Paulson & Nace, PLLC is proud to announce that Katherine MacElhiney was selected as the 2020 winner of the Barry J. Nace Pursuit of Justice Scholarship! Kat is a 1L student at the University of San Francisco School of Law, slated to graduate in 2023.

Kat’s passion for justice is deeply personal. The Ghost Ship fire in Oakland, CA, in 2016, cost 36 lives and affected more than 100, and some of those lost were Kat’s friends. She was heartbroken as a friend who was wrongfully accused spent nearly a year trying to clear his name, and frustrated by how the liable corporate parties managed to shirk their responsibilities. Her experiences inspired her to become a civil justice attorney, with the goal of influencing public policy to empower the disenfranchised, and introduce system change for the better. She explains:

Civil Justice is a way for individuals to achieve a fair resolution to an unfair situation. Whether someone is harmed due to violence, negligence, recklessness, or malpractice, the Civil Court is an arena where attorneys can be champions for their clients, and give them the opportunity to face who has wronged them and advocate for their rights…. In the Civil Court, precedents can be set in the form of holding the wrong-doers accountable to create new policy and procedures to avoid future wrong-doings.

The scholarship award will help Kat achieve her dreams by easing the financial burdens higher education can create. Those burdens have been increased because of the pandemic, which has made it more difficult for people to work, save money, and plan for the future.

About the Barry J. Nace Pursuit of Justice Scholarship

The Barry J. Nace Pursuit of Justice Scholarship is awarded to a student who has “a very strong passion for civil justice and sees a future in the field” of civil justice. The $3000 award is granted by the firm to help one such worthy student pursue that goal.

Katherine MacElhiney is an ideal candidate for the scholarship award. Her passion and commitment to civil justice is clear, and we expect big things from her in the future. Congratulations, Kat!