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Good Works Scholarship: Past Winners

Below is information about the 2015 winner of the Karin Riley Porter Good Works Scholarship. We are soon begin accepting applications for the 2017 Karin Riley Porter Good Works Scholarship.

Karin Riley Porter Good Works Scholarship Winner Announced

Karin Riley Porter Good Works ScholarshipFairfax, VA–May 27, 2015–Defense Attorney Karin Riley Porter is pleased to announce that Cynthia Lam, a graduating senior at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, is the recipient of the 2015-2016 Karin Riley Porter Good Works Scholarship. She will be attending the University of Pennsylvania in the fall, pursing a law degree.

The scholarship is awarded to a student pursuing post-secondary education who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership and commitment to making her or his community a better place. In addition to submitting a 500-word statement explaining how they are dedicated to community service, applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher to qualify for this annual scholarship.

“We received an incredible number of very impressive applications,” stated Karin Riley Porter, “which made the decision process very difficult.  We are so grateful to the many students who took the time to write about their dedicated community service experience, and we are also very proud to offer this scholarship to Cynthia.”

Miss Lam has volunteered extensively throughout her academic career, working as the Special Events chair for the Nabors Service League, a student-run community service organization at W&L, and as an intake volunteer for the Legal Services of New Jersey.  Cynthia’s other volunteer experience ranges widely, from the Children’s Specialized Hospital in NJ, to Capitol Hill, where she served as a Civic Fellow for Cabinet member Eric Shinseki at the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. From young children, to veterans, and many people in-between, Miss Lam’s service record stands out as highly impactful.

In reaction to receiving the scholarship, Cynthia stated:

“I am thrilled and humbled to receive the 2015 Karin Riley Porter Good Works Scholarship.  I have always strived to give back to the community and help those in need.  With such generous support, I am excited to further pursue my passion for advocacy while attending law school at the University of Pennsylvania this fall.  I hope to use my legal education to make a difference and truly embody the ideals of this award.  This is an incredible honor, and I am grateful to Price Benowitz for recognizing my efforts.”

Karin Riley Porter and her team are excited for Cynthia and are looking forward to next year’s round of applications, showcasing the best and brightest volunteer-scholars from across the country.

Anyone interested in learning more about the Karin Riley Porter Good Works Scholarship should email  info@virginia-criminallawyer.com or visit her website.

Winning Essay

The winner of our 2015 Karin Riley Porter Good Works Scholarship is Cynthia Lam, a senior at Washington & Lee University and soon-to-be 1L at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Below is Ms. Lam’s essay:

My name is Cynthia Lam, and I am a senior at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA, earning dual degrees in English (BA) and Business Administration (BSc), with minors in Philosophy and Creative Writing. A lifelong advocate with a passion for helping those in need, I have always yearned to give back to the community, to become a part of something greater than myself.  That is why I will be attending law school in the fall.  I plan to become a public interest trial attorney, ultimately pursuing a career in the government or nonprofit sector.

To me, public service is more than a profession.  It is a lifestyle.  My desire to make a difference drives all that I do.  This sense of purpose is evident from my long history of activism and community service, which spans my high school and college career.  From volunteering at the Children’s Specialized Hospital to leading fundraising efforts for our campus-wide philanthropy, I have embraced engagement at various levels, assuming various leadership positions.

Currently, I serve as a university-appointed Honor Advocate, representing students who are accused of institutional violations and face expulsion during executive hearings.  I am also Special Events Chair for the Nabors Service League, responsible for organizing official days of service to benefit the local Lexington community, which has generated over 1000 volunteer hours.  Additionally, I am Managing Editor of the newspaper, a Tour Guide for the Admissions Office, and a Tutor for the Writing Center.  What unites these experiences is my sense of engagement, defining my lifetime of activism, a 21-year-old work-in-progress.

My commitment to bettering the community extends beyond the Washington and Lee campus.  The summer after my sophomore year, I served as a 2013 Civic Fellow for Cabinet member Eric Shinseki in Washington, DC.  Working in the Office of the Secretary at the Department of Veterans Affairs opened my eyes to the public sector, affirming my desire to pursue a future in the government as a legal advocate.

This past summer, I volunteered at the Legal Services of New Jersey, serving individuals back home.  As an intern for the Hotline, I conducted the initial intake for low-income and underrepresented clients from all over the state, in cases ranging from child custody appeals to bankruptcy filings to landlord tenant disputes.  I soon realized how many people needed fair representation and proper access to the legal system.

Being an attorney is both a power and a privilege.  This profession is dedicated to the study and mastery of the law, with the goal of serving others so that they, too, may fully utilize this institution.  This vision of equality and justice is what draws me towards the legal field.

And now, it leads me to the inevitable next step: law school.  I am ready to dedicate my life to continuing this cause, doing what I love.  I want to make my mark in this profession and leave a legacy of service and equality.  This is my calling.

We are proud to extend this scholarship to Miss Lam, and we wish her all the best in her law school career.