NCAWA provides scholarships to deserving female students attending the state’s law schools.  This award has been named in honor of retired Chief Justice Sarah Parker of the Supreme Court of North Carolina. 

In past years, NCAWA offered the Sarah Parker Scholarship Awards to a deserving female student at each law school in North Carolina.  In academic year 2018-2019, NCAWA began offering two (2) Sarah Parker Scholarship Awards, each in the amount of $2,000, to two female students from North Carolina’s law schools.  Scholarship recipients are leaders and/or active in their law schools and communities.  Scholarship recipients are students who best exemplify, in their approach to the study and future practice of law, the incorporation of NCAWA’s goals of assuring the effective participation of women in the justice system and in public office, promoting the rights of women under the law and promoting and improving the administration of justice.

Prospective scholarship recipients must be law school students who are continuing their education through the fall semester of the current calendar year and cannot be graduating third-year law students. 

2021 Sarah Parker Scholarship Award Winners

Dorothy Chen

Dorothy is a second-year law student at the University of North Carolina School of Law. She studied biology in college with the intention of going to medical school. At the same time, she also participated in numerous community service opportunities where she got to work with the underserved population in Baltimore City and was exposed to the social determinants of health. For four years, Dorothy volunteered as a case manager to women and new mothers, connecting them to resources that would help them to break the link between poverty and poor health; such as health insurance, adult education classes, and utility services. These experiences changed her mind from doing direct patient care to population health instead.

While pursuing her Master of Public Health degree, with a concentration in health policy, Dorothy continued to serve her local community. She worked with an advocacy organization to increase health insurance stability for Connecticut’s children and foster youths and a hospital to promote healthy living habits. Dorothy also interned with the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland where she further explored the impact of gender inequality on health outcomes. Her interest in health policy led her to work as a healthcare consultant in Washington D.C. and later law school.

At UNC Law, Dorothy serves as the Community Support Chair for the Carolina Law First-Generation Professionals organization. She hopes to guide first-gens like her to navigate the exciting yet challenging law school environment. Dorothy has also participated in pro bono projects where she assisted cancer patients in understanding their insurance and employment rights, as well as women seeking legal custodies of their children.


 Margaret Hay

Margaret Hay is a second-year student at the University of North Carolina School of Law. She is from West Point, Mississippi, and she graduated from the University of Mississippi in 2019 with a degree in Public Policy Leadership. She took a gap year in between college and law school during which she participated in the Johnson Service Corps program. Through the program, Margaret worked at the Compass Center, the domestic violence agency in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

During her first year of law school, Margaret volunteered with Democracy NC’s Election Protection Hotline and the Wake County District Attorney’s Jail Call Project. Over winter break, she worked for the Charlotte Division of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. She spent the summer of 2021 interning for the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi and working as a research assistant for Professor Emily Benfer of Wake Forest School of Law. As a second-year student, Margaret is serving as a staff member on the North Carolina Law Review, the president of Women In Law, the mentorship program coordinator for Carolina Public Interest Law Organization, and the programming coordinator for Law Students Against Sexual and Domestic Violence. In the upcoming spring semester, she looks forward to participating in the Domestic and Sexual Violence Clinic. After graduation, Margaret hopes to pursue a career in civil rights law with a nonprofit or the government.





Sarah Parker Scholarship Recipients:

  • 2020 - Mireya Colin, Henna J. Shah
  • 2019 - Erica Bluford, Jacqueline Canzoneri
  • 2018 - Lauren Franklin, Niti Parthasarathy