Alexis Wendl Wins the CoilLaw, LLC Law Scholarship

20 Jul 2016

In addition to representing clients who are working through divorces and other family law issues, CoilLaw, LLC sponsors the CoilLaw, LLC Law Scholarship to help prospective attorneys attend law school affordably. Serving our community and giving back to those within it is our firm’s way of saying thank you.

The 2016 recipient of the first annual CoilLaw, LLC Law Scholarship is Alexis Wendl. Ms. Wendl has been accepted to a full-time law program at the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. We at CoilLaw, LLC are proud of Ms. Wendl’s accomplishments and wish her all the best during her time in law school.

Details of the CoilLaw, LLC Law Scholarship

The CoilLaw, LLC Law Scholarship is a $500 scholarship designed to help an outstanding student cover the expenses associated with attending law school. It is open to students throughout the United States who plan to attend law school at any institution in the country. To qualify for the scholarship, an applicant must meet the following criteria:

  • He or she must have a grade point average of at least 3.0 for his or her undergraduate studies; and
  • He or she must plan to pursue law studies.

The scholarship is open to graduating undergraduate students in all majors.

We received hundreds of entries for this scholarship opportunity. Though many of the applicants were well qualified to receive the award, we could only choose one applicant. Ms. Wendl’s application stood out as belonging to an especially strong candidate for law school.

CoilLaw, LLC will offer the CoilLaw, LLC Law Scholarship again next year.

CoilLaw, LLC’s High School Scholarship

CoilLaw, LLC also offers a scholarship to graduating high school seniors in Utah and Idaho. Like the firm’s law school scholarship, the high school scholarship is worth $500 and requires applicants to submit essays in order to be considered for the award. This award is available to any high school senior in Utah or Idaho who plans to attend a four-year college or university.

Work with our Family and Divorce Law Firm

At CoilLaw, LLC, we handle the following case types:

    • Divorce;
    • Adoption;
    • Child support;

 

  • DCFS issues
  • Annulment and separation;
  • Domestic litigation;
  • Domestic violence;
  • Family law;
  • Juvenile defense;
  • Paternity cases; and
  • Post-judgment modifications.

 

Divorce and Family Lawyers Serving the Salt Lake City Region

Our team of divorce and family lawyers at CoilLaw, LLC is equipped to help you work through your family law issue. Contact our firm today to set up your initial legal consultation with Jill Coil or Luke Shaw. We are here to help you make productive decisions that will lead to a quicker, more satisfying resolution for the issue you are currently facing. During your consultation with an experienced Salt Lake City divorce attorney at our firm, we can answer your questions and provide you with strong representation that protects your rights and promotes your interests.

Read The Winning Scholarship Essay

I try to believe that everything in life happens for a reason, including my own trials and tribulations. Should I discuss being Mexican American and Native American or how I skipped two grades (one in elementary and one in high school)? I could write about growing up as a military “brat” and all the challenges that went along with the military lifestyle, such as always being the “new girl” because I constantly moved and changed schools. I could write about my mother, young and single raising a young girl with an absentee father while living in a one bedroom trailer and working a full time job for $5.25 an hour. Ultimately, one of my most defining moments came when I had to make the decision to move forward with my life after the death of my best friend.

Although those circumstances were challenging and helped mold me into who I am today, my life altering moment came on June 6, 2011. I want to share another person’s story and how her life changed mine forever. Her name is Alexandra Grace and she is my best friend. Like most great teenage friendships, our friendship began because Alex did not like me. Truth be told, I was probably a little scared of her in the beginning. Not long after we met though, we became friends quickly. Alex was a cheerleader and an honor student. We were only in 6th grade when we met but Alex had a presence—she was a force to be reckoned with. She was loud and funny. Similar to most adolescent girls, Alex didn’t know how beautiful she was. She was insecure and often times a bit self-destructive. Comparable to many teenagers, Alex was bullied for being different; she was Native American and bisexual. Looking back, I also believe she was bullied because she was strong willed and people were jealous of her. As strong as Alex presented herself, the bullying hurt her deeply. One week before our high school graduation ceremony, Alex committed suicide. She was 17 years old.

