Congratulations Tomale “Mel” Williams
Anderson & Boback is excited to announce that Tomale “Mel” Williams has been selected as the Fall 2023 recipient of our first A & B Scholarship for Aspiring Family Law Attorneys. A graduate of Tennessee State University, Mel received a degree in Communication Studies and is now a second-year law student at Chicago-Kent College of Law.
While we received many impressive submissions, we were moved by Mel’s dedication to academic excellence, commitment to his Godmother, and desire to impact the lives of families in the pursuit of justice. We have no doubt that he will continue to excel in his academic and personal endeavors and look forward to witnessing his future success as a member of the legal profession.
As part of the scholarship application, applicants were asked to write an essay answering the following prompt: What inspired you to become a lawyer, and specifically, what motivates your interest in practicing family law and why?
Read Mel’s Essay
As a first-generation Black law student, I have witnessed families torn apart, including mine. One heartbreaking event that deeply impacted me was the tragic passing of my God sister in September 2017, leaving behind a newborn son and a heartbroken fiancé. My Godmother, who had played a significant role in my life, selflessly signed away her parental rights to ensure her late daughter’s son would have a loving home. However, her hopes were shattered when the father suddenly denied her visitation rights, plunging her into a devastating battle with the family court system. Her struggle and inability to afford competent legal representation ignited my passion to fight for family justice and advocate for those who deserve great legal representation regardless of their financial situation.
Before starting law school, I worked at an appellate litigation firm, Loevy, and Loevy, where I shared my Godmother’s heart-wrenching story. The firm felt compelled to assist her in any way possible. Although I was not a law student then, my unwavering determination to help my Godmother solidified my desire to pursue family law. I engaged in countless conversations with legal aid representatives and attorneys, trying to find a resolution for her. Witnessing her struggle, my passion for family law grew, and I realized the importance of pro bono work to ensure justice reaches all, especially those with limited financial means. My Godmother’s journey inspired me to become a family attorney and work tirelessly to prevent similar tragedies from happening to others.
Through two years of arduous litigation and motions, my Godmother’s fight to see her grandson ultimately ended in heartbreak. As I venture into the legal profession, my short-term goal is to raise awareness about grandparents’ rights and promote open family communication to prevent life-changing decisions. My long-term aspiration is to become an exceptional family law advocate dedicated to supporting families in their times of need.
The Anderson & Boback scholarship and professional development opportunity would be a pivotal step toward fulfilling my dreams. The scholarship would alleviate financial burdens, ensuring I can graduate on time and become the best lawyer. I’m eager to learn and expand my knowledge at Anderson & Boback, witnessing their impactful work in family law. I’m committed to upholding my Godmother’s dream of fighting for families to receive legal support. Diversity in law and inclusivity are essential aspects of my journey. As a low-income student passionate about family justice, this scholarship would enable me to pursue my goals. My Godmother’s journey may have concluded, but I am resolute in becoming a compassionate and formidable family law attorney, standing up for those whose voices may be unheard.
In conclusion, my journey to law school and my passion for family law were inspired by personal experiences and a desire to impact the lives of families in need positively. Witnessing my Godmother’s struggle fueled my determination to provide legal assistance to those facing similar challenges. Receiving the Anderson & Boback scholarship and professional development opportunity would support my educational journey and empower me to become a champion for families seeking justice. As I pursue a career in family law, my commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion will remain at the forefront of my endeavors, ensuring that every family has access to fair representation and a brighter future.