The Power of a Scholarship: Thanks from Students
Some of the Law School’s students wouldn’t be where they are without the support of generous alumni—and they know it. Every year, students write notes of appreciation to alumni for gifts they have made to support student scholarships. We’d like you meet some of those students and hear about their gratitude.
YULIA FRADKIN, ’12
Yulia came to the Law School thirsting for whatever knowledge she could squeeze out of the school, her classmates, and professors. What she found here has been more than fulfilling. Knowledge radiates from every corner of the building, she says, and it covers more areas than simply the law.
“I know it sounds cliché to say this, but you have literally changed my life. Coming from a family who has lived on welfare for a substantial time, financial considerations were extremely important to me in making a law school decision. I absolutely loved Chicago, but I do not think that I would have come here if it were not for this scholarship. I am really happy here and have found everything I was seeking. I love my professors, love my classmates, and love how much I am learning. None of this would be possible if it was not for you. I do not know how to adequately express my gratitude, but it should be noted that I am tearing up a bit as I am writing this. THANK YOU for making my life as wonderful as it is.”
EVAN BERKOW, ’11
Evan was sold on attending the Law School as soon as he got a taste of the atmosphere. The professors were fully committed to students. The students were down-to-earth, witty, charming, and intellectually curious. And he thought Chicago as a city was fantastic.
“Simply put, without this scholarship, I doubt I would be attending this law school. In that regard, I have nothing but an enormous feeling of gratitude towards those who made this scholarship possible through their donations. When I made the transition from the film industry to law school, I did not know what I would face. What I found was a study that I find fascinating and one that I am talented in, a dawning career that holds nothing but endless possibilities, some of the greatest academic and social experiences of my life, and some friends whom I will cherish as long as I live. Thank you so much.”
JULIET SUMMERS, ’11
Before starting law school, Juliet taught for two years on the Rosebud Indian Reservation with Teach for America. She realizes the legal education she is receiving is one of the best in the world, and she hopes to use it to empower those who are voiceless in the legal system.
“I strongly believe that the indigent deserve stellar legal representation as well as the more privileged. The financial aid that I’ve received has enabled me to pursue my legal education at one of the best institutions in the world, and I look forward to putting that education immediately to work in the public interest after graduation. Being able to graduate relatively free from the burden of immense debt is empowering and frees me to use my degree to help the communities for whom I came to law school. Thank you so very, very much.”
SHAREESE PRYOR, ’11
Inspired by the tumultuous life of a childhood friend, Shareese arrived at the Law School with plans to pursue a career in family law and child advocacy. She has used her time here to soak up every course, clinic, or experience that will assist her down that path. When she graduates in June, a Skadden Fellowship will allow her to follow her passion. “I am truly grateful for your generosity.Without it, I would not have the opportunity to attend the University of Chicago Law School and take advantage of all the resources and opportunities it has to offer. I have dreamed of attending law school ever since I was young, and as a recipient of your scholarship, my dream is becoming a reality. I am glad to have the opportunity to thank you personally for your generosity.Without scholarship patrons like you, there would be many students such as myself unable to pursue the career they’ve dreamed of.”
MICHAEL LEONARD, ’11
At the Law School, Michael found a home where his writing and critical thinking skills could thrive. He is managing editor of the Law Review and spent his 1L summer working for the Federal Defender Program on a project involving jury selection. Michael spends his spare time with his wife and son.
“I was very torn when I was trying to decide on a law school. I was seriously considering accepting a full-tuition scholarship from the University of Minnesota. This was extremely attractive because I knew that my expenses would be significantly higher than those of a single student. Receiving scholarship assistance made the difference in convincing me that the University of Chicago was the right choice. I haven’t regretted that since. Thank you!”
ADAM BARBER, ’12
As a high schooler, Adam shied away from studying law, his father’s profession. Later, in college, the more he learned about philosophy, history, and economics, the more he wanted to pursue an examination of the legal structures that are so determinative of the outcomes of people’s lives. It is no surprise that he was drawn to the Law School for its commitment to the “life of the mind.”
“I would like to work in the area of public law after graduation, and any reduction in my debt load will be a tremendous benefit. I thank you for assisting me with this goal. The readiness of alumni of the Law School to donate to scholarship funds made me realize what a special place it must be. I realize that the Law School is a place where the students are happy, one that they remember fondly, and one that they wish to encourage others to experience. THANK YOU for your support. Although I have only been a student here for a short time, this place has already become special to me. I could not be at a better law school. I feel like I was made to be a student here. And your support helped make that possible.”