Ericka Martinez Alvarez, a 2L at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, is the recipient of the second annual Chapman and Cutler LLP Maynard H. Jackson Jr. Diversity Scholarship.
A California native, Ericka transformed her fear growing up in a neighborhood plagued with gang violence and crime, into a fearless agent of change when she became the youngest co-chair of the Anaheim Public Safety Board, a civilian oversight board for the city’s police department established after the 2012 Anaheim riots (which was later expanded to form the Police Review Board). Ericka decided to pursue law as an opportunity to give back to her community and to be an advocate for diversity, representation, and change. As a law student, she is a tireless champion for diversity, leading the development of a Latino Law Student Association mentorship program for first year law students to provide academic and network support.
The scholarship is named for the late Maynard Jackson, a public finance partner at Chapman (1982-1990), who was the first African-American Mayor of Atlanta (he was elected in 1973 and served three terms: 1974-1982, 1990-1994). Applications for the $10,000 scholarship were received from second year law students from across the country who demonstrated a commitment to diversity, not only in racial or gender diversity, but in a broader view such as military experience, overcoming adversity, LGBTQ+ status, gender orientation, and socioeconomic disadvantages.