See Our Scholarship Winners Here!
Every day across America, tens of thousands of people stand up in court to represent themselves without a lawyer. Their cases are serious, but there is no constitutional right to a lawyer for civil cases, and so many come to court alone because they cannot afford an attorney.
They encounter a complex legal system built by lawyers for lawyers. Often, they face an adversary who is better-funded and does have an attorney, and this skews the scales of justice with sometimes drastic results.
“Pro se” litigants, as self-represented people are called in the civil justice system, can lose their homes, custody of their children, and many other serious consequences. Even in small claims court, corporations can sue individuals for stale debts that would be thrown out if the debtor had counsel, and these adverse judgments can drive people struggling on the edge into financial ruin.
The safety and stability of large segments of the American population are at stake here: Evictions, foreclosures, child support, domestic violence, employment rights, inheritance when parents have died without a will—these are only a sample of the legal issues facing individuals for which they need expert and compassionate help from dedicated attorneys.
Lawyers can make a difference in rebalancing the scales of justice by choosing a career representing real people, especially when those clients couldn’t otherwise afford a lawyer.
Patrick Malone & Associates is offering two scholarships of $5,000 each to law students committed to a career representing individuals. We call this our “Representing Real People” scholarship. Our goal is to make a dent in the high cost of law school for students who want to represent individuals, to make it a little easier to choose such a career path.
What legal career paths qualify? Here are examples:
- Family law
- Employment law representing employees (not employers)
- Landlord-tenant law representing tenants
- Personal injury law representing injured individuals and families
- Elder law
- Immigration law representing individuals
- Disability rights
- Estates and trusts, and any probate matters representing individuals
- Public interest law focused on individual rights
One of our two scholarships is designated for students attending law school in or near the District of Columbia, our law firm’s home base. The other can be used at any law school in the United States.
- Recipient must be accepted at an accredited U.S. law school and plan to attend in the fall of the year of application.
- Recipient must intend to pursue a legal career representing individuals, especially those of limited financial means within the United States.
- Interested applicants should download an application form here and fill it out completely.
- Submit completed form by July 1 to PM&A at the address shown on the form, along with:
- Personal essay
- Proof of acceptance to or current attendance at a U.S. accredited law school.
- Official transcript for all completed terms in law school up to date of application.
- Official complete transcript for all undergraduate college attendance.
Deadline and more details:
- Deadline for completed application and all supporting material is July 1 of the year for which the application is made.
- Notification of the scholarship award decision will be made on the firm’s website by September 1.
- Scholarship will be paid to the award recipient’s law school to cover tuition and other fees.
- Patrick Malone & Associates reserves the right to withhold awarding a scholarship in any year in which we do not receive sufficient high quality applications.