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Your Gifts at Work: Patrika Marschall

Second-year LSU Law student Patrika Marschall was born in Saint Catherine, Jamaica, and migrated to U.S. at the age of 12, growing up in The Bronx, New York City. A year after earning her B.A. in English Literature from City College of New York in 2010, she enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served for over five years on active duty as a financial services technician and budget analyst in Alamogordo, New Mexico, and San Antonio, Texas.

“While on active duty I pursued my A.A.S. in Financial Management and my M.A. in Criminal Justice,” says Marschall, who earned the former degree from the Community College of the Air Force in 2013 and the latter from the American Military University in 2018. “I also volunteered as a sexual assault victim advocate for Department of Defense Sexual Assault & Preventive Response Program, and a domestic violence victim advocate for the San Antonio Police Department.”

In 2016, she transitioned to the Air Force Reserve as a military justice paralegal, and she currently performs her military duties during the summer at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia.

“I have always had a passion for law and service, which explains why I chose to enlist, volunteer as a victim advocate, and study criminal justice,” she says. “While working on my first court-martial, I watched with pride as the trial counsel used carefully selected words to highlight the lasting impact of a crime that occurred a year prior. These words encapsulated the emotions that the victim often found difficult to explain. In that moment, I solidified my desire to become an attorney. I realized that, by attaining the necessary knowledge and skills, I could serve my community as an attorney and advocate, navigating victims of violent crimes through the court system and giving them a voice.”

At LSU Law, Marschall serves as Vice President of the LSU Black Law Students Association, and she is also a mentor to three first-year students. Of the courses she has taken thus far, her favorites are Administration of Criminal Justice, Evidence, and Family Law. She says having so many opportunities to be involved with student organizations and other activities at the Paul M. Hebert Law Center is one of the things she loves most about being at LSU Law.

“Various student organizations host weekly activities for us to either destress at a social event, volunteer in the community, or meet practicing attorneys,” she says.

Outside of her law studies and military duties, Marschall spends most of her time with her two-year-old son, Hudson.

“I enjoy teaching him new things, taking him to the park, and trying new restaurants,” she says.

Without the aid of scholarships, Marschall says it’s very likely that she would not be at LSU Law today.

“My decision to attend LSU Law meant moving my son and I hundreds of miles away from our family and friends in the pursuit of my law degree. It was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made, but I knew this sacrifice would pay off in the end,” she says. “My scholarship award not only assisted with everyday living and childcare expenses, but it also served as a sign for me to keep going. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the donors who are investing in me and future LSU Law students. Your donations truly make a difference!”

As she works toward earning her law degree, Marshcall says she hopes to “use my newfound skills to advocate for members of my community as an Air Force attorney or a prosecutor” after graduating in the spring of 2023.

Support LSU Law scholarships

To attract and retain a talented student body at LSU Law, we must offer meaningful and nationally competitive scholarships. Every major law school in the country attracts top students through scholarships, and the LSU Law Center is a part of this very competitive environment.

Resident tuition has increased to over $23,000 for first-year students. With fees, room and board, personal costs and transportation, the cost of a legal education may exceed $35,000 per year.

The Law Center works diligently to attract outstanding students, and private scholarship funds are critical to our efforts to provide financial assistance to deserving students.

Learn more about how you can support scholarships at LSU Law.