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July 12, 2012

Multiple USF School of Law students have received writing, diversity, and public interest scholarships this year.

Caitlin Graham and Wendy Betts were awarded Public Interest Scholarships, and Perisha Wallace was awarded the Diversity Scholarship at the California Bar Foundation Scholarship Reception in October.

Jacob True 3L earned the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of International Law 2012 Rona R. Mears Student Writing Competition & Scholarship Award and attended the section’s meeting in New York City this April.

True was recognized for his essay “Balancing Competing National Interests: When American Discovery Orders Conflict with the Compliance of Foreign Law and Problems §442 Fail to Solve,” which will be published by the ABA.

Aditi Fruitwala 2L has been awarded a $5,000 diversity scholarship by Farella Braun + Martel LLP. “The diversity scholarship is a way that our firm promotes diversity in the legal profession while also assisting deserving students,” says Jennifer Peneyra, the firm’s recruiting and diversity manager.

Fruitwala was recently elected to serve on the Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom Board of Directors and is a senior project manager with Inspired Adventures. During her first year of law school, she was the 1L representative for Pride Law and a member of the Public Interest Law Foundation.

Three USF students earned 2012 California Bar Foundation Public Interest Scholarships. At a reception to be held in October, Caitlin Graham 3L will receive $7,500, Wendy Betts 3L will receive $5,000, and Megan Sallomi 2L will receive $2,500.

The scholarships are to help pay for legal education expenses such as tuition and books. They recognize students who demonstrate superior academic achievement, a sustained and extensive commitment to community service, a desire to pursue a public interest career, and financial need.

“I came to law school for one very simple and fundamental reason,” said Graham, who plans to be a public defender. “I came to law school to learn how to give a voice to the voiceless.” Graham has participated in the Keta Taylor Colby Death Penalty Project’s Southern Internship Program, and is working this summer in the trial unit of the Public Defender Service in Washington, D.C.

Sallomi, who has drafted legislation in New York City and served as a community organizer, says that lawyers are among those best positioned to assist people in need. She is interning this summer in the Office of Capital Defense Counsel in Jackson, Miss.

Betts’ focus is on promoting the rule of law in developing countries, and she has worked for nonprofit organizations in the field of international development.

“I have witnessed firsthand the individual and societal devastation that occurs when people are subjected to violence and persecution without access to judicial recourse. I have also seen the transformative power of the law to remedy injustices and reshape societies,” she said. “These experiences led me to pursue a law degree to…(protect) the rights of the vulnerable and disenfranchised.”