Marilyn Mancusi Receives Lardy Scholarship Award for 2022-23 | News | The law school – Natural Self Esteem

Marilyn “Mary” Mancusi, an aspiring third-year student at Notre Dame Law School, has been selected to receive the Peter AR Lardy Scholarship Award for the 2022-23 academic year.

Only one recipient is selected each year from many nominations submitted by members of the law school community. Mancusi was singled out in nomination comments for her unwavering support and encouragement to others. She has been fully immersed in life at Notre Dame and has had a positive and profound impact on her classmates.

The Lardy Award was established by the Notre Dame Law Class in 1975 to honor their beloved classmate Peter AR Lardy, who died of cancer during his third year of law school. The award is given to law students “who exemplify his courage, love and understanding of those around him,” and includes a substantial student grant towards the recipient’s third year of law school.

“It was very special for me to be recognized. I like to get involved and take on many tasks. And it’s nice to see that it’s had a positive impact on people,” Mancusi said. “You never know exactly how you will be perceived and I am deeply flattered and honored that people thought of me for this award.”

One student said, “I don’t know how I would have gotten through my first semester of law school without Mary’s support and mentorship. Mary may be the sweetest, smartest, and most successful student I’ve met at Notre Dame. She is a brilliant student who works hard not only for herself but also for other people. Mary wants everyone around her to be successful.”

Notre Dame Law School creates a culture of community and kindness, said Mancusi, who is active in the law school’s Student Bar Association. In her sophomore year, she served as Chair of the Spirit Committee and will serve as Vice President of the Student Bar Association for the coming year.

She says that one of the most significant experiences in law school to date has been being part of the Christian Legal Society, of which she was president last year. The group meets weekly, and Mancusi says the focus is on camaraderie and community building.

“We are able to share our beliefs while everyone brings a different perspective to the group. There is a lot of encouragement and real friendships and connections that have developed especially between students of different grades,” she said.

Professor Bruce Huber is a faculty advisor to the Christian Legal Society. “Mary is a force of nature. She is a very hard worker and a smart and careful student. But her friendly demeanor and infectious smile reassured others. She’s a team player who kind of finds a way to get everything done while saving time for her friends and family,” he said. “Her relentlessly positive attitude embodies the Lardy spirit. She is a true example of the virtues of kindness, friendship, faith and warmth.”

Her commitment to students this year was further illustrated by her role as teaching assistant for Professor Samuel Bray’s civil procedure class. She loved being a mentor to students in the class. “It’s been so rewarding to see the students grow, learn and find out,” she said.

“For the past semester, Mary was my teaching assistant in civil procedure,” Bray said. “I had a constant stream of students coming into my office to tell me what a wonderful TA she was. I can’t think of a TA more dedicated, capable, and supportive of her students than Mary.”

The students in the class agree. One said, “Mary not only prepares for a weekly TA session and attends the one required class session, she attends ALL class sessions. She does this because she goes above and beyond in everything she does. She is thoughtful, kind, brilliant and a great friend. I know that I can turn to Mary with any question and that she will treat me with dignity, kindness and generosity. The award of this scholarship to Mary honors Peter’s exemplary life and accomplishments.”

Mancusi’s path to law school was not conventional. “My journey here was the result of a lot of prayer and a step-by-step approach,” she said.

Mancusi is one of 10 children from Crete, Illinois. After high school, many of her friends married and started families. But Mary wasn’t sure what she wanted to do. She decided to get her associate’s degree from Fox College and then began working as a legal secretary for Baker McKenzie in Chicago. In this environment, her interest in the law prevailed.

“I really liked the environment. I was given more responsibility from the partners and staff, but I realized I didn’t want to be a legal secretary forever,” Mancusi said.

She enrolled at Governors State University. She completed her bachelor’s degree part-time through online and evening courses.

Encouraged by Baker McKenzie’s attorneys, she passed the LSAT and began applying to law schools. Once accepted and after a visit to Notre Dame, she said that she could see herself here.

“The students at Notre Dame were so excited to be here. The alumni were so proud to graduate here,” she said. She was also drawn to life on the Notre Dame campus. “I do all the things here at ND Law with clubs and activities because I couldn’t do them when I was a student,” she said.

Professor Lloyd Mayer first met Mancusi when she was working as his research associate. He said he felt empowered to – for the first time – write a statement in support of a student’s nomination for the Lardy Scholarship “due to the incredible and enduring generosity Mary has shown in supporting her fellow students and the law school.” community has shown”.

Mayer continued, “It seems that each week I see a different activity or initiative leading her to encourage her classmates, a particularly important task during these trying times of the pandemic. Mary always strives to support her classmates in a way that is in keeping with the spirit of Peter Lardy. I’ve also noticed that she often converses with a variety of students, showing that her commitment to our community extends well beyond formal roles.”

In addition to all her other activities, Mancusi received an invitation to join Notre Dame Law Review during her second year. She has spent a significant portion of her tenure as an editor this year and will be the managing editor of Law Review magazine for the coming year.

During her freshman summer year, Mancusi worked for Miller Johnson in Grand Rapids, Michigan and this summer she is a summer associate at Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP in Chicago. After graduation, she will serve as Justice John Kness of the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

A list of previous Lardy Award recipients can be found here.

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