Have you entered the Kristen D. Hofheimer Memorial Scholarship Competition?

Posted on May 3, 2021 by Katie Carter

It’s no secret that educating and empowering women is our schtick, and that it’s super important to us. At this point, we’ve spent over THIRTY years (well, not ME, personally) offering our popular women’s-only Virginia divorce seminar. We’ve spent over TWENTY years offering our popular title, “What Every Virginia Woman Needs to Know About Divorce”, and, in the meantime, we’ve cultivated three other titles, a number of free reports, and a library that represents a veritable treasure trove of Virginia specific divorce and custody related information for Virginia women.

But educating Virginia women about divorce and child custody cases isn’t the only way we can promote education, empowerment, and improvement for women. Of course it isn’t!

For the last three years, we’ve hosted a scholarship competition in honor of our late managing partner, Kristen D. Hofheimer. Kristen, who went to the University of Virginia for law school when she had a full ride to the University of Richmond, would have liked it, we think. She really believed in education, and especially believed in supporting women. It’s hard to really describe all of the work she did helping protective mothers, breastfeeding mothers, and others without getting into the thousands of words, but suffice it to say that Kristen, as both an attorney and a human being, was remarkable. After she passed away, we wanted to honor her in a way that felt true to what she believed in and what she stood for. And, so, here we are, three years later.

In case you haven’t heard of it before, our scholarship competition is a video scholarship competition. Each year has a theme, and this year’s them is “the future is female.”


The future is female

I know we keep saying it, but the past year has been crazy. The pandemic has challenged us in ways that we didn’t know we could be challenged. In a lot of ways, it has shaken us to our core, and caused us to question things that we’ve never questioned before. For women – especially women of color – it was even harder than for the rest of us.

Of course, we already know that single moms suffer disproportionately. But in the pandemic, it was heightened to unforeseen levels – with women’s job losses representing almost all of the lost jobs in the entire country. Some of it was economic – as in, the jobs were actually lost – but there are lots of women who had to leave jobs (because, remember, we earn on average 81 cents on the dollar that a man earns!), as lesser-earners, to support homeschooling children, or closing daycares. The cost to women, and to women’s places in the workforce, has been catastrophic.

Being attorneys who represent women exclusively, we feel this acutely, as we, too, have juggled homeschooling children and a totally shifted landscape. We’re the caregivers, too. The ones who are carrying so much of the mental load of raising children and supporting families. We see you, too, especially if, in the last year, you’ve had more than you ever thought you could handle.

Whether or not you lost your job, or had to cut back, or faced significant losses during the last year, there’s still no question that the future is female. We have so much work to do, maybe especially now.

And a good way to prepare yourself to take your place in the future is to get – or continue – your education. Whether you’re planning on going back to school, or you’re already enrolled in a program, we’d love to help you finance your future.

Stimulus money can only get you so far; after all, there are so many needs right now! But a little extra boost might put you over the top, help you sleep a bit easier at night, or help you feel confident enough to say “yes!” to yourself.

What’s involved in the scholarship competition?

Our scholarship competition is a video essay competition! We encourage each applicant to include a video of up to 2 minutes in length. We’ll review them, rate them, and curate a list of finalists, which will be posted to our website, and shared extensively.

We’ll then ask you to vote. You can ask your friends and family to vote, too. And we’ll be sharing links to the page on our Facebook and through our email campaigns to our list (needless to say, we have a lot of followers!) to encourage them to vote, too.

The top two will be selected to receive a $1,000 scholarship!

Does it matter what type of degree or certificate I’m pursuing?

No. Whether it’s a two or four year degree, or a certificate, or whatever, we encourage you to apply. We’re not trying to be exclusive here. We’re just trying to make sure the money gets into the most deserving hands!

Does it matter that I’ve never been divorced or been through a custody case?

No. Though that’s what we do, it doesn’t matter if you’re not divorced or haven’t been through a custody case.

Does it matter if I’m a client?

Yes, that’s certainly a point in your favor – but it’s not the only factor involved, so it’s not going to outweigh everything else. You’ll still have to put together an awesome video piece!

But if you’re not a client, though, don’t worry — the majority of our applicants are not current or former clients.

What if I’m a high school senior? Can I apply?

Sorry, no. This scholarship is for women and moms who have been in the workforce for awhile and are returning to school, not for rising freshmen attending college for the first time. There are lots of other places that offer scholarships for you, though – like our friends over at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers!

I’m sure you have a lot of questions, so feel free to visit our website for more information, or shoot me an email at kcarter@hoflaw.com if you need something that we haven’t covered. Otherwise, we hope to see your video come through for consideration! Good luck to you!