Remembering the Past, Building the Future
McLean, VA. —General Counsel, P.C., one of Northern Virginia’s top business law firms, announced the 2020 recipients of the firm’s third annual First Generation Law Student Scholarship. The scholarship is open to high-achieving 2nd year law students who are the first in their family to attend law school.
The 2020 winners are Christopher Pineda, a student at the University of Southern California’s Gould School of Law, and Yongbin Chang, who attends the University of California’s Berkeley School of Law. Pineda and Chang will each be awarded $1,500 to be used toward furthering their legal education.
“We are delighted to offer this scholarship to students who are the first in their family to attend law school,” said Merritt Green, General Counsel, P.C.’s founder and Managing Partner. “As first-generation law students, Mr. Pineda and Mr. Chang have changed their worlds. Their stories are inspirational, and they are leaders paving the way for future generations.”
To be eligible for the First Generation Law Student Scholarship, applicants are required to:
- Be a 2nd year law student at an accredited law school in the U.S.
- Submit a one to two-page essay describing what it means to be a first-generation law student and your goals/aspirations
- Provide at least one recommendation discussing why you should be awarded the First Generation Law Student Scholarship
- Share their university transcript showing at least a 3.0 GPA
- Provide a copy of their resume.
About the Recipients
Mr. Chang is a 2nd year student at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. As written in his essay, “I carry not just the weight of my own future but the weight of my family’s . . .. My perspectives are motivated by my personal experience as a low-income, first-generation… student . . . and fueled by my desire to pay it forward. My own lived experiences drove me to the field of law, as I learned how competent, just lawyers could make a big impact. The law can illegalize and harm, but it has the power to humanize and protect as well. This is a reality that I have not only seen but lived. I believe that through the law and the legal profession, I can serve the underserved, build generational capital for my family, and shape the legal profession to a better place.”
Read Mr. Chang’s essay here.
Mr. Pineda is a 2nd year student at the University of Southern California, Gould School of Law. He is the son of Salvadoran-immigrant parents. As described within one of his recommendations, Mr. Pineda “had a special connection to USC even before he stepped on campus . . . [h]is mother has worked at USC since the 1980s. Chris was proud that his mom, a cashier-turned-administrator could finally say that one of her kids was a ‘Trojan.’” In his essay, Mr. Pineda wrote that “[a]s first-generation Latinx professionals, our intersectionality puts us at a higher risk of feeling underserving or alienated at elite institutions. We must be proactive in supporting each other to maximize our potential. . . . We deserve to be here, and we deserve to feel that way too.”
Read Mr. Pineda’s essay here.
Established in 2018, the General Counsel, P.C. First Generation Law Student Scholarship seeks to recognize and reward outstanding first-generation law students. It is hoped that this recognition will serve to inspire others.
Since 2004, the attorneys at General Counsel, P.C. have helped businesses, non-profits and individuals throughout the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area and across the United States. Our firm’s dedicated attorneys skillfully manage corporate planning and compliance, labor and employment issues, dispute resolution and litigation, intellectual property matters, franchising, government contracts and more.