3L Molly Hemenway receives Dee Benson Memorial Scholarship

Mar 29, 2024 | Students

by Lindsay Wilcox

Molly Hemenway, a young white woman with long brown hair and brown eyes wearing a black floral blouse and black blazer3L Molly Hemenway earned her undergraduate degree in political science but says she didn’t have a clear idea of a career path afterward. She worked a lot of different positions, mainly in the service industry, and couldn’t find something that was a good fit.

“I had been warned against going to law school so many times in my young adulthood that I had all but ruled it out. I changed my mind about law school after I began working as a paralegal for a law firm that specialized in helping veterans seek disability benefits from the VA,” Hemenway recalls. “In that job, I quickly realized that I enjoyed legal reasoning and writing, and that there are opportunities within the legal field to effect positive change in people’s lives. I decided to take the plunge, and so far I have not regretted my decision!”

While Hemenway finished her undergraduate degree and worked in the Rhode Island area, she was initially drawn to apply to Utah Law for its location.

“I knew I wanted to live in a city with great access to the mountains. Once I was accepted to S.J. Quinney College of Law, I was pleasantly surprised by the program’s exceptional reputation and quality compared to peer law schools,” Hemenway says. “I also appreciated that everyone I interacted with from SJQ radiated kindness and professionalism.”

Hemenway says that the best part of attending the S.J. Quinney College of Law is meeting new people.

“Before starting law school, I wish I had recognized the importance of networking and building relationships within the legal community. I’ve learned that finding good mentors and people to champion you is more important than any academic achievement,” she says. “During my time at SJQ, I have had the privilege of learning from some truly excellent professors, who have not only imparted knowledge but also provided invaluable mentorship and support.”

Colleagues at S.J. Quinney have also made Hemenway’s experience memorable.

“Looking back on my law school experience, I am most proud of the friends I made along the way! I feel lucky to be surrounded by such bright and ambitious peers, and I am excited to see everything that they accomplish in the future,” she says.

A recent recipient of the Dee Benson Memorial Scholarship, awarded to law students whose career goals line up with ideals that were important to the late Judge Dee Benson, Hemenway says receiving the award was a great honor.

“Judge Benson was a respected judge who served on the bench for over three decades. He was known for his impartiality and commitment to upholding the rule of law and embodied public service,” she recalls. “Receiving this scholarship serves as a reminder of the values I aspire to uphold in my legal career.”

Noting that she has always been a bit of an argumentative person, Hemenway says she is excited to have found a profession where she can write long memos explaining a standpoint.

“I love diving deep into legal issues and finding creative arguments to support my position,” she says. “After graduating from law school, I plan to clerk and then transition to a local firm doing civil litigation. I’m eager to continue learning and growing as a legal professional and to seek opportunities to make a meaningful impact on my community.”

Learn more about the Dee Benson Memorial Scholarship. You can also make a contribution through U Give.