V&E Welcomes Two SEO Fellows to the 2020 Summer Associate Program
Alongside the firm’s 134 summer associates, Vinson & Elkins welcomed two Sponsorship for Educational Opportunity (SEO) pre-law interns to the 2020 Summer Associate Program – Konadu Amoakuh and Virginia Thomas, who will both be attending law school in the fall.
Since 2010, V&E has participated in the SEO Law Fellowship program and was the first law firm to host a fellow in the Houston market. SEO identifies and then links talented rising 1L students of color with the nation’s top law firms. Through the SEO program, these future lawyers also receive development opportunities and mentoring, with the goal of providing the best chance for law school and career success, thus increasing the pipeline of diverse attorneys.
During their time in V&E’s summer program, SEO fellows take on many of the same tasks as summer associates, including legal research, writing and preparing documents. They also participate in the same activities and programs, including the firm’s virtual program this year.
V&E’s two 2020 SEO fellows are:
Konadu Amoakuh, a fellow in V&E’s Dallas office, is a Princeton University graduate who will attend Stanford Law School in the fall. Amoakuh was a member of The Ivy Club at Princeton, leader of the Princeton Community Action Program and news writer for The Daily Princetonian. Additionally, Amoakuh served as president of the Princeton African Students Association (PASA).
“Even before my official start date at V&E, the firm made me feel incredibly welcome and comfortable. I initially had some apprehension about joining V&E Dallas as a summer associate without any previous legal experience or law school classes under my belt,” Amoakuh said. “However, every V&E attorney has been so open and willing to answer questions about assignments and about their own careers at the firm. Given my interests in international and environmental law, my time at the firm this summer has already opened up so many possibilities for what my career could look like because of the exposure I have had to the amazing work that attorneys at V&E do.”
Virginia Thomas, a fellow in V&E’s New York office, is a University of Chicago graduate who will attend Harvard Law School in the fall. Thomas was the president of the Organization of Latin-American Students at the University of Chicago where she received a Human Rights Department grant for independent work with Amnesty International. After graduating, Thomas participated in AmeriCorps as a public ally and served as the assistant to the Director of Legal Services at Catholic Migration Services. She has work experience at The New York City Commission on Human Rights, Manhattan Borough President’s Office and an executive compensation boutique law firm in New York City.
“V&E has provided a tremendous opportunity for me to challenge myself and really hone my legal research, writing and communication skills. After this experience, I feel more confident in my ability to make meaningful contributions to the firm. The community here is dynamic and everyone leads with kindness. This has been a wonderful learning opportunity.”
V&E has had a total of 17 SEO fellows since it began participating in the program’s pipeline efforts 10 years ago, making it an important part of the firm’s overall diversity pipeline initiatives. Currently, five of those fellows are part of the V&E family, including Aurra Fellows, who practices in V&E’s Complex Commercial Litigation group in Houston; John Morgan, who practices in V&E’s Restructuring and Reorganization group in Houston; Rachel Crooks, who is a member of V&E’s incoming new associate class in Dallas; IIana Gomez, a current] Summer Associate in V&E’s Dallas office, who recently accepted an associate offer for the 2022 new associate class; and Tatiana Hyman, a current 1L summer associate in V&E’s New York office.
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. Contact Allie McWilliams for more information on V&E’s SEO Fellows program.
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