| Read Time: 3 minutes | Scholarship

Announcing the 2020 Legal Scholarship Winner

We’d like to say thank you to all those who took the time to submit applications for our legal scholarship. After carefully reviewing all of them, we are pleased to announce the winner of our 2020 scholarship. Glenn Korman Congratulations! Glenn graduated from Boston University, Summa Cum Laude, majoring in International Relations and minoring in Political Science. He’s now attending New York University School of Law with an interest in environmental and energy law. Glenn tells more of his story in his scholarship essay, which he has agreed to have published below. We invite you to read it. “On paper, I am a suburban guy from the Northeast, but this role is too confining for me. As a kid, weekends were spent listening to my grandmother tell tales of 1950s Toronto. Summers were spent in the cornfields of Iowa with my extended family. For college, I moved to Boston to experience a city rich with history. Since then, I have added Stevensville, Michigan and Dresden, Germany to the list of places I have called home.   Growing up in Buffalo, I witnessed an uneven economic revival that benefited only those that fit a certain mold. My time in the Midwest drove home the importance of crossing the political aisle. In Dresden, I was in the epicenter of the social friction that has been rocking Germany. Empathetic conversations with students from Syria opened my eyes to the heavy emotional toll that being stripped to the identity of “refugee” can have on someone. My experience at Boston University reinforced the value of intellectual diversity, and due to my interdisciplinary education, my fear that specializing in one area comes at the cost of ignorance of other fields was never realized.   The widespread geographical distribution of each place I have called home has given me a myriad of diverse perspectives that I can draw upon when confronting political, economic, and social issues in my chosen area: environmental and energy law. Each of these distinctive communities has highlighted the importance of engaging with the local population to fully understand the unique complexities of their situation and their willingness to accept change. My exposure to a variety of environmental problems in these areas, such as fluctuating lake levels and flooding in the Great Lakes Basin, solidified my interest in environmental and energy law. Issues stemming from climate change, pollution, and environmental degradation often disproportionally impact lower-income and minority segments of our population. It is next to impossible to address the legal and policy questions that arise out of humanity’s use, and oftentimes abuse, of the environment without maintaining a strong sense of empathy for at-risk individuals, endangered species, and those that rely on the industry whose practices are being scrutinized.   Specifically, I envision myself working to improve the state of energy governance in the United States. We lack a coordinated and comprehensive framework that reduces the overall environmental impact of these systems. Currently, environmental consequences are primarily considered during the siting process of new energy projects, forcing local and regional ecosystems to adapt after a cost-benefit analysis on the project’s potential impact is performed. Rather than working aggressively to minimize the environmental disruptiveness of these technologies from their inception, we address the majority of these issues at a stage where few substantive adaptations can be performed. While functional, this cost-benefit approach reduces the value of the environment by not properly considering monetary damages likely to result, such as a reduction in tourism or property values due to an increase in pollution, as well as benefits that are nearly impossible to monetize like personal enjoyment resulting from the use of pristine natural spaces. Furthermore, by using a discount factor that limits the future outlook on how harmful our current actions are, these analyses prevent us from doing justice for future generations. Advocating for and eventually shaping an updated legal framework regulating and incentivizing more environmentally friendly developments in this area is how I intend to use my Juris Doctor. Although a cost-benefit analysis will still have a place within this framework, considering the more abstract value of the environment must be incorporated as well. For this reason, I feel compelled to pursue a legal career where I can meaningfully impact this field while also practicing in a manner that emphasizes empathy and humanity.” – by Glenn Korman

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| Read Time: 4 minutes | Scholarship

