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Law Students Awarded California Bar Foundation Scholarships

March 24, 2010

The California Bar Foundation recently presented scholarships to USF School of Law students who demonstrated a commitment to public service.

California Bar Foundation Board President Scott Wylie, USF Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Erin Dolly, Carmen Franklin 1L, Assistant Dean for Academic Services Elizabeth Benhardt, Marie Montesano 3L, Meredith Marzouli 3L, and California Bar Foundation Board Member and Scholarship Committee Chair Vivian Kral pictured at a Sept. 25 reception honoring scholarship recipients.

The scholarships were announced at a Sept. 25 reception during the California State Bar Annual Meeting in Monterey.

Meredith Marzuoli 3L and Marie Montesano 3L received $2,500 Public Interest Scholarships for their public defense work and international human rights advocacy. The scholarship recognizes students that demonstrate superior academic achievement, a commitment to public service, and financial need.

Marzuoli, who hopes to pursue a career in public defense work, has defended inmates on death row at the Office of Capital Defense Counsel in Mississippi and represented misdemeanor cases through USF's Criminal Law Clinic. This summer, Marzuoli interned at the Alameda County Public Defender's Office.

Montesano interned at the Cambodia Human Rights Committee in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and assists in human rights research. As a legal research assistant, she worked with Professor Connie de la Vega on a case pending before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and is presently working with Professor Peter Jan Honigsberg researching enemy combatants, detention without due process, and other post-9/11 issues.

Carmen Franklin 1L received the newly created Diversity Scholarship in the amount of $2,500. The award was created this year for incoming law students historically underrepresented in the legal profession who demonstrate financial need and a desire to make a positive impact as a community leader.

Before attending law school, Franklin spent three years in JusticeCorps (an AmeriCorps program), working as a consultant for the court and receiving the volunteer of the year award from the Superior Court of Los Angeles. Franklin also served as a judicial administration fellow for the Alameda County Superior Court.

"The law school is extremely proud of this year's scholarship recipients," said Assistant Dean for Academic Services Elizabeth Benhardt, who chairs the Student Scholarship Committee. "Meredith, Marie, and Carmen were selected from a very competitive field of applicants. Each of them represents the USF tradition of pursuing social justice. Each deserves the acknowledgement of their academic excellence and demonstrated commitment to public service."