I had never experienced loss before and I did not yet realize how my world would be irrevocably changed. My first instinct was that I wanted to quit too. Quit school, quit my job, quit my life, and essentially quit living. Alex and I had talked about traveling together, attending college together, and living in the dorms together. I felt guilty whenever I considered moving on while she stood still in time as a memory. Losing Alex was not fair but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the real injustice would be if I did quit living. I decided that I would move forward…for the both of us.

It was never easy to press forward after losing Alex. I did not want to go to college anymore, but I reluctantly enrolled in classes at Weber State University. My first semester of college was short of a disaster for me. I nearly flunked out of school because I suffered crippling anxiety, loss of sleep, nightmares and above all, I suffered from a broken spirit. Sometimes I would cry in my car while driving to school, while other times I would simply sit in my car and cry—for me and for Alex. But every day, I kept going to classes and pressing forward. I graduated from Weber State University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology at 20 years of age. I am not finished with my journey yet. After enduring my disastrous first semester of college, I knew without question I had what it takes to become an attorney.

My grieving for Alex has given me insight into having more compassion and empathy for others. I spent a significant amount of time serving my community and advocating for others. I organized Gay Straight Alliance clubs at college and high school levels in an attempt to combat bullying in the LGBTQ community. I also coordinated seasonal clothing drives for the homeless community at St. Anne’s homeless shelter because I believe humanity demands compassion for the less fortunate. People need to feel valued and know that somebody is listening to them. I want to be the strength when people have given up hope. Furthermore, I want to be an attorney who advocates for clients from diverse backgrounds. I intend on expanding my volunteer service in law school and during my career as an attorney by volunteering at legal clinics and performing pro bono work.

I decided to keep my promise to Alex to travel the world when I signed up to study International Law in Italy during my last semester of college. My study abroad experience incited within me a constant curiosity to look at the world from different perspectives to gain a deeper understanding of various cultures and circumstances. My analytical skills and desire to understand different perspectives will be beneficial as I am challenged to analyze complex cases in law school. It will be further beneficial as an attorney, where the answers will not always be black and white.

Through this entire journey I learned so much about myself and about others. I do not tell Alex’s story to garner pity. Quite the contrary, I share the story to shed some light on the importance of perseverance and learning how to turn an unfortunate event into something positive and motivating. By moving forward after the loss of my best friend, I realized who I have always been; I am strong, smart, and a fighter. I refuse to be a victim of circumstance. I can adapt to any situation because I know I can bend all the while knowing I will not break. I will adapt, overcome and even excel. My perseverance will be one of strongest tools as I face stresses and setbacks that come with law school and working as an attorney.

After graduating from Weber State University I decided to take the year off to gain exposure into the legal field. I began working as a legal assistant at a small law firm. Through my job I have gained exposure to Criminal Law, Real Estate Law, Family Law, Bankruptcy Law, Personal Injury Law, while also learning what it takes to be a successful attorney. While in law school, I hope to take classes and join organizations to give me more exposure to different areas of law. Although my background in psychology has caused me to favor family law, I do not want to go into law school with my mind made up about a specialty because I know that I have many qualities that could contribute to a successful career in multiple areas of law.

I have learned to chase my dreams with pure determination because I know tomorrow is never promised. After all, I have to believe everything happens for a reason and I am chasing everything I was born to chase after. When you choose me as a scholarship recipient, you gain a leader and advocate that is uncompromising when it comes to searching and attaining justice for those who have been wronged. I will always uphold the ethical and moral standard of those that practice law to ensure that your organization can always be proud to acknowledge me as a scholarship recipient. For better or for worse, I am right where I am meant to be.

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Jill Coil


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