Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers announces recipients of new scholarship for African-American law students
Students will be mentored by scholarship namesake Judge William Stewart Boyd
Matthew Locke of Chicago’s South Chicago neighborhood is enrolled at UIC John Marshall Law School. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Washington and Lee University and a master’s degree from the Relay Graduate School of Education.
Jasmine Guerrier of Arlington Heights is enrolled at Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law. She completed her undergraduate work at the University of Chicago.
October 13, 2021—The winners of the inaugural William Stewart Boyd Scholarship for African-American Law Students, created and funded by the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML-IL), were announced today by Adam Kibort, the Chapter’s outgoing President, and by James Quigley, the Chapter’s President-elect, who chaired the scholarship committee.
The scholarship, open to African-American first-year law students, was created as an initial step in attracting this historically underrepresented cohort to the family law profession. It is named for the Hon. William Stewart Boyd, who has spent more than two decades as an Associate Judge for the Cook County Circuit Court, and who will mentor both of the winning applicants. “As one of a few African Americans hearing family law cases in Illinois, Judge Boyd’s evenhanded and tireless dedication to his work should and does inspire other people of color to enter a field in need of diversification,” Kibort said.
The announcement of two winners came as something of a surprise because the scholarship was originally intended to be awarded to a single African-American first-year law student.
Each student will receive a one-time payment of $5,000, to be used at their discretion during the 2021-22 term.
One criterion in the selection process was the applicants’ interest in entering the field of family law, Kibort explained. “But we also asked them to express in their own words what it was in their backgrounds that inspired them to consider this field.” Said Quigley, “That’s where their personal stories made a real impact.
“Both scholarship recipients shared very compelling stories about who they are and what they’re doing. Their applications were excellent, but in quite different ways and with quite different histories, So we decided to double the program for this first year and support them both,” Quigley added.
The applicants were reviewed, and the winners selected, by a Scholarship Committee comprising five Fellows of the Illinois Chapter which includes the northern Illinois counties of Cook, Lake and DuPage. Judge Boyd also contributed to the selection process, and his recommendations helped influence the committee to offer two scholarships instead of the one originally planned.
The scholarship winners will be officially introduced to members of the AAML-IL at the organization’s annual gala, that will take place in August 2022, shortly before the application deadline for the Boyd Scholarship program’s second annual competition.