Bay Area, Tatiana has focused her studies and extracurriculars to prepare for a career in advocacy and legal practice.
My proudest moment came recently when I was able to work with immigrants stuck at the San Diego International Airport who were affected by President Trump’s “Muslim-Ban”…Our legal system encompasses one of the largest opportunities for small voices to be heard.
Crystal Innabi
3L / Cal Western
scholarship co-sponsored by
Arab American Lawyers Association of Southern California

As a member of the Catholic-Jordanian community, Crystal has a distinct understanding of what an unpredictable political climate can mean for the rights of underrepresented people.  In law school she worked with the Family Law Facilitator, Chula Vista City Attorney, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California.  Crystal plans to provide legal representation to low-income residents in the San Diego area.
I am a first generation student. My family is from the country of Bangladesh. I am working very hard to become an attorney so I can provide for my family.
Rose Kabir
​3L / Thomas Jefferson Law
scholarship co-sponsored by
South Asian Bar Association of San Diego

During her time as an undergraduate, Warda interned with the JusticeCorps working to provide services to low-income litigants.  Then during law school, she volunteered at the Small Claims Clinic and worked at the Community Economic Development Clinic where she provided pro bono services to small businesses and nonprofits.  Warda hopes to continue her work with Casa Cornelia Law Center, a public interest legal non-profit providing quality legal services to victims of human and civil rights violations.

It is this empathy that has driven me to practice law. I wanted to help those who were unable to help themselves and who were vulnerable.
Adena Mosesian Kashani
1L / Pepperdine
scholarship co-sponsored by
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP
Adena graduated with Honors from California State University, Northridge.  Her motivation for practicing law and her commitment to public service emerged from a time she felt vulnerable and promised herself she would do anything she could to help others who were vulnerable for reasons beyond their control.  She began her journey of public service by joining JusticeCorps, an organization that gives undergraduate students an opportunity to experience working in the legal field.  Through the program she has helped provide legal services to low-income immigrants who otherwise would be unable to afford an attorney.  She hopes that as a lawyer she can one day provide the legal services she has helped clients obtain.

I was taught that we always had enough to help others. And it was with this life attitude that I was admitted into law school.
Seong Young Kim
3L / USC Gould
scholarship co-sponsored by
Orange County Asian American Bar Association

Seong Young’s legal career has focused on bringing legal representation to indigent populations across Southern California.  She was awarded the Witkins Award for her performance in her Legal Analysis and Writing course.  For the past two years, she has participated in Traffic Amnesty clinics to help clients regain their driver's licenses.  She will pursue a career in public interest law with a focus on immigration policy after graduation.

The love for my family, friends and the immigrant community have embedded in me a passion for social justice and a hunger for public service.
Rigoberto Lua
1L / Santa Clara
Intel Diversity Scholar
sponsored by WilmerHale


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