MBA to present Boston University School of Law student $10,000 scholarship

Thursday, April 5, 2018
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Photo Credit: Jeff Thiebauth
Mario N. Paredes is a third-year law student at Boston University School of Law.

The Massachusetts Bar Association is pleased to announce that Mario N. Paredes, a third-year law student at Boston University School of Law, is the recipient of the MBA's 2018 Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. Scholarship. The $10,000 scholarship will be awarded at the MBA's Annual Dinner on April 24, at the Westin Boston Waterfront.

As the national debate over the right to citizenship continues to intensify, Paredes looks toward his May graduation date with aspirations of renewing his already strong commitment to the immigrant community.  

A fierce advocate for marginalized groups long before he enrolled at BU, Paredes says he found that legal acumen was “the missing component” in his lobbying efforts on Beacon Hill, and in his calls for change through social demonstrations. The first-generation college student owes his intimate knowledge of the local immigrant population to his years of nonprofit service with Centro Presente of East Boston, which focuses on the promotion of justice for Massachusetts residents hailing from Latin American countries. 

Since then, Paredes has notably provided volunteer legal support to immigrant arrivals at Logan Airport in the aftermath of President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban, and to detainees at correctional facilities in Louisiana and Texas.

“When you’re in law school, it’s tough knowing that you’re there to focus on academics, but at the same time, there are things happening in the world around you,” said Paredes, whose interest in immigrant affairs dates back to his upbringing by Guatemalan parents. “Knowing that, even as students, we can still step outside the walls of the classroom and make an impact in the community, that means a lot.”

Paredes was especially moved after meeting a since-released inmate whose undocumented status became apparent to authorities when his daughter felt scared in the middle of the night and dialed 911. As a result of this innocuous call for service, the man found himself trapped in a “detention dragnet,” with his absence causing the family great emotional distress, Paredes said.

Moving forward, Paredes says his post-graduation plans include remaining in Boston, with hopes of combining his passions for “supporting the immigrant community, youth of color and communities that have been marginalized.”

The Annual Dinner will include a keynote address by CNN Senior Political Analyst David Gergen, the presentation of the 2018 Legislator of the Year Awards to Sen. Will Brownsberger (D-Second Suffolk and Middlesex) and Rep. Claire D. Cronin (D-11th Plymouth), the 2018 MBA President's Award to attorney Francis C. Morrissey, the 2018 Access to Justice Awards and more.

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