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V&E Awards Eight $25,000 Diversity Fellowships to Second-Year Law Students

Published: 10-10-2019

Eight second-year law students received Diversity Fellowships from Vinson & Elkins. Recipients from Columbia Law School, NYU Law, Texas Law, UC Berkeley and UC Hastings Law were selected from nearly 90 candidates who applied from top U.S. law schools.

Each V&E 2L Diversity Fellow for 2019 receives $25,000 and a clerkship as a summer associate in the firm’s Austin, Dallas, Houston, New York, Richmond, San Francisco or Washington, D.C. office, following the student’s second year of law school. This year, V&E increased the number of awards from five to eight.

V&E’s diversity pipeline efforts began in 1990 with college scholarships for diverse high school students. In 2008, the firm launched its Diversity Fellowship Program to attract and retain the finest lawyers from all backgrounds and perspectives. Since the program’s inception, V&E has awarded 63 Fellowships to underrepresented students, including racial/ethnic minorities and LGBTQ individuals.

V&E is currently accepting applications for its 1L Diversity Fellowships through January 3, 2020. Students should submit online applications here.

This year’s 2L Diversity Fellowship recipients are:

  • Emiliano Aguirre, a student at University of California, Berkeley School of Law who will be a summer associate in V&E’s Dallas office starting in May 2020. Aguirre is the co-founder of the Native American Law Students Association at Berkeley.
  • Kohl Anderson, a student at The University of Texas School of Law who will be a returning summer associate in V&E’s Houston office starting in May 2020. Anderson, who has a Six Sigma Green Belt in Industrial Engineering, was previously an intern for NASA.
  • Ida Ayalew, a student at Columbia Law School who will be a summer associate in V&E’s New York office starting in May 2020. Ayalew was selected as an SEO Law Fellow at another AmLaw 100 firm prior to law school. SEO – Sponsors for Educational Opportunity – is a national pre-career program for top-achieving students.
  • Angie Garcia, a student at Columbia Law School who will be a returning summer associate in V&E’s Dallas office starting in May 2020. Garcia, who is a previous V&E Scholarship recipient and V&E student intern, is the current president of the Latinx Law Students Association at Columbia and is also a former SEO Law Fellow.
  • Phillip Greenfield, a student at New York University School of Law who will be a summer associate in V&E’s Houston office starting in May 2020. Prior to law school, Greenfield was an intern with the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office in San Antonio and a varsity track athlete at Emory University.
  • Ryan Polk, a student at Columbia Law School who will be a summer associate in V&E’s New York office starting in May 2020. Prior to law school, Polk worked as a senior financial analyst for three years. Polk is another former SEO Law Fellow.
  • Natalie Willis, a student at The University of Texas School of Law who will be a returning summer associate in V&E’s Washington, D.C. office starting in May 2020. Before law school, Willis, who is proficient in Japanese, spent time at the University of Tokyo as a visiting researcher after graduating from Yale University.
  • Bob Wu, a student at University of California, Hastings College of the Law who will be a summer associate in V&E’s San Francisco office starting in May 2020. At Hastings, Wu is an appointed member of the Chancellor’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Working Group. Prior to law school, Wu served as a Legislative and Policy intern to U.S. Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi.

“During my interview cycle, V&E consistently distinguished itself as a firm which values intellectual curiosity, embraces complex problems and fosters a robust, diverse community,” said Wu. “When presented with my roots in government policy, marginalized populations and API communities, V&E articulated how my perspectives and skills would be encouraged and honed in a firm that clearly strives for equity and inclusion. I am thrilled to join V&E’s San Francisco office as a Diversity Fellow this upcoming summer, and look forward to contributing to the firm’s cutting-edge work while working alongside and learning from world-class lawyers.”

Fourteen former Diversity Fellowship recipients currently are attorneys at V&E, including Tukeni Obasi (Energy Transactions); Danial Abbasi and Arthur Munoz (Finance); Desi Baca, K.J. Pedersen, Analiza Rodriguez and Natalie Steen (M&A/Capital Markets); Michelle Arishita, Shelby Hart-Armstrong, Eric Hernandez, Elizabeth Matthews, Caroline Stewart and Seth Yost (Commercial Litigation); and Lauren Lundy (Restructuring). Additionally, our five Diversity Fellowship recipients from last year will  join V&E as associates in the fall of 2020.

V&E’s 1L and 2L Diversity Fellowships have enabled us to meet and hire some of the brightest law students from across the country. This helps us further strengthen Vinson & Elkins with top, diverse talent,” said Steve Gill, V&E’s Talent Management Chair. “We are excited these eight students are joining V&E and we look forward to getting to know them even better throughout next summer’s program.”

To learn more about scholarships and fellowships available from Vinson & Elkins for diverse students – from high school seniors to rising second-year law students in the U.S. – visit the Diversity & Inclusion section of our website. 


Media Contact

Darrin Schlegel Director of Communications

T +1.713.758.2171
dschlegel@velaw.com

Diversity Fellowship Contact

Allie McWilliams Sr. Inclusion Coordinator

+1.713.758.2567
amcwilliams@velaw.com

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