On Tuesday, October 9 Bay Area Minority Law Student Scholarship donors, recipients, board members of the Justice & Diversity Center (JDC) and the Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) gathered to celebrate and honor 2018 scholarship donors and recipients Sallia Wilkins, Wendy Melissa Hernandez and Abdiel Lewis.
The reception was hosted by Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass. BASF/JDC executive director Yolanda Jackson introduced Coblentz partner Pam Duffy who reaffirmed the firm’s commitment to host the reception. “Being a good lawyer with a good dedication to the principles of justice could not be a more important avocation and duty than it is right now in society,” Duffy said. “You matter more than you know and your journey, while difficult, is more important than it’s ever been before”.
BASF/JDC president Malcolm Heinicke then joined in congratulating the law student recipients. Long-time scholarship donor Richard Zitrin offered remarks and acknowledged two of his former scholarship recipients in the room, in addition to this year’s Wendy Hernandez, now also a recipient of the Shanna Bradford scholarship of the Arthur & Charlotte Zitrin Foundation. Wendy is a 2L at Hastings College of the Law and is the first in her family to go to college. She has also worked in the prison rights area and has written three published articles, one of which led her to become a Restorative Justice Fellow at UC Berkeley’s Restorative Justice Center.
Ronnie Caplane then presented the Dr. Ruth Shaber scholarship to Sallia Wilkins, a first-year law student at University of San Francisco. Sallia spoke to the scholarship being her motivation to keep pressing forward and desire to pay it forward to
similar aspiring students.
Carole Conn, on behalf of the SF-Marin Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS), followed in presenting the SF-Marin LRIS scholarship to Abdiel Lewis, a first-year law student at Santa Clara University School of Law. She shared Abdiel’s story in migrating from Trinidad and Tobago and her desire to be actively involved in social justice issues to help those who can’t help themselves.
Scholarships were awarded based on financial need, scholastics, involvement in public service and barriers faced in life. Each recipient will receive a $10,000 scholarship for the 2018-2019 academic year, which may be renewable for an additional one to two years. Donors of former and continuing scholarships include Morrison & Foerster, AT&T, Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass, PG&E, Keker, Van Nest & Peters, and many others.
Since its inception in 1998, the Bay Area Minority Law Student Scholarship program has awarded more than $2 million in support to 100 students. The program was established to reaffirm a commitment to diversity in legal education and the legal profession.
Learn more about the program: www.sfbar.org/scholarships.