Announcing the 2019 Legal Scholarship Winner

We received exactly 100 applications for this year’s scholarship! After carefully reviewing all of them, we are pleased to announce the winner of our 2019 scholarship. Brandon Osowski! Congratulations Brandon! Brandon recently graduated from Florida State University this past spring and has been accepted to the University of Virginia School of Law, which he’ll be attending this fall. Brandon interned with Chief Judge Ronald Ficarrotta of the 13th Juicial Circuit of FL, and this experience instilled a desire within him to legal education in order to help protect vulnerable citizens from entering the court system. Brandon tells more of his story in his scholarship essay, which he has agreed to have published below. We invite you to read it. Introduction: Before I even graduated high school, I had developed a desire to be a lawyer. If you asked me what sparked this interest, I wouldn’t be able to tell you. As I continued my academic career with this unfounded desire, I was able to earn experience in the legal field. The most influential experience occurred during my internship with Chief Judge Ronald Ficarrotta of the 13th Judicial Circuit of Florida. During my time with Judge Ficarrotta I noticed a disproportionately high number of offenders being from poor backgrounds. This disappointed me and inspired me to utilize my legal education to help keep this population from entering this cyclical system. Having the opportunity to receive this scholarship would be used to take some of the enormous financial burden law school poses for me; allowing me to pursue my passion of protecting vulnerable citizens from entering the court system. Aside from these goals, in my free time I am an avid golfer. Golf serves as an outlet for me, an escape from the stresses of the real-world. It challenges me and teaches me lessons that help me progress as a student and a professional. Why we should be allowed to warn of DUI checkpoints: The legality of DUI checkpoints has been tested many times in the past. The argument that a DUI checkpoint violates the fourth amendment was shut down in the Supreme court case Michigan Dept. of State Police v. Sitz. The court ruled 6-3 that these checkpoints were constitutional and that they only caused a minor inconvenience to motorists, not violating their 4th amendment right. With the legality of these checkpoints being settled, the right to freely talk about them is now being questioned. Even though DUI checkpoints are legal, the existence of these should not restrict the first amendment right of free speech. Any person can let a fellow motorist know “be careful, there may be a DUI checkpoint tonight”, just like a mother can tell their 16-year-old kid driving on the 4th of July, “be careful, there will be many cops out tonight.” Just like it is legal to let someone know to be careful because of the possibility of something occurring, it should be legal to be more specific, saying “be careful, I heard there will be a DUI checkpoint on the corner of Tampa and Racetrack road.” On the surface, this seems like it would inhibit the police from doing their job. Regardless of if this is the case, the existence of these checkpoints cannot, and should not legally restrict one from talking to another person about a given checkpoint at any given place or time. The justification for this argument is clear when we look at a very similar police operation, speed traps. Speed traps are an operation where many officers are directed to work at a certain location and pull people over for speeding. During these traps, many motorists will flash their headlights to let oncoming traffic know of the speed trap. Similar to letting motorists know of a DUI checkpoint, flashing headlights can be seen as “inhibiting the police from doing their job.” Recently, a federal judge in Missouri, U.S. District Judge Henry E. Autrey, ruled on the headlight flashing issue. Judge Autrey stated that it is protected under the first amendment that motorists are allowed to flash headlights to let other motorists know of a speed trap. Because of the parallels between DUI checkpoints and speed traps, Judge Autrey’s reasoning can be extended to DUI checkpoints; protecting citizens from letting other motorists know of DUI checkpoints. Some may argue that this justification from Judge Autrey does not apply because a speed trap and a DUI checkpoint differ in the fact that a DUI checkpoint is aimed at catching people driving under the influence, a state that cannot be changed from last-minute knowledge of a DUI checkpoint. With this argument, many claim that knowledge of a DUI checkpoint incentivizes drunk drivers to avoid a given area, putting other drivers in danger. Even though these points are valid, arguments can be made that knowledge of a DUI checkpoint incentivizes drivers to not drive under the influence and to operate their vehicles more safely. From the arguments presented above, it is clear that it is 100% legal to let motorists know of a DUI checkpoint. Even though it is legal to do this, it is tougher to determine whether this should be allowed. Both sides make valid and convincing arguments. Since there is a level of uncertainty to this question, it is important that the 1st amendment right to free speech is protected. Therefore, letting motorists know of a DUI checkpoint is not only legal, but it should be allowed. Works Cited Headlight flashing OK, Missouri judge says. (2014, February 06). Retrieved from https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/02/06/police-speeding-headlightsaclu/5253337/ Michigan Department of State Police v. Sitz (1990).

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Scholarship

2018 Legal Scholarship Winner

After carefully evaluating applications from students who represent the top of the student population, we at Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law are pleased to announce the winner of our 2018 Legal Scholarship. The $1000 award goes to Nicholas Balenger. Congratulations! The award is based on a number of criteria – short essay, current academic status, school related activities, community activities and other achievement standards. Our 2018 Legal Scholarship Winner! Nicholas Balenger | 1L @ William & Mary Law School Nicholas will attend William & Mary Law School this fall. Prior to being admitted to law school, he attended George Mason University and graduated Magna Cum Laude. When nick was 17 years old, he injured his spine while diving into the ocean leaving him completely paralyzed from the neck down. Ten months after his injury, he achieved his goal of walking across the stage with a walker to receive his high school diploma. Nick’s positive attitude and work ethic during this time would eventually earn him the 2014 MedStar National Rehabilitation Network Victory Award, an honor recognizing individuals who demonstrate courage, perseverance, and inspiration in the face of physical adversity. Past recipients of this award include Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Kirk Douglas, and Senators Ted Kennedy Jr. and Bob Dole. Following Nick’s injury, he started giving motivational speeches at events at local elementary and high schools, and eventually was sought out to tell his story in front of thousands of people at gala events, national conferences, and universities. His goal has always been to help others face adversity with a positive attitude and sound work ethic – traits that proved invaluable to him. Nick’s experiences and the people he has met throughout his rehabilitation journey, college education, and work experiences have inspired him to become an attorney so that he could one day help those seeking justice and fairness in the field of disability rights. Nicholas has agreed to share his scholarship essay on firearm restrictions and the second amendment. We encourage all to read it below: Do you feel that all restrictions on firearms impact the second amendment? I believe that not all restrictions on firearms impact the second amendment. The legal system of the United States is largely derived from the common law system of English law which is a legal system derived from a body of judicial decisions by courts. In this type of system, the law is heavily influenced by the current ethical and societal norms. The ethical and societal norms during the time in which the second amendment was written were such that a right to bear arms was necessary in order to ensure individual safety and deter oppression by state institutions. However, in today’s society many of the reasons behind the creation of the second amendment have become irrelevant and the societal norms surrounding the sale and use of firearms have become a threat to the safety of American citizens.   At the end of the day, the government’s most important responsibility is to protect its citizens. As threats to society evolve, so too should the law which governs that society. In the United States today, there are a number of societal issues such as mental health, political extremism, and individual’s criminal history that requires us to reevaluate our interpretation of the law surrounding the right to bear arms. Previous interpretations of the second amendment which limit our ability to address these issues and better protect our citizens should be abandoned. Instead, the United States should implement an interpretation of the second amendment which is relevant to todays societal and ethical norms and does the best job at ensuring the safety of the American people while also protecting individuals right to bear arms within reason.   Therefore, not all restrictions on firearms impact the second amendment because today’s society requires that restrictions be placed on firearms to ensure that the government is able to protect its citizens. Our founding fathers who established this law were unable to foresee the future societal issues that might arise from the universal right to bear arms. It is therefore our responsibility to use our current knowledge and information to implement laws that best protect our safety without completely taking away our rights.           – by Nicholas Balenger  

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2017 Scholarship Winner

We at Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law are excited to announce the winner of our 2017 scholarship. The award is based on a number of criteria – short essay, current academic status, school related activities, community activities and other achievement standards. After carefully evaluating applications from students who represent the top of the student population, we’d like to congratulate the following winner of our 2017 Legal Scholarship. Congratulations! 2017 Legal Scholarship – $1000 Aleschia Hyde | Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Aleschia Hyde will attend Northwestern Prizker School of Law this August. Prior to being admitted to law school, she worked as a researcher for the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business. She has a M.A. from the University of Chicago and a M.Ed. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Aleschia’s undergraduate and graduate thesis work examined the way in which the state and individuals construct citizenship, as well as the ways that the judiciary animates rights for marginalized people in Latin America. Aleschia has agreed to share her scholarship essay on our blog.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Scholarship

2016 Scholarship Winners

We at Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law are excited to announce the winners of our 2016 scholarships. The awards were based on a number of criteria – short essay, current academic status, school related activities, community activities and other achievement standards. After carefully evaluating applications from students who represent the top of the student population, we’d like to congratulate the following winners of our 2016 Legal Scholarship and 2016 Paralegal Scholarship. Congratulations to both of you! 2016 Legal Scholarship – $1000 Tristin Brown | Georgetown University Law Center Tristin Brown is a graduate of the Florida A&M University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Public Relations. She is an incoming law student at Georgetown University Law Center. During her tenure at FAMU, Tristin became well known as “DJ Tris B”, a radio personality on WANM 90.5 FM, who interviewed celebrities, locals, and alumni. In addition to broadcasting live weekly, Tristin was also the weather anchor for FAMU TV-20, a Presidential Ambassador, and a Peer Counselor. Most recently, Tristin launched the blog, MD & Esquire, with her best friend to curate a space for people of color who are interested or immersed in professional degree programs or careers. She has interned for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, two U.S. senators, and is a current staffer for Congresswoman Gwen Graham. Graduating summa cum laude, Tristin was named the 2014-2015 Public Relations Student of the Year. Tristin has agreed to share her scholarship essay on our blog. 2016 Paralegal Scholarship – $500 Emily Kenney | College of Saint Mary Emily is currently a senior at College of Saint Mary in their paralegal studies program. She works full-time for the State of Nebraska and manages a full-time school schedule. Her expected graduation date is May 2017. After she receives her degree, she plans to pursue a career in corporate or real estate law. Emily has not ruled out law school yet, but is currently focusing on one graduation at a time. In her free time, she likes to explore her hometown of Omaha, NE and travel to new places. Emily has also agreed to share her scholarship essay on our blog.

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