Vaughan & Vaughan takes pride in helping the next generation of professionals achieve their goals in this increasingly strange economic environment. That’s why the firm debuted its Personal Growth Through Leadership scholarship. The scholarship awards undergraduate and graduate students intent on sharing their gifts with an in-need community.
This year, Vaughan & Vaughan awarded its $2,500 scholarship to Autumn Chassie. Chassie intends to pursue her legal degree at the University of Notre Dame Law School. She plans to graduate in May 2026.
Finding Inspiration in Darkness
Unlike many children, Chassie stuck to her guns when announcing that when she grew up, she wanted to be a lawyer. Unfortunately, this desire to pursue justice in court comes from tragic roots.
In her essay, Chassie touches on the domestic abuse she saw her mother endure. “I watched my mom…give up her dreams to prioritize mine,” she says. “It was throughout this childhood experience that I decided I wanted to help women like my mom.”
It is consistently difficult for victims of domestic abuse to speak out against their abusers for emotional, financial, and physical reasons. Even survivors who break away from their abusers can remain continually unsure of their long-term safety. Chassie now stands to take her and her mother’s experience and use it to help survivors protect their futures.
Leading Her Community at Gettysburg College
As she grew, Chassie took unique opportunities to protect and serve in-need communities. She worked as a Resident Assistant (RA) while an undergraduate student at Gettysburg College. There, she helped her fellow students maintain a school/life balance while notably helping victims of sexual abuse defend themselves from their abusers.
It was in this environment that she discovered the true meaning of being a leader. “Being an RA taught me that being a true leader does not always mean being the first person to speak when someone asks a question,” she says. “Being a leader means being a listener and a resource.”
Finding Inspiration Close to Home
When asked about the inspirations that drive her to continue offering support to in-need communities, Chassie turns the story back to her mother. She highlights her mother’s continual emphasis on educational opportunities, even in the face of hardship, as the force that encourages her to not only pursue her goals but help the people around her.
Chassie’s mother’s continued dedication to her own growth and her willingness to work push her forward even in the face of academic and professional hardships.
Breaking Into the Professional Sphere
Chassie began her legal education in 2023 at the University of Notre Dame School of Law. When she’s not in class or serving as a 1L representative for the Exoneration Project, she works as a copywriting intern with Wild For Salmon. She also volunteers with Ronald McDonald House, a program that supports families and disabled children pursuing treatment.
The Huntsman Cancer Foundation also has Chassie to thank for her considerable efforts to raise money on its behalf. This diversity of interests speaks to Chassie’s professional flexibility as well as her continual drive to lift the people around her up.
What to Expect from Chassie’s Legal Career
Big Law holds a mixed appeal for most of today’s legal students. On one hand, Big Law promises long hours and an intense workload. On the other, that intensity appeals to the kind of student who knows how to stay on top of high-priority, high-intensity projects.
Chassie intends to pursue a career in Big Law while remaining open to opportunities that emphasize her passion for domestic abuse representation. She wants to continue providing a voice for parties who can’t advocate for themselves in and out of court.
About Vaughan & Vaughan’s Personal Growth Through Leadership Scholarship
Vaughan & Vaughan’s Personal Growth Through Leadership scholarship celebrates young people who make waves in their communities. The team’s personal injury attorneys want to learn more about the efforts the next generation of professionals are making to help one another achieve their goals.
The firm’s scholarship selection committee wants applicants to write essays between 500 and 1,000 words elaborating on their leadership experience. After a scholarship acceptance period closes, the scholarship selection committee reserves up to three months to select a winner to receive $2,500 in financial support to dedicate toward their continued education.
Students can discuss the challenges they faced while in leadership positions and the lessons they took away from their experiences. Applicants who base career or academic decisions on lessons learned from time in leadership roles can elaborate on those decisions as well as their goals for the future.
Congratulations, Autumn Chassie!
Vaughan & Vaughan commends Autumn Chassie on her continual commitment to consummate, compassionate leadership. The team hopes that she’ll achieve every goal she sets in pursuit of her legal degree and that her leadership will continue to inspire the people around her.
Future applicants for the Personal Growth Through Leadership Scholarship can refer to the scholarship’s terms and conditions page for more information about the criteria that 2024/2025 applicants need to meet.