The Belleville firm Mathis, Marifian and Richter has awarded three $1,000 scholarships to Illinois high school seniors with law school aspirations.
The recipients were Samuel Geiger of Belleville Township High School West, Jada Green of Alton High School and Madeline Parker of New Athens High School.
All three students applied for the scholarships through a nomination process open to all high school seniors in Madison, St. Clair and Washington counties.
“MM&R has sponsored the scholarship program for 17 years,” Kevin J. Richter, an attorney and shareholder at MM&R, told the Record. “Some of the past recipients have come back to intern at MM&R during the summers of their law school education. We find the recipients are very motivated individuals, generally with a very focused approach to their legal education.”
MM&R director of business development and marketing Paul R. Peterson said the students are not required to attend law school in Illinois.
“The awardees may choose to attend law school wherever they like,” Peterson said. “There are no requirements or stipulations once the scholarships have been awarded.”
During high school, Geiger served as the editor-in-chief and editorial editor for his school newspaper. As a member of the speech and debate team, he wrote an oration about the First Amendment that placed fifth in the state and qualified him for a national speech tournament. A National Merit Scholar, Geiger was the recipient of its Raytheon Merit Scholarship. Geiger plans to attend the University of Chicago and major in political science.
Green discovered her interest in law during a trip to Europe, where she was fascinated by what she called “the intricate relationship between happiness and regulation.”
A scholar athlete, Green is a National Honor Society member, an Illinois State Scholar, a four-year varsity volleyball player and an Illinois All-Star softball player. Green already has volunteered more than 100 hours in her community. She plans to attend the University of Kentucky to study economics before continuing to law school.
The firm said Parker has wanted to be a lawyer since she was 12 when her 6th grade English teacher discovered she excelled at debate. She wants to pursue a career in family law, specifically adoption law. Parker plans to attend Southern Illinois University Carbondale, which she chose, in part, because of the reputation of its law school.
The law scholarship recipients are chosen based on a number of qualifications. Applicants had to be a current high school senior, planning a career as an attorney, with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher, an ACT score of at least 26 or SAT of at least 1180, rank in the upper 25th percentile of their graduating class and be involved in extracurricular activities.
The selection process involved a comprehensive review of all applicants by MM&R attorneys who weighed other factors, such as essay, high school achievements and teacher/school recommendations.
“These students are intelligent and well-rounded, with an intent in having careers in the legal field,” Richter said. “They will be positive additions based upon their high school performance and desire to succeed.”