General Counsel, P.C. First Generation Law Student Scholarship

Created in 2018, the General Counsel, P.C. First Generation Law Student Scholarship seeks to support, recognize, and reward excellence within the First Generation Law Student community. 

Scholarship Information 

Application Submissions:

Applications must be submitted between October 1st and October 31st. No early or late applications will be accepted.

Applications MUST include all the information outlined in the below Requirements.  Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Due to the time required to review each application, only the first fifty (50) applications will be accepted. When/if fifty (50) applications have been received, we will provide notice here and no additional applications will be accepted.

Applications should be sent to

Award: $1,500 provided (in December) to two (2) scholarship winners.



  • Must be the first in your family to attend law school
  • Must be 2nd Year Law student currently attending an accredited law school in the U.S.
  • Must have first year law school GPA of 3.0 (or better)
  • US. citizen or permanent resident; 18 years or older


  • 1-2 page essay describing your personal journey, what it means to you to be a first generation law student, and your goals/aspirations
  • At least one (1) letter of recommendation discussing why you should be awarded the First Generation Law Student Scholarship
  • Law School Transcript
  • Current Resume


  • Winning recipients agree and grant General Counsel, P.C., its agents and/or representatives, permission to post the applicant’s name, picture, school or university, and winning essay on the firm’s website,, and the firm’s marketing platforms, including but not limited to blog, newsletter, and social media accounts.
  • “Family” as used herein is defined as grandparents, parents, and/or siblings.

Former Scholarship Recipients

2022 Scholarship Recipients

General Counsel, P.C. was honored to award the 2022 General Counsel, P.C. First Generation Law Student Scholarship to Vanessa Agudelo and Joan Komolafe.

Vanessa Agudelo is a 2nd year law student at Harvard Law School. She majored in Public Policy and minored in Education at Duke University, and intends to pursue a legal career "at the intersection of venture capital and education technology." Her goal is "close the education gap" and make it possible for students from all backgrounds to access a quality education. One initiative that she's already made along these lines is to advocate for affordable course materials. Harvard Law School's First Class Textbook Library was created following Ms. Agudelo's efforts. Read her full essay here.

Joan Komolafe is a 2nd year law student at UCLA School of Law who is the daughter of immigrants from Nigeria and has served in the Peace Corps in North Macedonia. One of the people she helped there was a Roma woman who was the victim of domestic abuse, with no legal documentation and no available housing. "Along with a lawyer, I helped her petition the Ministry of Justice and aided her in filing for her right to legal citizenship and housing...." According to Conchita Valenzuela, who wrote Ms. Komolafe's recommendation, "Joan's love for serving others is evident in her actions; others look to her for motivation and leadership." Read Ms. Komolafe's full essay here.

2021 Scholarship Recipients

General Counsel, P.C. was honored to award the 2021 General Counsel, P.C. First Generation Law Student Scholarship to William Anderson and Zoe Mitrofanis.

Mr. William Lyell Anderson, II is a 2nd year law student at the University of Texas School of Law.  He grew up in Houston, TX where his family ran an appliance repair shop.  Growing up in the repair shop, exposed him to mechanics and electronics and has motivated Mr. Anderson to pursue a career as an intellectual property / patent litigator.  As a first generation student, there were obstacles and hard work.  As Mr. Anderson wrote, “[f]ew men, if any, are self-made in the truest sense of the word, and I do not county myself among them.  I have benefitted from the help of others at critical points in my life. . . .”  Read Mr. Anderson’s Essay Here.

USC Gould Logo

Ms. Zoe Mitrofanis is a 2nd year law student at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law.  Ms. Mitrofanis’ grandfather immigrated from Cyprus.  He opened and operated a dry-cleaning business.  Education was a passion for Ms. Mitrofanis’ grandfather, he often told Zoe, “It is the one thing that no one can ever take from you.”  Throughout high school and college, Ms. Mitrofanis worked at the dry cleaners.  “I was eventually able to pursue an advanced degree in large part because of the time I spent sweeping floors and sorting laundry that wasn’t mine.”  “The irony has never been lost on me that the dry cleaners – my pappou’s humble venture – is what has both literally and metaphorically afforded me my education.  It symbolizes the sacrifices of so many in my family and has propelled me. . . .”  And Ms. Mitrofanis’ family’s passion for education has motivated her to law school to pursue education law and to promote equity in public education.  “My ultimate goal is to advocate for the public school students – and their families – who have long been denied the opportunities, resources, and respect that enabled by pappou and subsequently, me father, to dream big.”  “I look forward to advancing legal and policies remedies that will make public schools more equitable, more accessible, and more supportive of those whose dreams of an education have yet to be realized.”      Read Ms. Mitrofanis’ Essay Here.

