Joseph T. McDonald Memorial Scholarships
The Joseph T. McDonald Memorial Scholarship Program, established in 2013, provides a $3,000 scholarship to a fulltime, 3L Pennsylvania resident involved in the Penn State Dickinson Law trial advocacy program.
The scholarship is awarded annually, on a competitive basis.
To qualify, applicants must be:
- Enrolled as a fulltime student at Dickinson Law;
- 3L/Third year student;
- Pennsylvania resident as documented by applicant’s voter registration card or Pennsylvania driver’s license;
- Involved in the trial advocacy program as affirmed by student and evidenced by unofficial academic transcript;
- Interested in pursuing trial advocacy after graduation as discussed in the applicant’s 250- 500-word essay and evidenced by the applicant’s recommendations; and
- A member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Law Student Division which is free for electronic members. Sign-up Here
Applications are due December 1, 2017, and the scholarship will be awarded by December 31, 2017
Francesca Kester – 2016 Joseph T. McDonald Memorial Scholarship Recipient
Ms. Kester has an outstanding record of academic achievement and community service. She was a regional finalist in the ABA National Moot Court Competition; was awarded Best Written Brief in the Philadelphia Regional ABA National Moot Court Competition; and was champion of the 1L Mock Trial Prosecution. She recently received the D. Arthur Magaziner Human Services Award for her leadership and commitment to service.
Kester received her bachelor of arts in English Literature, magna cum laude, in 2014 from Marywood University, Scranton, PA where she was a member of the Volunteers in Action. Ms. Kester brought her passion for helping others to Dickinson Law. As a 1L, she volunteered at Bethesda Mission, a homeless shelter for men in Harrisburg, PA and quickly became student coordinator of what is now known as the Bethesda Mission Legal Intake Clinic. She recently completed work alongside Dickinson Law Professor of Clinical Law, Medha Makhlouf, to establish the law school’s first Medical-Legal Partnership Clinic (MLP), which works to reduce health disparities and improve health in vulnerable communities through joint medical-legal advocacy. Upon completing this work, she began working with Dickinson Law Director of Internship Program and Public Interest Placements, Katherene Holtzinger Conner, to identify pro bono opportunities in the greater community for Dickinson Law students. Kester is currently working with Conner to hold an expungement clinic for low-income individuals with criminal records.
Kester is a judicial extern for the Hon. Martin C. Carlson, U.S.D.C. for the Middle District of Pennsylvania; a research assistant to Conner; Executive Chair, Moot Court Board; a member of the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Moot Court Team; a member of Dickinson Law’s National Trial Team; a member of Dickinson Law’s Public Interest Law Fund; a member of the Student Bar Association Community Outreach Committee; and a Law Lion Ambassador – a student leader and role model within the law school community and beyond.
David R. Talmage – 2015 Joseph T. McDonald Memorial Scholarship Recipient
Mr. Talmage received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia College of Arts and Sciences where he double majored in Psychology and Sociology. As an undergraduate Talmage was on Dean’s List and served as president of Chi Sigma Honor Fraternity and as a trial judge on the University’s Judiciary Committee. Following graduation, he returned to the University of Virginia as a graduate student at the Curry School of Education and received a Master of Education in School Counseling.
This 2016 Juris Doctorate candidate is in the top 18% of his class. He is president of the Student Bar Association, Captain of the National Trial Team, a Carlisle Borough Law Ambassador and a member of the Cumberland County Bar Association and Cumberland County Inn of Court. Mr. Talmage has received CALI Excellence Awards in Federal Criminal Practice and Agency, Partnership and LLCs, and is a recipient of the Sidney D. Kline and Monroe E. Trout scholarship awards. He is a volunteer law student worker at Harrisburg’s Bethesda Mission Legal Intake Clinic and has clerked for the Hon. John Cherry of the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas and former Justice J. Michael Eakin of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, in addition to working as a legal intern for Smigel, Anderson & Sacks, LLP and as a legal extern for the US Attorney’s Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania.
Christopher McCabe – 2014 Joseph T. McDonald Memorial Scholarship Recipient
Mr. McCabe is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, where he received a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in History and a minor in Legal Studies. The 2015 Juris Doctorate candidate is the team captain of the National Trial Team, a pupil of the Hon. William W. Lipsitt American Inns of Court, a student member of the St. Thomas More Society, a senior advocate on the Moot Court Board, an advocate in the John J. Gibbons, Criminal Procedure Moot Court Competition and a member of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, International. Mr. McCabe received a CALI Award for Highest Grade in Pennsylvania Criminal Law Practice and is a recipient of the Gwilym A. Price, Jr. Memorial Scholarship. A certified legal intern, Mr. McCabe serves as a Senior Law Clerk for the Cumberland County Public Defenders Office. He has served as a legal intern for the Hon. Beth A. Lazzara of the Allegheny County Count of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, and as a legislative intern for the Hon. Matthew H. Smith.
Lindsay A. Berkstresser – 2013 Joseph T. McDonald Memorial Scholarship Recipient
Ms. Berkstresser is a summa cum laude graduate of Shippensburg University, where she received a B.A. in Business Administration, and a 2014 Juris Doctorate candidate. As a second-year law student, Ms. Berkstresser placed first for the plaintiff’s attorney in the Law School’s Mock Trial Competition. She is a senior advocate on the Moot Court Board, competes on the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Team, and is actively involved in promoting the Law School’s Trial Advocacy Program as vice president of the American Association for Justice (AAJ) for the Carlisle campus. She is also the law student representative of the PBA YLD, and was one of the 2012 recipients of the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation’s James W. Stoudt Memorial Scholarship awards.