MWH Awards First Annual Diversity & Inclusion Scholarship
MWH Law Group awarded its first annual Diversity & Inclusion Scholarship Award to Madeline Farrell of Marquette University Law School. MWH is committed to providing a platform to support the next generation of leaders in the legal profession. We value an inclusive and diverse workplace culture where we seek a broad range of perspectives and contributions. This scholarship is just one example of our commitment to diversity and inclusion. Farrell is an incoming 1L to Marquette University Law School. Following is her scholarship application essay.
If there is one thing I have learned as a young professional, it is that there is rarely a straight path one takes in order to pursue their professional goals. My undergraduate studies aligned me to follow a career in law or politics, as both have always been interests of mine, but I knew in order to make the best decision for my own success, I wanted to enter the professional world before officially deciding to pursue a law degree.
Upon graduating from Illinois State University in 2017, I accepted a position at The Women’s Center, a nonprofit in the Greater Milwaukee area. For two years as an advocate, I served survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and childhood sexual abuse where I provided crisis counseling, case management, and legal accompaniment. This role opened my eyes to the inequities and barriers survivors face on a daily basis, often due in part to policies, or lack of policy, that aides the cyclical nature of interpersonal violence. I walked alongside many individuals on their paths to healing, often using education and the law to empower survivors to make autonomous choices to better their lives. This position opened my eyes to the strength and resilience of human beings and what justice truly means.
Currently, as a confidential advisor at the University of Illinois at Urbana -Champaign, I work with students, faculty, and staff who have experienced sexual misconduct on campus. I assist clients in identifying University processes and procedures that offer support, protections, and hopefully, closure. I provide accompaniment throughout the entire University disciplinary process and educate individuals on their rights and options granted by the University and Illinois law. While I never pictured myself in an advocacy role, my positions have allowed me to work with populations who have historically been dismissed, left unprotected, and underserved. I have been able to connect with people from all walks of life who at the end of the day, just wanted the same thing as me; to be heard, to be respected, and to be treated fairly.
Within my current position, I am also involved on committees such as the Emerging Women Leaders Forum who helps other young professionals to develop leadership strategies to positively impact their professional development. I serve on the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) which helps to coordinate community response with law enforcement, healthcare providers, and local nonprofits. I also am involved with the United Way Emerging Community Leaders which has allowed me to be involved in my community and build personal and professional development through volunteerism.
My professional experiences have been incredibly rewarding, and I know the work I have done is worthy and has made a difference. I want to continue creating change, but I want to achieve this at a higher level. Obtaining a law degree will grant me the ability to help on an interpersonal level through legal counsel and representation, as well as create change through policy that has the potential to impact the community and beyond.
Law school has always been something I have wanted to pursue, but through my professional experiences, I now have a why. This would be for all of the survivors I have worked with who have lived through unimaginable tragedies and for the parents I worked with who fought every day to create a better life for their children. The MWH Law Group Scholarship would help lighten the financial burden of pursuing a law degree and by receiving this scholarship, it would allow me work with under resourced populations, such as those harmed by interpersonal violence. This scholarship would grant me the freedom to finance my education and use my passion and drive for the betterment of my community.
Congratulations, and best of luck, Madeline!
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