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Joel Morse Endowed Scholarship

As part of our commitment to diversity and racial equity, we are pleased to announce the Joel Morse Endowed Scholarship for minority law students who are in need of financial assistance to pursue their legal career.

“I’ve always thought that the legal profession should look like the community in which it’s serving,” said Morse. “I don’t think there are enough minorities here in Detroit representing people. So, to that end, we set up the Joel Morse Endowed Scholarship fund to assist minorities going to law school.”

The Joel Morse Endowed Scholarship is named after Mike’s late father Joel Samuel Morse, who received his undergraduate degree at Wayne State University followed by a law degree at Detroit College of Law and was Mike’s inspiration to become a lawyer. He intended to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a partner at his firm until his father unexpectedly passed away during his first year of law school.

“My father was the kindest and most loving father anyone could want. He was funny and affectionate,
and he loved life and loved being a lawyer,” said Morse. “His clients loved him. He also had a great rapport with fellow attorneys and judges. My dad was a solo practitioner, and though he wanted me to work for a large law firm, my goal was to be his partner. He made law fun.”

In addition to advancing racial justice with the scholarship, Mike hopes to commemorate his father’s life and carry on his legacy of helping people.

“‘To whom much is given, much is required’ was a core value that my dad lived daily as he fought to help people in his law practice and make a difference in his community,” said Morse. “So, it was instilled in me very early that I had a responsibility to not only fight for my clients but to help to make the world around me better.”

Joel Morse Endowed Scholarship Eligibility Requirements

Candidates who meet the following criteria and are in their second or third year at Wayne Law may be considered for the scholarship:

  • Graduate of a historically black college or university or graduate of Wayne State University
  • Attended high school (public, charter or private) in Detroit*

*Must have resided for at least three years in Detroit during high school

2020 Joel Morse Endowed Scholarship Recipient: Jalen Farmer

Wayne Law second year student Jalen Farmer was the recipient of the 2020 Joel Morse Endowed Scholarship.

When I was growing up, I did not know any lawyers, I did not have any lawyers in the family, there were no family friends that were lawyers, it did not seem like law school was an option for me. But because of your support, my family will have a lawyer in a couple years. Being a “lawyer” comes with so many hats. It is a representation of an advocate, a fighter for justice, one of high integrity and high intellect. Being all of the above for my family and community, especially my black community, is well needed. Upon graduation, I intend to go out and be an effective change agent,” Farmer said.

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