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Patrick Malone: 2020 Law School Scholarship Winners

Published on: 08/24/2020

Patrick Malone & Associates announces 2020 winners of the firm’s Representing Real People law school scholarships

Washington, D.C.: The law firm of Patrick Malone & Associates is giving $27,000 in law school scholarships in 2020 in its “Representing Real People” program to encourage students to enter legal careers representing underserved individuals. 

There are two winners of $5,000 scholarships and seventeen of $1,000, another record amount in the firm’s program, which in 2020 reached its fifth year.

“We are grateful and moved by the many stories of personal sacrifice and dedication of our applicants,” Patrick Malone said. “We were flooded with so many worthy applicants that we again expanded our number of scholarships. When we set up this program four years ago, we planned to give only the two $5,000 scholarships, but we quickly saw the need to do more.”

The “Representing Real People” scholarships are intended for students committed to a career representing individuals, especially those of limited means.  Suitable fields of law include immigration, tenant rights, employment (for individual employees and unions), family matters, disability rights, estates and trusts, criminal defense for indigents, and public interest law focusing on individual rights.

Here is the list of winners for 2020:

$5,000 scholarships:

  • Alexis Kallen of Bullhead City, AZ, Yale Law School
  • Katie Wiese of Denver, CO, Georgetown University Law Center, D.C.

$1,000 scholarships:

  • Ivanovich Almonte of Flushing, NY, St. John’s University School of Law, Queens, NY
  • Rachel Appel of Silver Spring, MD, UC-Berkeley Law
  • Natalie Chew of Glen Rock, NJ, New York University School of Law
  • Abigail Cruz of Los Angeles CA, UC-Hastings School of Law
  • Katelyn Deibler of Lancaster, PA, American University Washington College of Law
  • Samantha Espada of Mamaroneck, NY, Indiana University Maurer School of Law
  • Sarah Henning of Grayson, GA, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Jesse Johnson of Vashon, WA, University of Washington School of Law (Seattle)
  • Leora Johnson of Bronx, NY, University of Michigan School of Law
  • Christina LaRitz of Flemington, NJ, New York University School of Law
  • Angela (Olive) Lee of Fairfax, VA, George Washington University Law School, Washington, D.C.
  • Emma Lynch of Austin, TX, Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law
  • Laurel Nitzel of Omaha, NE, University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Law
  • Precious Penny of Waldorf, MD, Georgetown University Law Center, D.C.
  • Angela Seagraves of Moorpark, CA, George Washington University Law School, Washington, D.C.
  • Melissa Segarra of Doral, FL, UCLA School of Law
  • Sarah Simon of Valparaiso, IN, Stanford Law School

Here is more information about our winners. Some of these are written by us, and some are in the words of the winning student.

$5,000 winners:

Alexis Kallen is a Rhodes Scholar focused on advocating for women with disabilities. She has worked at the U.S. Supreme Court, Human Rights Watch, and various non-profit organizations globally to gain experience advocating for vulnerable populations. Before going to Oxford to get a master’s in international development, Alexis graduated from Stanford, where she was the student speaker at Stanford’s 127th convocation and a 2017 Harry S. Truman Scholar. Alexis’s mother died giving birth to her, and she grew up with cerebral palsy, learning how to walk and speak clearly, overcoming doctors’ predictions of a low-functioning life. With her law degree, she hopes to represent female asylum-seekers with disabilities.

Katie Wiese is a summa cum laude graduate of Occidental College who has worked with the U.S. State Department, the United Nations, and various non-profits to combat human trafficking and gender-based violence. In her second year at Georgetown law school, she plans to work as a student attorney representing asylum seekers in federal immigration court.

$1,000 winners:


 Ivanovich Almonte is a Ronald H. Brown Scholar and a summa cum laude graduate of St. John’s University. He became motivated to become a lawyer once he learned about the injustices embedded within the criminal justice system against minorities, as well as the lack of diversity within licensed professions. As a Dominican male, he wishes to motivate his community to pursue their dreams and obtain higher education despite the obstacles that may be presented to them. Once he becomes a lawyer, Ivanovich wishes to do public interest work, which includes criminal law defense and criminal justice reform. 


 Rachel Appel is a graduate of Binghamton University who has worked at the ACLU of Utah, the League of Women Voters of the United States and the Salt Lake City Mayor’s Office promoting and protecting civil rights. An incoming student at Berkeley Law and descendent of refugees, she plans to represent individuals seeking asylum, refugee status or other immigration assistance.


 Natalie Chew graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and will be attending New York University School of Law.  After graduation, she is hoping to represent individuals in civil rights cases, having worked as a paralegal in worker’s rights/employee rights law firms prior to law school.


