Freshman paralegal student’s essay earns national LEX scholarship
05.13.2014 | By Rob Vanya
San Jacinto College paralegal student Karen Marroquin, left, goes over her LEX scholarship essay with paralegal professors Ernest Davila and Jeanette Liberty in the College’s law library. Photo credit: Rob Vanya, San Jacinto College marketing, public relations, and government affairs department.
San Jacinto College freshman paralegal student Karen Marroquin’s essay about a legal procedure known as “Replevin” recently earned a $500 scholarship awarded by the Lambda Epsilon Chi (LEX) national paralegal honor society.
Students from 176 universities and colleges throughout the nation were eligible to submit essays for consideration, and the LEX honor society awarded only five of the national scholarships.
“This is the first time for a San Jacinto College student to win the LEX national scholarship,” commented Ernest Davila, San Jacinto College business department chair. “Three of the other five winning entries were from university students, two from Duquesne, and one from Roger Williams University. Her achievement provides evidence of the high achievement level of our students.”
Others are equally impressed with Marroquin’s accomplishment. “Karen did an excellent job with a difficult subject, and she should be justly proud,” commented Mary Flaherty, LEX national coordinator. “I read her essay, and it is very impressive.”
Marroquin’s 588-word essay deals with “Replevin,” a complex legal action used to have property returned to its rightful owner when it is being held unlawfully by someone other than the owner. The Replevin procedure frequently involves cases in which someone buys stolen property without knowing it is stolen.
Due to time constraints, Marroquin was only able to spend about four hours preparing the essay for entry to the LEX scholarship contest, and she was surprised to learn that she won. “I cried when I found out,” she remarked. “I was so excited. I have been working diligently as a paralegal student, and it feels like it’s finally paying off.”
Jeanette Liberty, San Jacinto College paralegal professor, says Marroquin is a model paralegal student. “Karen is just eager to learn and excel as a student, and it seems like every time I see her, she is researching in the College’s law library,” Liberty remarked. “As a freshman, she has not yet even taken the legal research or legal writing courses, and yet she possesses outstanding legal research and writing skills which proved to be far superior to the majority of other scholarship applicants. She has made the College proud by earning this national scholarship, and I am certain that her future accomplishments will continue to embody the goals and ideals of San Jacinto College.”
Marroquin lives in Jacinto City and graduated from Galena Park High School in 2009. She plans to earn an associate paralegal degree from San Jacinto College in May 2015, en route to earning a paralegal bachelor’s degree. She has not determined which university she may attend. After college, her goal is to work as a paralegal in a law firm in the Houston area.
Although the amount of the $500 LEX scholarship is not significantly large, Davila says such an achievement includes intangible rewards. “Inclusion of this accomplishment on Karen’s resume will have significant benefits for her,” he said. “It should enhance her ability to earn additional scholarships, including merit scholarships. It should also help her gain acceptance at universities and law schools, if that is her choice. Also, employers will give this achievement consideration during job interviews.”
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San Jacinto College offers paralegal courses and associate degree options at the North Campus, which also houses the College’s law library. The College also offers distance learning paralegal courses that are available online. Paralegal 100 ranks the San Jacinto College paralegal program among the top 100 in North America, and it is one of the few in Texas that is approved by the American Bar Association.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. The Achieving the Dream Leader College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of 30,000 students in more than 200 degree and certificate options, including university transfer and career preparation. Students also benefit from the College’s job training programs, renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $630 million each year to the Texas workforce. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College.