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About Our Scholarship

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2023 Young Defenders Scholarship

Founding Attorney Melaniece Bardley McKnight’s favorite place is inside the courtroom, advocating for her clients involved in all aspects of family legal matters. Being a lawyer can be rewarding but also demanding and stressful. It is a position that, if achieved, one should celebrate. That is why our firm is pleased to sponsor the Young Defenders Scholarship.

This scholarship aims to award one student who is planning on pursuing or actively pursuing a career in the legal field. Eligible applicants are asked to share why they aspire to be a lawyer and want to be an advocate for others. This scholarship has an award of $1000 and must be submitted by May 31, 2023


  • The scholarship is open to any current high school senior, vocational student, college student, or graduate student who is a legal resident of the United States residing in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia and who is enrolled in a vocational program or two to five-year post-secondary institution for the Fall 2023 semester.
  • Employees of Bardley McKnight, their immediate families (parent, child, sibling, and spouse), and persons living in the same households of such individuals (whether related or not), are not eligible to participate in the competition. 
  • Candidates for this scholarship should have a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher and be in good overall academic standing.

Application Requirements

  • The candidate must submit a 750-1000 word essay response to the prompt: Why do you aspire to be a lawyer and want to be an advocate for others?
  • The candidate must submit a professional resumé that lists their academic and professional experience.
  • The candidate must submit a transcript from their current school. First-year college students, graduate students, or individuals who have recently transferred schools may submit an unofficial transcript from their current school and the most recent official transcript from their prior school. High school students must also submit proof of acceptance to their college or university.

The recipient of the 2023 Young Defenders Scholarship will be chosen during the month following the scholarship deadline.

Application Deadline And Instructions:

To be eligible for this scholarship, candidates must email their full application (including the essay, resumé, and transcript) to by May 31, 2023. Any applications sent after this date will not be considered.

Scholarship applications should be sent with the subject line “Bardley McKnight2023 Young Defenders Scholarship Application.”

Please send any questions to as well.

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