 My name is Abigail Cruz, I am a 1L at UC Hastings School of Law. I am motivated to pursue a career in employment law after witnessing the injustices that my parents experienced as farmworkers and the clients that I worked with through a non-profit that provided free legal representation to farmworkers. I hope to expand my skills so that I am better equipped to represent farmworkers in California to hopefully one day make the farmworker profession the dignified job that it is.


 Katelyn Deibler received her B.A. in International Relations from American University and has spent the last four years working with different organizations that provide legal services to immigrants and refugees. She has taught nearly 150 hours of English as a Second-Language courses through the Washington English Center, and she hopes to represent immigrant juveniles in asylum court after graduation. 


 Samantha Espada, a native New Yorker, is a passionate advocate for the eradication of systemic barriers for marginalized communities focused on effective policy change and political representation. Samantha aspires to defend those disenfranchised by the current legal system with her juris doctorate. 


 Sarah Henning, University of North Carolina School of Law. Ms. Henning has worked in Tlaxcala, Mexico with La Sagrada Familia and is committed to serving migrant communities. She hopes to build a career in human rights advocacy.


 Jesse Edward Johnson is a writer and artist based in the Pacific Northwest. Jesse’s most recent novel, The King of Nothing Much, was published by Paul Dry Books in 2020. His debut release, Yearbook, was published in 2017.  Jesse has a Ph.D. in English from UCLA, where he taught literature for five years, and a B.A. in English from UC Berkeley. He has taught writing to inmates at San Quentin State Prison and at Hugo House in Seattle.


 Leora Johnson is the daughter of Mexican and Jewish immigrants who taught her that pursuing justice is a collective responsibility. She is an Americorps alumna, the mother of 3 young girls, and has worked in undergraduate and graduate admissions for 15 years, recruiting and supporting historically excluded students. She plans to be a civil rights attorney with a focus on higher education access, educational equity and racial justice. Leora earned her BA with honors from Brown University and will be attending CUNY School of Law as a Hayward Burns Public Interest Scholar.  


 Christina (Tina) LaRitz graduated third in her class of 1,404 students from Boston College. She traveled to Jordan and Palestine to do research for her senior thesis on refugees and has worked since graduation as a refugee youth mentor for Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area.


 Angela (Olive) Lee is a first-generation professional and a Public Interest Scholar at George Washington University Law School. She volunteers as a Court Appointed Special Advocate with the Alexandria JDR Court in Northern Virginia and is interested in studying family and immigration law.


 Emma Lynch: I graduated from Southwestern University, where I studied Special Education and History. After teaching in a public middle school for five years, I am attending law school to pursue a career in disability rights and school law. 


 Laurel Nitzel has worked with both the special needs and low-income immigrant populations, growing her passion for social justice.  She has deferred starting law school for one year because of the pandemic. She plans to attend the University of Nebraska Lincoln College of Law in the fall of 2021 to fulfill her dream of working in immigration law to service low-income female victims of domestic violence and trafficking. 

 Precious Penny is from Waldorf, Maryland and is an incoming 1L student at Georgetown University Law Center. She is passionate about ending healthcare disparities, particularly for minority and underserved communities. She plans to work in health law. 

 Angela Seagraves is a cum laude graduate of the University of California, Riverside who has interned in probate and trust litigation, the US House of Representatives, Temecula city government, and the Federal Public Defender’s Office. She plans to use her legal education to pursue a career representing indigent people in the criminal justice system. She hopes to become a Circuit Court Justice far in the future one day.

 Melissa Segarra graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor’s degree in music and dramaturgy and later graduated from Indiana University – Bloomington with a master’s degree in public affairs concentrating in nonprofit management and policy analysis. She recently served as an Illinois JusticeCorps fellow at the Circuit Court of Cook County in Chicago, Illinois where she assisted pro se litigants with civil cases. Most recently she served as a fellow with Al Otro Lado Border Rights Project in Tijuana, Mexico where she helped asylum seekers affected by the Remain in Mexico policy prepare their asylum cases. She is currently attending UCLA School of Law and is interested in specializing in immigration law in order to advance immigrants’ and migrants rights.

 Sarah Simon, from Valparaiso, Indiana, is in her second year of law school at Stanford University and a member of Stanford Law Review.  She will be clerking on the 6th Circuit upon her graduation in 2022.

“Thousands of Americans every day go into courthouses with no lawyer to represent them, and they face major and sometimes devastating consequences to their lives,” Patrick Malone said. He noted that the only people who have a constitutional right to a lawyer are those facing felony criminal charges, but the civil courts conduct proceedings that can uproot a person from their home, job, and family, and cause financial ruin. “We want to encourage young people to go into careers helping these individuals.”

More information about the Malone scholarship program, including eligibility and application details, can be found at:

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