Santa Clara Law awards thousands of dollars in scholarships every year to enable students to pursue their dreams of becoming a lawyer. “We know scholarships are a powerful tool for increasing diversity, attracting and retaining high achieving students, and generally addressing issues of access and affordability,” says Interim Dean Anna Han.
Marco Segura JD ’21, who will graduate from Santa Clara Law this May, has received several scholarships while at SCU including the B.T. Collins Scholarship and the Faculty Scholarship. He is also the recipient of a 2020 Pat Tillman Scholarship for active duty service members.
At age 14, Marco Segura came to the US from Lima, Peru, speaking no English. He attended high school in Virginia through an English as a Second Language program. He mastered the language and went on to graduate from the University of Virginia, where he earned a BA in government and American studies and landed several Capitol Hill internships in the offices of Senator Mark Warner, Senator John McCain, and Rep. Raul Grijalva. In the summer after his junior year, he was chosen for an internship in the U.S. Supreme Court Clerk’s Office.
In the summer after college, Segura completed a 23-day trek along El Camino de Santiago, a Christian pilgrimage route in Spain, taking only one small backpack and 200 Euros. He then entered a Master’s program in nonproliferation and terrorism studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California while also studying Arabic at the Middlebury Language School. After earning his master’s degree, he studied defense analysis at the Naval Postgraduate School. He started his law studies in 2017 in the part-time program at Santa Clara Law while also being a sailor on active duty stationed at NOSC San Jose, where one of his main jobs was performing Funeral Honors for active duty and veterans.
What inspired and motivated you to go to law school?
When my mother and I applied for green cards (via VAWA), two very kind lawyers working for Covington and Burling helped us pro bono. Their care and compassion stood out to me at an early age, and ever since that, I wanted to represent others.
What has been your favorite class in law school and why?
I like all of my classes. However, Contracts class with Professor Sandoval stands out because it was my first class ever. Being the first law student in my family, it was a daunting experience. Coincidently, contracts have been a seminal part of my role in the Navy, as I have been able to help various Sailors with contract disputes. Having that knowledge allowed me to guide fellow Sailors.
What has been the most surprising part of your law school experience?
The friendships I have been able to build throughout this time. I am fortunate enough to be part of an amazing study group that has defined my time at SCU. Without their help, I certainly would have not been able to do well in law school. Through our 3-plus years together, we have gone through ups and downs, but we have formed a family with close bonds that will resonate after law school.
What about your law school experience are you the most grateful for?
After Covid hit, everyone at SCU became extremely helpful. From staff to professors, to fellow students, everyone worried about each other’s well-being. I particularly want to thank Professor De La Torre and Professor Armstrong for going above and beyond. I have been extremely impressed by the sense of community despite tough times.
What do you hope to do after graduation? How will your law degree help you in that goal?
I hope to pass the Bar. I’m taking the DC bar in hopes of moving back home to Virginia. Recently, I was commissioned as an Ensign through the Navy JAG Program. Since taking the oath, I was placed as a Reservist until I graduate and pass the Bar. Then I will report to JAG school in Rhode Island. I hope to use my law degree to represent Sailors and their families. It has never been about the money for me, but paying it forward.
What would you say to someone considering attending Santa Clara Law?
To me, it has been a transformational experience. I have been able to learn from very inspirational students and professors who have opened doors for me. It is easy to stand tall when you do so on the shoulders of others. Here at SCU, everyone is willing to lend a hand.
What do you do in your spare time for fun and relaxation?I volunteer with Operation Care and Comfort, which is an organization that serves the troops and their families. We write letters, mail care packages, organize welcome home events, etc. I also am a law school ambassador for Service to School, which enables current military and veterans to apply to higher education.