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A Better Partnership


Jul 2016
July 15, 2016

Four Warner Norcross Minority Scholarships Awarded to Assist Students with Legal Studies

Grand Rapids Community Foundation recently awarded the Warner Norcross & Judd LLP scholarships to four minority students to assist them in furthering their legal studies.

Two students received competitive academic scholarships that are administered and awarded by the Grand Rapids Community Foundation. Now in its 16th year, the Warner Norcross scholarship provides monetary assistance to help cover the educational costs associated with a law degree or paralegal studies.

The 2016 scholarship winners are:
  • Brenda Garcia of Grand Rapids, Law School Scholarship
  • Brian Jones of West Bloomfield, Paralegal/Legal Assistant Scholarship
In addition, two students have received scholarships from Warner Norcross to help them with preparation for the Law School Admissions Test, or LSAT. This is the ninth year Warner Norcross has offered the program that enables selected minority students at Michigan colleges to attend a study course designed to prepare them for the exam. Studies show those who take the prep course score higher on the test, which determines law school entrance.

The 2016 recipients are:
  • Stephen Dunn, Central Michigan University
  • Kristine Tackie, Calvin College
Since it began offering scholarships, Warner Norcross has provided more than $162,000 to support programs that encourage minority students to pursue a law career. To date, the scholarships have assisted 78 students.

Warner Norcross established the tuition scholarship fund at Grand Rapids Community Foundation in 1998; the first scholarship was awarded in 2001. The winners were chosen after reviewing essays that summarized the goals and challenges that drew them to the field of law.

Garcia, who received the firm’s $5,000 Law School Scholarship, received her bachelor’s degree from Grand Valley State University and plans to attend the Michigan State University College of Law.

She said she was drawn to MSU because of its Immigration Law Clinic. She said she wants to devote her legal career to helping those who are devoted Americans but are struggling with being in the “shadows” because of their legal status.

“I firmly believe education is a powerful tool and with my Juris Doctor I want to work within immigration helping undocumented families,” Garcia said. “My long-term goal is to work at solving the core issues of our immigration system by being an advocate and a liaison between the community and those in political power.”

Jones, who received the law firm’s $2,000 Paralegal/Legal Assistant Scholarship, plans to complete his degree at Oakland Community College. He said his chosen career path stems from personal experience in the court system, which ultimately led to incarceration at age 18. He recalls not understanding the process or documents and vowed he would never again be ignorant on these matters, saying, “the day I walked into Michigan Reformatory prison, my interest in the law was born.”

His incarceration has created roadblocks, but he forges ahead.

“Working as a paralegal is the one place that I know my poor decision at 18 will not be held against me,” Jones said.

For more information on these scholarships you may visit

About Warner Norcross

By providing discerning and proactive legal advice, Warner Norcross & Judd LLP builds a better partnership with its clients.  Warner Norcross is a corporate law firm with 230 attorneys practicing in eight offices throughout Michigan:  Grand Rapids, Holland, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Macomb County, Midland, Muskegon and Southfield.  To learn more, follow us on Twitter @WNJLLP or connect on LinkedIn.

About the Grand Rapids Community Foundation

The Grand Rapids Community Foundation leads Kent County in making positive, sustainable change. With its endowment, Grand Rapids Community Foundation support local nonprofits, leads significant social change and helps donors achieve their philanthropic goals. For more information, please visit
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