First-Year Students Receive Virginia Public Service Scholarship

Lindsay Gorman, Jennifer Kelso Selected for Commitment to Public Service, Leadership Potential
Jennifer Kelso and Lindsay Gorman

Jennifer Kelso and Lindsay Gorman received the full-tuition Virginia Public Service Scholarship. Photo by Julia Davis

October 31, 2018

Lindsay Gorman and Jennifer Kelso are this year’s recipients of the Virginia Public Service Scholarship, a full-tuition award given to University of Virginia School of Law students who are pursuing public service careers.

The scholarship, launched in 2017 and funded by UVA’s Strategic Investment Fund, is given to two or more first-year students based on their commitment to practicing as public service attorneys immediately after graduation, academic excellence and potential for leadership.

“Jennifer and Lindsay both come to us having begun their public service careers in D.C.,” said Assistant Dean for Public Service Annie Kim ’99, director of the Mortimer Caplin Public Service Center. “I’m struck by the profound commitment to helping others that both of these extraordinary women have already demonstrated. We need, more than ever, passionate attorneys like Lindsay and Jennifer working for justice throughout all public service sectors.”

Recipients of the scholarship are also automatically admitted to the Program in Law and Public Service, which offers intensive training to a select group of UVA Law students seeking to work in the public interest. The program has graduated seven classes since it was launched by now-UVA President Jim Ryan ’92, a former professor at the Law School.

Gorman, who graduated as a Morehead-Cain Scholar with a B.A. in public policy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has worked as an intern with the State Department at the U.S. Embassy in London; as an intern with the White House Office of Cabinet Affairs, where she supported President Barack Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative; and, most recently, as a director’s financial analyst at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Gorman, of Raleigh, North Carolina, said it was important to her to pursue her legal education at a school that understood and embraced its role in the greater community. In law school, she hopes to amplify her commitment to implementing fair and effective public policy with the legal training to advocate for everyday families.

“Virginia Law’s commitment to supporting students interested in public service, along with its welcoming atmosphere, made me confident that I could launch my public service career from UVA,” she said. “The school’s demonstrated history of academic excellence and fostering leadership in its students further underscored my decision to attend Virginia Law.”

Kelso, who graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in environmental science and a B.A. in sociology from Loyola University Chicago, has worked as an asylum intake coordinator via AmeriCorps at the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project in Seattle and, most recently, as a legal assistant at the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia. She was also an organizational volunteer with De La Gente in Guatemala and a volunteer tutor with the Latin American Youth Center in Washington, D.C.

Kelso, of Indianapolis, said lawyers have many opportunities and ways to pursue a more equitable and humane society and that it’s important to integrate that work into a legal career. After law school, Kelso hopes to represent immigrants seeking residency and citizenship in the United States, especially asylum-seekers fleeing danger in their home countries.

“When I was applying to law schools, I was impressed by UVA’s Program in Law and Public Service,” she said. “I liked that the program has a curricular component as well as providing a community for public service students. I was also impressed by the practical support for students interested in public service, such as [Public Interest Law Association] grants for summer internships and providing travel funds for out-of-state interviews.”

Virginia Public Service Scholars

Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the nation. Consistently ranked among the top law schools, Virginia is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity and community service.

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