NSU Paralegal Studies Student Wins Scholarship for Top Legal Essay

Haydee Martinez, a paralegal studies major at the Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences, earned first place in the South Florida Paralegal Association’s (SFPA) 2012 Paralegal Education Scholarship Competition. This marks the third consecutive year a student from the college has won an SFPA scholarship through the contest.

Written as a legal memorandum, Martinez’s award-winning essay provided a hypothetical defense in a fictional, vehicular-homicide case. The writing contest, open to all undergraduate paralegal studies students in South Florida, requires applicants cite Florida statutes in their essays, thus demonstrating a broad knowledge of state law and standard legal practices.

“The final written product reflects the student’s ability to read, comprehend the issues, research, locate and apply relevant statutes and laws, and then summarize the material in a cohesive and comprehensive manner,” said Ellen Kracoff, J.D., assistant professor at the college, who taught Martinez and prior contest winners in the college’s Legal Research and Writing course.

For earning first place in the contest, Martinez received the Sandra L. Keith Memorial Scholarship, valued at $1,000. In 2011, Jennifer Patti (B.S., Paralegal Studies, ’12) won second place for her essay, receiving the $500 Marisa Maugeri Memorial Scholarship. Yaima Gonzalez (B.S., Paralegal Studies, ’12) earned first place in the 2010 competition.

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