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Far too often we hear stories of people who believe a criminal conviction will ruin their life. While some convictions can make it more difficult to get a job or to apply for college, we fight for your rights on a daily basis because we believe in second chances.
That belief led us to create the Appelman Law Firm Criminal Defense Scholarship, a $1,000 law school scholarship that will reward one applicant who epitomizes our “second chance” motto. In order to be eligible for the scholarship, an applicant must prove that they’ve had a past run-in with the law, and they have worked hard to put the incident behind them.
Avery Appelman, the firm’s founder, said experience often fuels our passions.
“There’s a real need for passionate attorneys in criminal defense,” said Appelman. “Nothing instills a great passion for justice quite like having suffered through the process yourself.”
Appelman added that bouncing back from a criminal conviction is similar to the legal process in many ways.
“Criminal defense is all about thinking on your feet and coming up with rational and creative solutions. As an attorney, you have a solution in sight, but oftentimes you need to navigate a tricky and intricate legal system,” said Appelman. “This scholarship will reward someone who, when presented with a sticky legal situation, found a way to grow from their experience and instill positive changes in their life.”
Appelman concluded by saying he hopes the scholarship helps call attention to a legal system that often harshly penalizes first-time offenders.
“When a simple marijuana possession charge can ban someone from federal aid, there’s something wrong with the system,” said Appelman, “As a society, we need to rethink what it means when we slap on the label of criminal, how it adversely affects someone’s life.”
How to Apply
Applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
- Have a criminal record.
- Be enrolled or accepted to an accredited law school within the United States.
- Have a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or higher.
The following documents must be provided for consideration:
- An official copy of a current academic transcript.
- Copy of a police report regarding your criminal record.
- An essay of at least one page but not more than three pages that describes your crime, punishment, and how you have changed or overcame your past and what you intend to do in the future in a legal profession. (NOTE: The official press release says you must be pursuing a career as a criminal defense attorney to be eligible. That is not the case. You must be pursuing a career in law.)
The award recipient shall provide the following documentation to obtain the scholarship:
- Proof of Legal Residency in U.S. (i.e. birth certificate, passport, permanent resident card, etc.).
The Appelman Law Firm Criminal Defense Law scholarship is to be used exclusively for college tuition and related expenses. A check for $1000 will be made payable to the award recipient’s school to cover these expenses and he or she is expected to submit receipts in accordance with IRS regulations.
Press and Professional contacts for more information should address inquiries to:
(952) 224-2277, Email
The Appelman Law Firm
Attn: Ryan McGinty
6465 Wayzata Boulevard Suite 120
St. Louis Park, MN 55426