The law school's three full-tuition scholarship recipients this year are focused on issues ranging from immigrant rights to environmental justice. Two full-tuition Scholars for Justice Awards are given each year to admitted students who demonstrate a commitment to a career in public interest law, both before and after law school. The Adolf A. Berle Scholarship is given to a student who has a keen intellectual interest in understanding the nature of modern society, particularly the nature of the modern corporation and its intersection with law and society.
This year's scholars:
Adolf A. Berle Scholar
Jordann Hallstrom has a strong background in business, as well as a commitment to justice. A Seattle native, she earned a degree in finance and emphases in Spanish studies and international business from Santa Clara University. After graduation, she worked as a business analyst at Cisco Systems in the Bay Area.
At Santa Clara, she received the Financial Executives International Scholarship, a merit scholarship awarded to only three finance students per year, and co-authored the article "Dancing with the Enemy: Can China be a Viable Alternative for U.S. Investors?" in The Journal of International Business and Cultural Studies. A highlight during her time at Santa Clara was a business-related immersion trip to El Salvador, where she learned first-hand the impact business and microfinancing initiatives can have on helping shape society.
Hallstrom also has an interest in criminal law and public service. While she was in college, she interned with the Office of the Public Defender in Santa Clara County and the Northern California Innocence Project, which cemented her decision to pursue a J.D. She also volunteered at an elementary school for predominately Spanish speaking students and at a community center working with homeless adults.
As the Berle Scholar, Hallstrom will be involved with the work of the Adolf A. Berle, Jr. Center on Corporations, Law and Society. She said the global economic crisis demands that corporations analyze and re-evaluate their business practices.
"Complying with the increasing regulations together with sensitivity to their impact on individuals and society presents a challenge for many corporations, one that I find especially intriguing," she said. "I am grateful to the Berle Center for the scholarship and excited for the opportunity to participate in their symposiums and collaborate with others to help me better understand how the legal system, and working in the public sector, can support this evolution."
Scholar for Justice
Marisa Ordonia came to the law school with a broad background in community organizing and environmental justice issues. She graduated from Seattle University in 2005 with a B.A. in Spanish, planning to return for a master's degree in teaching after taking a year off. That summer she worked with a local environmental non-profit, which changed her direction toward several years in the environmental field. Ordonia eventually went on to earn a B.S. in environmental studies at The Evergreen State College.
Ordonia organized and led restoration work parties, largely in natural areas adjacent to low-income communities and communities of color. She has also volunteered for several other projects, mostly in the Seattle area. Recently she spent time in Arizona volunteering with No More Deaths, a humanitarian aid organization that works along the U.S.-Mexico border, and she facilitated a workshop on community organizing for Seattle's first Asian Pacific Islander Freedom School, a community-led project she has helped develop. In the past, she volunteered with the Queer People of Color Liberation Project, the Bikery, and as a mentor through Passages Northwest's Girls Rock Program.
The first person in her immediate family to graduate college, Ordonia is grateful for the scholarship that will enable her to pursue her social justice goals. She applied to law school with the idea that she wanted to start a non-profit that not only provides legal services, but also provides community members with the tools to advocate for themselves.
"A friend of mine reminded me that though there may be a shortage of legal jobs right now, there is certainly no shortage of work to be done," she said. "Whatever I end up doing, I want to help work toward community empowerment."
Scholar for Justice
Hannah Zommick has worked to motivate people to pursue justice and has now plans to use the law to further the causes important to her. She earned degrees in political science and Spanish from the University of Washington and was drawn to Seattle University School of Law's commitment to social justice.
As an undergraduate, she established a student organization dedicated to advocacy and public service to provide support, resources and life-changing experiences to motivate students towards a lifelong pursuit of justice.
After graduation, she worked as the planning and community affairs coordinator for the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, which provides support for human and social service agencies in the community. She worked on lobbying efforts to increase protection for homeless men and women in Washington State, to maintain financial safety nets for families on welfare, and to safeguard refugee and immigrant services.
"I chose to attend law school so that I could use my legal education to advocate for the vulnerable segments of society and those whose civil liberties have been violated," Zommick said. "I am passionate about equal rights and equal protection under the law, as well as international human rights. I am very grateful for this scholarship and excited to take advantage of all the social justice opportunities the law school offers."