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Belleville, IL, Aug. 27, 2008. Mathis, Marifian, & Richter, a Belleville-based law firm, is helping the dreams of three recent high school graduates become a reality. During a luncheon held at the St. Clair Country Club in Belleville, Blair Keltner, Raxit Shah and Jill Sharp were each presented with a 2008-2009 Law Career Scholarship certificate for $1,000. MMR has provided scholarships for college-bound students interested in a career practicing law for more than eight consecutive years.

Keltner, a resident of Belleville, recently graduated from Althoff Catholic High School. She will attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the fall, where she plans on earning a bachelor’s degree in economics before attending law school. She is thankful to MMR for awarding her the scholarship. “I am very grateful to have this opportunity, and it will definitely help take weight off my parents for at least some of my tuition,” she said.

Shah, who currently lives in South St. Louis County, is a Belleville native and graduate of Belleville West High School. He was also appreciative of the award money and believes it will help encourage him along the way. “The scholarship will not only help me pay for college but it will also help in reaching my goals and fulfilling my aspirations,” Shah said. He is entering Washington University in the fall as a pre-law student and plans on majoring in economics and political science.

Belleville East High School graduate Jill Sharp is a resident of Swansea, Illinois, and plans on attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the fall, where she will major in psychology. She believes the scholarship money will help motivate her to continue her plans to practice in the field of medical malpractice law in the future. “It’s an honor to receive the scholarship,” Sharp said. “It will be really great to have the financial help, and the award will help motivate me to continue with my plan to become a lawyer.”

MMR annually awards the $1,000 scholarship to one student from each of the three high schools in Belleville. To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must have plans to pursue a degree in law, receive high academic marks and show their involvement in their communities. The money awarded will go directly to each student’s school to be used toward tuition, housing or books.

“As practicing lawyers, we have found the practice of law to be both challenging and rewarding,” said Pat Mathis, a shareholder with MMR. “These annual scholarships allow us to give back to the profession and hopefully encourage the next generation of attorneys.”