Patrick Malone & Associates Announces 2018 Winners of “Representing Real People” Law School Scholarships

Washington, D.C.: The Patrick Malone & Associates law firm is giving away $13,000 in scholarships in 2018 to five law students in the third year of the firm’s “Representing Real People” law school scholarship program.

Two students are each receiving $5,000, and three others are receiving $1,000 each, to be applied to law school tuition and fees.

The winners of $5,000 scholarships are:

Sumer Ghazala of Troy, MI, who is starting her first year at Yale Law School in New Haven, CT. Ms. Ghazala is an Iraqi-American who grew up in a traditional Muslim household in Michigan, where she joined a successful effort to turn around a decision by the Sterling Heights, MI city council to deny a building permit for a Shia Muslim mosque. Since graduating with honors from the University of Michigan-Dearborn, she has worked as a volunteer helping refugee families settle into their new communities.

Katherine Surma of Prospect Heights, IL, who will attend Northwestern Pritzker School of Law in Chicago, IL. Ms. Surma is also the daughter of immigrant parents. She was inspired to begin a legal career after seeing her father become paralyzed following complications from a back surgery, and his subsequent struggle with disability and medical bills. During her undergraduate work at the University of Chicago, she had internships with several federal agencies where she focused on disability and human rights law.

Runners-up who each will receive $1,000 are:

Olijas Majitov of San Francisco, CA, who is enrolling at University of Pittsburgh School of Law in Pittsburgh, PA as a second-career student following several years spent as a housing rights activist in San Francisco

Anna Malone of Newfane, NY, who will attend the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Ms. Malone (no relation to Patrick Malone) has spent the last two years employed by the Salvation Army working with at-risk youth.

Rianna Hidalgo of Seattle, WA, who will attend the University of California-Berkeley Law School. Ms. Hidalgo has spent the last several years as a journalist focusing on stories about homeless and mentally ill individuals.

The “Representing Real People” scholarships are intended for students committed to a career representing individuals, especially those of limited means.  Suitable fields of law include immigration, tenant rights, employment (for individual employees and unions), family matters, disability rights, estates and trusts, and public interest law focusing on individual rights.

“Thousands of Americans every day go into courthouses with no lawyer to represent them, and they face major and sometimes devastating consequences to their lives,” Malone said. He noted that the only people who have a constitutional right to a lawyer are those facing felony criminal charges, but the civil courts conduct proceedings that can uproot a person from their home, job, and family, or cause financial ruin. “We want to encourage young people to go into careers helping these individuals.”

More information about the Malone scholarship program, including eligibility and application details, can be found at: