Empowering Tomorrow’s Legal Leaders: Announcing the 2023 Will County Legal Opportunity Scholarship Recipient
By Rachel Barks
The third annual Will County Legal Opportunity Scholarship has found a 2023 recipient – Alexandria Wilson, from Crete, IL, a Will County resident since 2008.
Wilson will be a first-year law student who recently graduated as a double major in Paralegal Studies and Peace and Justice Studies, with a minor in Political Science from Lewis University, in Romeoville, IL. Currently, she works for a real estate attorney.
Wilson has known for a while that she wanted to apply for the Will County Legal Opportunity Scholarship because last year’s winner, Ayanna Squires, is an old classmate and friend, and they both were AmeriCorps Illinois JusticeCorps Fellows.
“We talked frequently because we took classes together in undergrad, and she told me about the scholarship opportunity; that is when I went ahead and applied for it!” Wilson said.
Working in law and becoming an attorney has been a life-long dream for Wilson, one she has had since second grade. She has had her eye on the prize for many years, the prize of helping the community and those who need it.
“It fostered out of the passion I have seen around the community, and the need,” She said. “I am very inspired and adamant about helping the community that has given to me countless times.”
The Legal Opportunity Scholarship promotes a strong message of celebrating diversity within the legal community. Wilson explains how much this means to her as a black woman entering the field.
“There are only five percent of U.S. attorneys who are African American, and only two percent of those are women,” Wilson said. “People come from all walks of life; I may not understand what a specific client is going through, but if I talk to a colleague, they might be able to help navigate the waters of the differences we have. If we don’t have diversity, we don’t have that support.”
Wilson hopes to become a judge, with an ultimate dream of sitting on the Supreme Court. This scholarship helps her take steps toward those goals and dreams. Recipients of the Will County Legal Opportunity Scholarship, an incoming first-year Black or Latino Law Student, can earn up to $37,000 to assist in paying for their legal education by practicing law in Will County after graduation, which will allow them to further insert themselves into the community.
This year’s Will County Legal Opportunity Scholarship has a number of sponsors, which are as follows:
Reich, Jumbeck, Stole & Reeb
Giamanco Law Partners
Honiotes Law Office, LTD
The Law Office of Eric J. Blatti
Law Office of Craig L. Boston
The Tomczak Law Group
The Law Firm of Rick Munoz
Timothy Reeb from Reich, Jumbeck, Stole & Reeb was part of the Interview Committee that selected Wilson as the winner.
“Alexandria showed a real, genuine desire to continue law school and come back to the Will County community, her home area, to truly give back and serve those who need it,” Reeb said.
“She deeply cares about the Will County community, and that really came across,” He added. “Law school is a big, big investment,” Wilson said. “This scholarship will help me be able to do the job I love. I am so grateful to Will County for investing in me.”
For more information about the Will County Legal Opportunity Scholarship and to see past recipients, please visit https://willcountybar.net/scholarship