Each year, the Young Lawyers Section of the SJCBA raises money to provide scholarships to students who plan to become lawyers. The funds are given in the name of the Honorable Franklin Stephenson, who had a passion for law and education.
This year, the Young Lawyers sponsored a Stockton Ports baseball game at Banner Island to raise scholarship funds for this year’s scholarship recipients. Judge Stephenson’s son, Jordan, threw out the first pitch. The successful event was sponsored by Speed Dry Carpet Cleaning and the following law offices and lawyers: Carillo-Davalos Attorneys at Law; the Law Offices of Armando Villapudua; Smith & Johnson Law; the Bogan Law Firm; the Law Offices of Charles L. Hastings; attorney Natali Ron; and the law firm of Hakeem, Ellis, and Marengo.
The SJCBA Young Lawyers awarded $5,000 in scholarships to students who plan to become lawyers. Each of the scholarship recipients is enrolled in Pathway to Law School at San Joaquin Delta College (“SJDC”) or the Pacific Legal Scholars at the University of the Pacific (“UOP”).
Michaela Chapa (UOP) became interested in the law while learning of her family’s Japanese and Mexican history— their experiences with the government and the effect of those experiences on her family. Michaela hopes to practice law to facilitate a cooperative relationship between all levels of government by breaking down the systemic disadvantages that hinder minority population participation, including increasing the number of young and underrepresented voices that advocate for and against legislation.
Anjru de Leon (SJDC) is the Vice President of Student Relations at SJDC, a volunteer for Agape Foster Family Agency, the office administrator for a non-profit amateur volleyball club, and a private tutor. Anjru’s plan is to become a lawyer to advocate for vulnerable populations, specifically foster children, undocumented immigrants, and formerly incarcerated persons.
Maria Guadalupe (SJDC) is from a family of migrant workers, and she is the first in her family to attend college. She was inspired to become a lawyer after working for the San Joaquin County Public Defender’s Office, where she realized that becoming a lawyer would allow her to help people with similar backgrounds understand their rights and to offer people in need guidance to access available resources.
Krista Simpson (SJDC) works full time and wants to be a public interest lawyer at a non-profit organization, working on criminal justice reform, constitutional law, and labor law. Brenna Stirling (UOP) wants to be an immigration lawyer. She recently volunteered with World Relief Sacramento, assisting clients with naturalization paperwork and DACA renewal applications. Brenna has always been interested in law and helping others. She realized she could integrate the two while listening to Syrian refugees speak of the strife they were forced to flee and their yearning for a better life.