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V&E Awards Diversity Fellowships to Two First-Year Law Students

Published: 03-05-2018

Vinson & Elkins has awarded two first-year law students 2018 Diversity Fellowships. Recipients Jyra Bickham and Donovan Stone were selected from nearly 200 candidates who applied from top U.S. law schools.

Each Diversity Fellow receives $10,000 and a clerkship as a V&E summer associate in one of the firm’s offices—Austin, Dallas, Houston, New York, Richmond, San Francisco or Washington, D.C.—following his or her first year of law school.

V&E’s diversity pipeline efforts began in 1990 with scholarships for diverse high school students. In 2007, 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 46 Fellowships to underrepresented first- and second-year law students, including racial/ethnic minorities and LGBTQ individuals.

Jyra Bickham is a first-year student at Stanford Law School. She received her B.A. in English and Policy Studies, summa cum laude, from Rice University. She was a Strategy & Operations Business Analyst at Deloitte Consulting before starting law school. Bickham will be a summer associate in V&E’s Houston office starting in May 2018.

"I'm really excited to be a 1L Diversity Fellow at Vinson & Elkins and can't wait to spend my summer in the Houston office,” said Bickham. “I look forward to working at a firm that's committed to fostering diversity and to creating a supportive work environment.”

Donovan J. Stone is a first-year student at Duke University School of Law. He received his B.A. in History and Political Science, magna cum laude, from Centenary College of Louisiana. Stone was President of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity at Centenary, where he led the chapter to a top 10 ranking out of more than 250 TKE chapters based on community service, GPA, campus involvement and chapter size. Stone will be a summer associate in V&E’s Dallas office starting in May 2018.

"I am truly grateful to have been selected for a V&E Diversity Fellowship. I’m excited to have an opportunity to work in V&E’s Dallas office and strengthen the relationships I have started building with the attorneys there,” said Stone. “I appreciate V&E’s commitment to diversity and am sure that this experience will be invaluable."

Five former Diversity Fellowship recipients currently practice full-time at V&E including Olivia Wang (Energy Transactions/Projects), Desi Baca and K.J. Pedersen (both M&A/Capital Markets) and Caroline Stewart and Michelle Arishita (both Commercial Litigation). Additionally, in September 2018, current third-year law students and V&E Fellows Danial Abbasi, Eric Hernandez, Arthur Munoz, Tukeni Obasi and Analiza Rodriguez will join V&E as full-time attorneys.

“The fellowship program has provided us a significant opportunity to strengthen the firm with top legal talent,” said Doug Bland, V&E’s firmwide Hiring Partner. “Every year we are able to meet and hire some of the most talented law students from across the country through our fellowship program.”

To learn more about V&E’s Diversity Scholarships and Fellowships, including deadlines to apply, visit this page.

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