Heather Townsend Receives Pennsylvania Bar Foundation McDonald Memorial Scholarship for Trial Advocacy

HARRISBURG, Pa. (Jan. 11, 2023) — Heather Townsend, a third-year law student at Penn State Dickinson Law in Carlisle, was selected for the 2022 Pennsylvania Bar Foundation Joseph T. McDonald Memorial Scholarship.


Established in 2013, the scholarship annually provides $3,000 to a full-time, 3L Pennsylvania resident involved in the Penn State Dickinson Law trial advocacy program and whose goal is to pursue trial advocacy after graduation.


For Townsend, attending law school has been her dream since she learned in a high school class about the influence attorneys can have to advocate for people in need. Her goal was to pursue criminal law, but in law school she also discovered her passion for trial advocacy. After competing in an intraschool mock trial competition and winning the best attorney and best team honors, she knew she wanted to spend her career in a courtroom telling the stories of those who need representation. Following graduation, she plans to pursue criminal litigation as a prosecutor or public defender.    


Active in law school, Townsend is the research editor for the Dickinson Law Review, chair for the Triston Chase O’Savio Moot Court Competition, an Executive Board member for the Dickinson Moot Court Team and a competitive member of the Dickinson Law Mock Trial Team. A Law Lion Ambassador, head teaching assistant and admissions assistant, Townsend is also a member of the Student Bar Association, Criminal Law Society, International Law Society and Public Interest Law Fund.


Townsend’s honors include being a Dean’s Fellow and a CALI Excellence for the Future Award recipient. She has worked as a legal intern for the Pennsylvania Innocence Project in Philadelphia; the Cumberland County Court of Common Pleas in Carlisle; and the Maryland Office of the Public Defender, Appellate Division, in Baltimore. 


In 2023, Townsend plans to serve as a certified legal intern for the Cumberland County Public Defender Office in Carlisle; and a judicial law clerk for Judge Meghan A. Adams, Superior Court of Delaware, in Wilmington, Del.  


Townsend received her M.A. and B.A. in criminology from the University of Toronto.


The Joseph T. McDonald Memorial Scholarship Fund is administered by the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation, the charitable affiliate of the Pennsylvania Bar Association. For more information on this and other scholarships, visit www.pabarfoundation.org.