The Michael V. Morisi Endowed Scholarship Fund was created by Morisi’s family and his law partner, Andrew Oatway ‘92, to support law students who have experience fighting on behalf of the needs of others. Preference is given to those who have exhibited tenacity, loyalty, and zeal in their pursuits, honoring the memory of Michael Morisi CSOM’79.
Emma Coffey ’20 embodies the kind of altruistic students the fund supports. “Receiving the Morisi scholarship allowed me to concentrate not only on my own success,” Coffey says, “but also helped me focus on the reason I chose to attend Boston College in the first place: its mission to serve others.”
Coffey is the first student in the recently created 3+3 Program that enables BC undergraduates to combine their senior year with the first year of law school. As a 1L, Coffey worked a job several nights a week, leaving little time for much else. Being named a Morisi Scholar in her second year opened up a number of possibilities for her, such as participating in a legal clinic. “This experience helped me sharpen my legal skills, but also humbled me and helped me gain perspective,” she says.
Through the Civil Litigation Clinic, Coffey worked on two cases that had a profound impact on her. During the first case, she helped a mother obtain child support for her two young children. In the second, she assisted a mother facing deportation in an ICE detention center gain the autonomy to decide who had custody of her child. Coffey says that “the skills I learned at BC Law built my confidence and gave me the ability to be an active part of conversations with co-counsel, arbitrators, and opposing parties.”
After graduation, Coffey is joining Morgan Lewis. “I wanted to go to a firm where commitment to giving back was woven into the company culture. I am excited and grateful to be taking my clinical experience with me as I enter into my law practice and continue giving back through pro bono work,” she says.
“No words will ever be able to truly convey what the Morisi scholarship means to me,” Coffey says. “I have been able to take the time to define an exciting and challenging career and for that I am extremely thankful.”