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Chris Ballard

Honoring the 2013 Broussard Scholarship Recipients

Broussard Scholarship recipients 2013

From left, Steven Kazan, Scholar Evelyn Rangel-Medina, Scholar Chris Ballard, Scholar Tenette Smith, Broussard Board member Jill Dessalines, Scholar Marlene Benedict

Last week the Alameda County Superior Court and the Allen E. Broussard Scholarship Foundation co-sponsored Alameda County Superior Court Law Day, where the recipients of the 2013 Broussard Scholarship were honored at the Law Day Student Luncheon. The Kazan, McClain, Abrams, Fernandez, Lyons, Greenwood, Oberman, Satterley & Bosl Foundation was pleased to support the Allen E. Broussard Scholarship Foundation and the funding of one of this year’s scholarships.

The Allen E. Broussard Scholarship Fund was established in 1996 after the death of California Supreme Court Associate Justice Allen E. Broussard, and was incorporated as the Allen E. Broussard Scholarship Foundation in 1999. The goal of the foundation is to continue Justice Broussard’s work in the minority community in assisting young lawyers in their pursuit of a career in the legal profession.

Having served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Allen E. Broussard Law School Scholarship Foundation for over a decade, it pleases me each year to present three or more academically well qualified students from economically deprived backgrounds with a $5,000 scholarship. This award is the largest private scholarship award for law students attending California Bay Area law schools. Four students received the award this year.

2013 Broussard Scholarship Awards

Chris Ballard was raised in the San Joaquin Valley city of Wasco, California. Overcoming the struggles of poverty, he went on to study Politics and Business at California State University, Fresno. Upon graduating, Mr. Ballard turned down a position on Wall Street to work as a Community Organizer for a non-profit organization helping people who were losing their homes. He was appointed as Planning Commissioner for the City of Wasco, the youngest in California history and the first African-American to do so in Wasco. Mr. Ballard will be studying at UC Hastings College of the Law this fall.

Marlene E. Benedict is the first American-born member of her family, who immigrated to the United States from Managua, Nicaragua in the 1980s. Growing up in a working class neighborhood in the East Bay, she is committed to practicing public service law close to her hometown. Ms. Benedict received her Bachelors of Arts degree in Political Science and History from UC Santa Barbara and is attending the University of San Francisco School of Law.  She believes that advocating for the rights of marginalized communities and facilitating how legal services are administered to the general public is her calling.

Evelyn Rangel-Medina is the first person in her family to graduate from college. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she attained three B.A.’s in Women’s Studies, English and Political Science. A 2013-2014 Phoenix Fellow of the Berkeley Law Foundation, she will enter the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. Ms. Rangel-Medina is the co-founder and former president of the United Coalition for Immigrant Rights (UCIR). She also worked as Policy Director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, where she successfully advocated the creation of the Climate Change Community Benefits Fund. After law school, she plans to become a public interest lawyer and work for transformative social and political change.

Tenette Smith was born and raised in Modesto, California where she lived with her mother and sister. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from San Diego State University and her degree in Paralegal Studies from Cuyamaca College while working at the San Diego Superior Court. Ms. Smith is in her first year at the University of San Francisco School of Law. She is interested in pursuing a career in public interest law. This summer she will intern at the Federal Defender’s Office in Little Rock, Arkansas as a part of the Keta Taylor Colby Death Penalty Project.


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