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Law School Welcomes Inaugural Cohort of Courtroom and Public Interest Scholars

Inaugural cohort of Courtroom and Public Interest Scholars arrive, fall 2018 Left to right: Marisabel Alonso, Spencer Plante, Ryan Nasino, Ali Munshi, Aidan Carickhoff, Nicole Furlani, Mary Lawrence

September 20, 2018

The law school’s Class of 2021 features seven students who were awarded scholarships for demonstrating a commitment to trial advocacy and serving the public interest.

Courtroom Scholarships were awarded to five students who demonstrated interest and aptitude in mock trial competitions at the undergraduate level sponsored by the American Mock Trial Association, while Public Interest Scholarships went to two students who had devoted significant time to addressing unmet needs in the community before they applied to law school.

The scholarship amounts ranged from $5,000 to full tuition. Each scholar is paired with a mentor and receives priority to attend selected events where they can meet practitioners whose career interests dovetail with their own.

“The Kline School of Law has long been dedicated to public interest law and to trial advocacy, and these two scholarship programs help to underscore that commitment,” Assistant Dean Audrey Woods said. “We’re absolutely thrilled to support students who demonstrate that they share these fundamental commitments with us.”

Before receiving Courtroom Scholarships, these students made their mark as budding trial advocates, serving as presidents, captains and champions on trial teams at their undergraduate schools. Aidan Carickhoff came from Temple University; Nicole Furlani graduated from Stetson University; Mary Lawrence came from Penn State, and Ali Munshi is an alum of Quinnipiac University. Ryan Nasino, already a Drexel dragon, merely traveled across campus to attend the Kline School of Law.

Since graduating from college, Public Interest Scholar Marisabel Alonso racked up myriad hours as an intern and volunteer to help abused children, tutor immigrants, entertain nursing home residents and feed homeless people. Her classmate and fellow Public Interest Scholar Spencer Plante worked as a field organizer for a political campaign to boost voter turnout, helped Cuban and Haitian immigrants with resettlement efforts and handled client intake at a Philadelphia nutrition program.

“These students have already proven their commitment as advocates,” Woods said. “I can’t wait to see where their careers take them.”