2020 Scholarship Recipients

General Counsel, P.C. was honored to award the 2020 General Counsel, P.C. First Generation Law Student Scholarship to Christoper Pineda and Yongbin Chang. 

USC Gould Logo

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 and a first generation law student.  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 Salvadoran immigrant and campus 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 underserved 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 full essay here.

BerkeleyLaw Logo

Mr. Chang is a 2nd year student at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. As stated in his LinkedIn profile, Mr. Chang is a first-generation, AAPI-identifying, and undocumented professional. 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, and underrepresented 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 full essay here.


2019 Scholarship Recipients

General Counsel, P.C. was honored to award the 2019 General Counsel, P.C. First Generation Law Student Scholarship to Michael Tayag and Jonathan Mireles.

Yale Law School Logo

Mr. Tayag is a 2nd year student at Yale Law School.  “I overcame significant adversity to attain higher education.  My family struggled with a household income usually below $20,000.00.  My mother worked up to 80 hours a week. . . . I worked throughout high school to pay for my own food, phone, car, gas, and auto insurance.”  “As the first person in my family to pursue a graduate or professional education, I will continue following my calling to cultivate a diverse legal profession and excellence among first-generation professionals.”  Read Mr. Tayag's full essay here.

UC Davis Law School Logo

Mr. Mireles is a 2nd year student at the University of California, Davis School of Law. He was the first person in his family to attend and graduate from law school.  And will be first to attend and graduate from a professional program.  His parents immigrated to the United States when they were both teenagers with “nothing more than the clothes on their back and the dream of achieving a better future for my three siblings and me.”  “Because of my parent’s sacrifices, and their example of selflessness, I understood at an early age that I had a purpose and that no aspect of my family’s history, wealth or pedigree could prevent me from fulfilling it.  My purpose is to serve others.”  Read Mr. Mireles' full essay here.


2018 Scholarship Recipients

Mr. William Wolfe and Mr. Samson Lim were both awarded the 2018 General Counsel, P.C. First Generation Law Student Scholarship.

Syracuse University Law School Logo“We are delighted to offer this scholarship to students who are the first in their family to attend law school,” said Merritt Green, Founder/Managing Partner, General Counsel, P.C. “We feel this scholarship is a great way to educate the legal community on what it means to be a first generation law student, and how these students can help pave the way for future generations.”

William Wolfe, a second-year student at Syracuse College of Law, is not only the first in his family to attend law school, but to attend college. Growing up in one of the most poverty stricken and crime riddled neighborhoods in Chicago, Wolfe overcame multiple socio-economic challenges to pursue his dreams of becoming someone who could really make a difference in his community.

“William’s strong commitment to being the pivotal change in his family tree from generational poverty to generational wealth, and his desire to use legal training to help those in need and be a voice for the underrepresented and oppressed in today’s society, is what made him stand out to our team,” explained Green. Read Wolfe’s essay here.

Berkley Law School LogoSamson Lim, a first-year year student at Berkeley, took a nontraditional path on his journey to law school. Lim emigrated from Singapore at just six weeks old. After suffering a sports injury in third grade, he was diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder that left him wheelchair bound. After nearly 10 years, Lim underwent a successful nine-hour surgery that helped him regain the use of his legs.

Feeling as though he’d been given a new lease on life, he was inspired to live it with purpose and fulfill his passion to use law to make a difference in the world of public policy. “What stood out about Samson is his clear drive to have a seat at the political table in order to make real change happen,” said Green. “The fact that he overcame so many obstacles to get to where he is today impressed us immensely.” Read Lim's Essay here.



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