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Inspiring future lawyers to pursue justice through Morgan & Morgan’s ‘For the People’ Scholarship

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At Morgan & Morgan, we are committed to giving back to the community and fighting for what’s right. We are a leading personal injury law firm dedicated to protecting the people, not the powerful. The law, after all, is about making the world a better place in which to live. For 30 years Morgan & Morgan’s commitment to work “for the people” has extended beyond the courtroom.

Our core philosophy is that we don’t shy away from a challenge. We do what’s necessary to bully the bullies, whether that means winning large jury verdicts against big corporations and insurance companies, fighting unscrupulous employers, or advocating for civil rights. We take pride in the fact that we do not represent insurance companies, hospitals or other large corporations. We have limited our law practice to the representation of the plaintiffs, covering a wide range of personal injury and consumer protection cases.

We want to inspire young lawyers to approach their careers with that same mindset, and we understand that law school is a massive financial undertaking. A few years ago, we decided we wanted to help law students who were motivated by the same pursuit of justice that our attorneys are, and we launched our “For the People” scholarship. Each year, we award the scholarship to a current law student who is driven to fight for those who need it most.

Previous Winners

In 2016, we were thrilled to award our first annual scholarship to Bryan Payton, an aspiring civil rights lawyer who demonstrated his passion for criminal justice reform and educational equality. Bryan is fiercely determined to improve our legal system so that no one is denied equal protection under the law.

Bryan grew up in Detroit and his experience with inequality fostered his activism. In college, he traveled throughout Rhode Island to help public high school students working to end the school-to-prison pipeline. After graduating, he joined the Federal Defenders of New York as a paralegal to highlight and combat unequal access to justice for low-income people in America.

Now a JD candidate at Harvard Law School, he is pursuing his dream to help fill the gap in legal services for low-income people and communities of color. After winning the scholarship, he said, “There’s a critical lack of men of color in the legal profession… and seeing that this need needs to be fulfilled in certain spaces gives me more motivation to think that this is exactly what I should be doing, and something that I could be doing.”

Law student Li Reed was our 2017 “For the People” scholarship winner. Hailing from the South Side of Chicago, Li overcame many obstacles that threatened her path to success. Before enrolling at Harvard Law School, she taught at one of the lowest performing middle schools in the District of Columbia, where she saw children face many of the same challenges she had growing up. These experiences motivated her to want to equip her students with the tools necessary to surpass the social stigma and difficulties of educational inequality. Inspired by her students’ accomplishments, growth, and resilience in the face of such adversity, she shared in her essay: “I’m eager to clear the path for children like those I served, and I’m convinced that the law is the best tool to achieve this goal.”

To Li, standing up for the “little guy,” which was our 2017 essay topic, means supporting those with less, giving a voice to someone who is ignored, providing an opportunity to someone who has been disadvantaged, or sharing resources with someone who has doesn’t have any.

We know there are many law students out there like Bryan and Li who are bright and passionate and committed to fighting for justice. We can’t wait to read this year’s submissions.

How to Apply

This year’s scholarship award is $5,000. Eligible students include those who are currently accepted or enrolled at a law school accredited by the American Bar Association or the Association of American Law Schools. Applicants must submit an essay that describes a cause they’re passionate about and how they would further pursue supporting it in their legal career. Scholarship applicants will be evaluated primarily on the quality of their answers, but also on their creativity.

We want to hear from you, so get your submission in before the Dec. 1, 2018, deadline. We know Thanksgiving break is coming up soon—it’s the perfect time to sit down and tell us how you’ll fight for justice as a lawyer!

Visit our website to read more about the scholarship and submit your application.

*Please note that relatives of anyone who works at Morgan & Morgan, as well as past scholarship awardees, are not eligible to participate.