2022 Chief Justice Samuel J. Roberts Scholarship
Erie County Bar Foundation awards 2022 Pa. Chief Justice Samuel J. Roberts Scholarship
A future Erie County lawyer who will be attending law school in Pittsburgh this fall is the 2022 recipient of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice Samuel J. Roberts Scholarship.
Jacob D. Fleming, who earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science degree from Allegheny College, is the 2022 successful aspirant for the prestigious scholarship, administered and awarded for the Roberts Family by the Erie County Bar Foundation. Fleming, of Erie, will attend the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.
The Chief Justice Samuel J. Roberts Scholarship Committee found that competition was again extremely keen, representing another inspiring field of local aspirants. Ultimately, the Committee found that Fleming, who was a Fellow in Allegheny’s Law and Policy Program, graduating with a 3.96 Grade Point Average, exemplified the many qualities demonstrated during Chief Justice Robert’s long and distinguished career.
In addition to awarding the 2022 scholarship to Fleming, the Committee – citing the academic success of Erie County’s Grace Weichler at Duquesne University’s School of Law, and Paul Bowers at the University of Virginia School of Law – renewed Roberts Scholarships for their second and third years of law school respectively.
“The Committee had another difficult job this year, given the academic credentials and potential talent of our applicants,” said Erie County Bar Association Executive Director Julie S. Kresge. “Committee members agreed that this year’s candidates were among the most qualified and talented ever. It was a difficult decision, but the Committee was extremely impressed with Jacob’s undergraduate background, his academic excellence, high ideals in respect to important issues, and the course he has set for his future in law.” The Committee was also cited Fleming’s confident demeanor during his recent in-person interview.
In his scholarship application, Fleming wrote he is motivated to serve his community as a healthcare attorney. “Equitable access to healthcare is arguably one of the gravest challenges of the 21st Century,” he wrote. “Regulations are constantly changing, making the role of an attorney more important than ever to ensure industries comply with codes when providing care. By taking difficult undergraduate courses in bureaucratic politics and health policy, I’ve gained rudimentary knowledge on the complexity of regulations and business compliance.” A summer internship dealing with personal injury law solidified his desire to pursue a career in law.
Although grades, class standings and standardized test scores are all weighed when considering scholarship awards, motivation, personal interviews, community service, passion for the legal profession and broader interests are also considered.
Each July, the Pennsylvania Chief Justice Samuel J. Roberts Scholarship Committee interviews applicants who are becoming first-year law students, and considers scholarship renewals for previous recipients. While there is no mandate that scholarship winners return to Erie County to practice law, the committee encourages local law careers whenever possible.
The committee includes Attorneys Daan Braveman, president of Nazareth College, Tina M. Fryling, Bradley Enterline, Dennis Haines, Patrick Michael Livingston, Mary Alfieri Richmond, Scott T. Stroupe, John J. Mehler, David M. Zurn and William Speros, and lay representative Jeff Pinski, formerly of Edinboro University and the Erie Times-News.