Student Spotlight: Joel Ferreira
Congratulations to Joel Ferreira on being named a 2020 recipient of the Dominican Bar Association Scholarship. Joel attends Touro part-time in the evenings and will graduate in December. His dedication to earning his law degree while remaining fully committed to his family obligations and working full time is inspiring.
“I am so proud to be receiving this scholarship,” stated Joel. “These funds will help alleviate some of the financial burden of law school while allowing me to continue to serve as an ambassador for members of the Latino community. I look forward to the immediate future when I have earned my degree from Touro Law and am working in the community to help those in need and make a difference for people.”
Joel was born and raised in New York City by parents who immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic. His parents stressed the importance of education and helping others in the community.
Joel’s desire to attend law school was fueled by a trip to Ghana that he took as part of a missionary group with his church. He said, “Throughout that trip, I witnessed Dr. Rev. Emanual Fête use the law to assist villagers and church pastors in need. He defended many destitute villagers from income inequality and helped them with civil rights and religious court cases. He provided his services without expectation of any financial return. The impact he made helping people in need truly inspired me to pursue a legal career in America. That trip changed me as a person and shaped my future.”
After graduating from college, Joel decided to enroll in Touro Law. He enjoys his classes and the time spent learning the law. He says he chose Touro Law because of the student diversity, its dedication to the legal profession, and Touro’s outstanding professors.
Professor Danielle Schwager states, “Joel’s work ethic, professionalism, and perseverance are admirable. He demonstrated not only a commitment to learning the material in class, but also to truly understanding the implications of the law on society and the community. Joel met with me outside of class to discuss how he could serve his community and continue in the field through public interest work. He is truly an exceptional student worthy of this scholarship.”
In addition to being named a recipient of the Dominican Bar Association Scholarship, Joel is a recipient of the Susan M. Dietrich Clyne ’88 Memorial Scholarship at Touro Law, awarded annually to a rising 3L part-time student with significant family responsibilities. He hopes to graduate and practice family law, serving as a role model for his teenage daughter.
As for others thinking about law school, Joel offers this advice, “Stay focused and dedicated. Law school is difficult, but very rewarding. My professors at Touro Law have been so supportive of my journey and this school is like a home to me. I am so thankful for this experience and look forward to a bright future.”