Three local law students have been awarded scholarships from San Diego-based law firm Higgs Fletcher & Mack LLP (HFM) in recognition of their civic leadership, service to diversity efforts, and support of underrepresented communities.
California Western School of Law student Erika Rivas was the recipient of the annual Higgs Fletcher & Mack Diversity Scholarship. Ashlee Wolcott, a University of San Diego (USD) School of Law student, was also awarded a 2019 Diversity Scholarship. USD School of Law student Sonia Concepcion was the recipient of the inaugural USD Steve J. Cologne Scholarship, named for HFM’s Managing Partner Steve Cologne.
“Our community and the legal profession thrive when we make diversity and inclusion a priority,” said Cologne. “HFM stands behind our commitment to diversity, and we are proud to support a future generation of lawyers who have already showed their commitment and support for diversity efforts. Congratulations to Erika, Ashlee and Sonia – we are excited to see where your legal careers will take you in the future.”
HFM has been granting scholarships in support of diversity and inclusion efforts to local law students for several years. The two diversity scholarships are funded by contributions from the firm’s attorneys as well as the Firm. The Steve J. Cologne Scholarship was funded solely by Steve Cologne.
Rivas was born in South Central Los Angeles where she overcame significant personal challenges to earn her undergraduate degree and then moved on to law school. She has clerked for Inner City Law Center and was a fellow in the Justice Corp, working with indigent individuals at the Los Angeles Superior Court.
Walcott served as an intern for Community Legal Services in Compton, California, assisting litigants with family law, domestic violence and unlawful detainer matters. She also interned in the Office of the Public Defender’s Juvenile Delinquency Division, representing youth in trial and motion hearings.
In addition, Walcott represented neglected and abused children through another internship at the Children’s Law Center.
Concepcion is interning in the Criminal Division of the California Attorney General’s Office and serves as the President of the La Raza Law Students Association and Treasurer of the Criminal Law Society. She is a first-generation law student.
Partner Susan Hack chairs HFM’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee and helped to facilitate the scholarships on behalf of the firm. “All three students who were awarded scholarships this year have demonstrated that they are not only committed to their legal education, but also to supporting diversity and their community in meaningful ways. We are proud to have Erika, Ashlee, and Sonia as part of San Diego’s diverse legal community, and through our scholarships, we hope to be able to contribute to their success.”
All three scholarship recipients received their scholarships at special events at their law schools in late March.