2021 David A. Paige Foundation Recipients

Rachel Romaniuk

“I am honored to be the Inaugural David A. Paige Foundation Scholar for the 2021-22 school year. I am confident that my dedication to my studies and to the rule of law will honor David Paige’s legacy. I went to law school because I saw injustice within my middle school at a young age, and I knew I had to do something about it. I truly believe, as did Mr. Paige, that the law can and should be a tool for achieving fairness and justice. I plan to use my law degree to help bridge some of the gaps in our justice system and improve the public’s confidence in the nobility of our profession.

“The University of Arizona law school community has helped me develop a sense of purpose and value in my work. I have involved myself in many clubs, fellowships, and research assistantships to connect with those who are on the same path. I have been a board member of the Justice Advocates Coalition, an organization dedicated to social justice lawyering. I am an Articles Editor on the Arizona Law Review because I appreciate having a hand in burgeoning legal scholarship. I was also recently elected as the Student Bar Association’s 2021-2022 President after serving as both a 1L delegate and the Secretary. 

“Most importantly, I am excited for the new community that I enter into as an Inaugural David A. Paige Scholar. I hope I can inspire others to follow in Mr. Paige’s footsteps and know that they will be supported by amazing organizations like this one. They are big shoes to fill, but I hope with the guidance and mentorship of the Board I can get closer to filling them. Thank you so much for the opportunity to explore public interest work with an increased sense of freedom and support.”

Paige Ricks

“Like Mr. Paige, I also hail from the west side of Phoenix and have been transformed by my experiences in Tucson. I share his commitment to bridging the justice gap for vulnerable populations in our community. As a first-generation law student, I pursued a legal education specifically with the intent to work alongside an organization like SALA. I believe in the dignity of all people and that they deserve quality legal representation, regardless of their socioeconomic status”

Paige completed ten weeks of her legal clerkship at Southern Arizona Legal Aid, Inc. in the summer of ‘21. Paige immediately went to work with the immigration unit, assisting them in preparing U-visa and VAWA petitions, preparing packets to renew work authorization permits, meeting with clients, helping clients write statements to support their petitions, and researching unusual immigration issues. Paige also was given an entire VAWA application, gathering documents/evidence, meeting with the client, helping her draft a statement in support of the petition, and completing the USCIS forms.

“I really enjoyed my time at SALA and would seriously consider working here post-graduation. I see how rewarding it is to help people who need it most and give back to the community.” Staff attorney, Mary Day, oversaw Paige’s work and said that “Paige completed complicated research and a writing project to revisit a previous USCIS decision for a client that the immigration unit simply would not have been able to take on due to the hours it required. Paige brought her intelligence and compassion to all the work she did for the immigration unit this summer. It was a pleasure to have an intern who was so willing to learn and to work.”

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