In 2016, the Young Lawyers Section of the San Joaquin County Bar Association created The Honorable Judge Franklin Stephenson Scholarship to honor the late Judge Franklin Stevenson, a longtime San Joaquin Superior Court judge and popular adjunct professor at Humphreys College Laurence Drivon School of Law. In creating this scholarship, the goal was to honor Judge Stephenson's good work by providing a scholarship to an ambitious local college student who strives to study law and use his or her legal education to make a difference in local community.
This past September, the Young Lawyers Section held the first annual Stephenson Scholarship Gala to raise funds for the scholarship. The gala was well attended by members of the legal community and raised over $2,000 for the scholarship fund.
In October 2016, the Stevenson Scholarship application was made available to the students of San Joaquin Delta College Pathway to Law School, University of the Pacific Legal Scholars, and Humphreys College Laurence Drivon School of Law. There was a strong response from all three programs. The applicants were asked to submit a letter to the Young Lawyer Section Executive Committee discussing 1) why they intended to pursue a career in law, 2) how they intended to use their legal career to benefit the local community, and 3) why they deserved to be the recipient.
After much deliberation, the Young Lawyers Section selected Ms. Penni McConnell as the first recipient of the Stephenson Scholarship. Ms. McConnell is a first-year law student at Humphreys College Laurence Drivon School of Law. Prior to law school, she earned a Masters of Arts in Law with an emphasis in Non-Profit Management. Ms. McConnell hopes to use her legal education to support both secular and faith based non-profit organizations in the local community. Her goal is to provide no-cost or low-cost legal assistance to those in need in San Joaquin County. She is currently working with Project New Start, Global Justice Initiative, and Victory in Praise Church to open a legal clinic in southeast Stockton. Ms. McConnell also recently received a grant to aid her pursuit of the legal clinic in Stockton.
The Young Lawyers Section is proud to support Penni McConnell's legal education and efforts in the legal community. Her service exemplifies Judge Stephenson's dedication to local community through the provision of legal services.
The section looks forward to increasing the Stephenson Scholarship in the coming years, with the goal of providing multiple scholarships to be awarded in the future. If you are interested in making a contribution to the Stephenson Scholarship fund, please contact:
The Young Lawyers Section
c/o Spencer Sinclair
Law Offices of Corren & Corren
5345 N. El Dorado, Suite 7
Stockton, CA 95207