For the fourth year in a row, Keller & Keller and the University of New Mexico have partnered to provide scholarship funds to first year law students who have demonstrated the drive and determination to further their legal education. A total of $10,000 is available annually, and we're proud to announce the 2016 winners here.
Congratulations to the winners of the 2016 Keller & Keller Law School Challenge!
Jennifer Winquist - $5000
Jennifer graduated Cum Laude from the University of New Mexico in 2015 with a Bachelor’s in Criminology and doubled minored in Political Science and Psychology. As a student, she excelled academically with a budding interest in public policy that developed into an insatiable appetite to serve the legal needs of the community through the justice system.
Her strong desire to passionately fight against injustices led her to intern at the Office of the Second Judicial District Attorney’s Office in 2014. She was assigned to the Felony Gangs Division and had the opportunity to support high-stakes prosecution of some of Albuquerque’s most violent criminals and repeat offenders.
Seeking a balanced and broad view of the law in action, Jennifer has been a paralegal with Roybal-Mack Law, P.C. since graduation . The practice focuses on individuals in the surrounding Albuquerque community who are struggling through a divorce, dealing with the devastation of serious personal injury, or the unexpected death of a loved one.
The University of New Mexico School of Law School recently accepted her application for the Fall 2016 enrollment. She is eager to begin the next step in her career to become a dedicated, life-long advocate for the New Mexico community.
Jennifer is an active member of the University of New Mexico Alumni Association; truly a community that is connected and committed. Jennifer also has membership with the Alpha Kappa Delta - International Sociology Honor Society, The National Society of Leadership and Success, and the Honor Society.
Savanna Shay Duran - $3000
As a tenth generation New Mexican, Savanna is proud to call Albuquerque her home. Her grandparents were blue-collar workers and exemplified the meaning of hard work and perseverance. Savanna’s parents and grandparents have taught her many valuable lessons through their love, wisdom, and strong work ethic. She is forever grateful to her parents and grandparents for supporting her, making her laugh, and giving her countless happy memories.
Since high school, Savanna loved reading and studying history. She recalls reading the novels of John Steinbeck and Victor Hugo, who highlighted the struggles of poverty and social injustice. This inspired her to dedicate her career to standing up for others and fighting for positive change. During her senior year at Hope Christian High School, she decided to go to law school and devoted the next four years at UNM to achieve her goal.
Savanna earned her Bachelor’s degree in English and Spanish, as well as a UNM Honor’s College designation. Her favorite class was legal writing and Spanish grammar and writing. Although her English major focused on professional writing, she also enjoyed literature classes and worked as a staff member for two UNM literary magazines: Conceptions Southwest and Scribendi.
Since her sophomore year at UNM, she was involved with Phi Alpha Delta Pre-law Fraternity and served as secretary and vice president. This instilled valuable lessons about leadership, teamwork, and the importance of helping others. During her time with Phi Alpha Delta, she had the opportunity to meet legal professionals and law school students, and this enabled her to engage with the Albuquerque legal community and learn more about the skills required to become an efficient attorney.
Savanna also worked with Voices for Children writing blogs, OP-EDs, and press releases. She also worked with the Albuquerque Indian Center to write a grant to help the organization receive much needed funding. Working with the Albuquerque Indian Center was an influential time in her academic career because she saw firsthand the ways in which poverty affects the everyday lives of underrepresented individuals. She saw this experience as a call to action and committed herself to earning her juris doctorate to address issues such as poverty, income inequality, and access to quality education. In the future, she plans to become a judge or legislator for New Mexico.
Above all else, Savanna is grateful for the many professors, law school students, attorneys, advisors, and friends who encouraged her and gave their full support. She says, “There are so many professors and other amazing individuals whose short but kind words had the biggest impact in ways they may not even know.” She would like to express her gratitude by becoming a mentor to pre-law students.
In her spare time, Savanna enjoys spending time with friends and family, reading, listening to music, and playing the violin.
Jennifer Brannen - $2000
Jennifer Brannen is grateful to Keller & Keller for supporting her return to school to study law.
Jen graduated with honors from Vassar College and is enthusiastic about being back in an intellectually demanding environment again. She comes to UNM (class of 2019) after a rewarding career in therapeutic bodywork where she helped clients recover from all sorts of accidents and surgeries. It was through her clients' stories that Jen came to appreciate the quality of work that their attorneys did, affecting lives one case at a time. While she is still undecided about what area of law to focus on, she is excited to be changing careers and enjoying every stop of the way.
Jen is honored to have the support of her husband and three kids as she lives by the old adage "It's never to late to be what you might have been." (George Eliot).