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Vinson & Elkins Awards 17 Diversity Fellowships to Second-Year Law Students

Vinson & Elkins announced today it has selected 17 second-year law students to receive Diversity Fellowships.

Each Diversity Fellow receives $25,000 and a clerkship as a summer associate in one of the firm’s U.S.-based offices following their second year of law school. Among this year’s Fellows, nine clerked as first-year law students with the firm last summer.

“Our Diversity Fellowships exemplify our core values and longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion, which enables us to hire some of the highest caliber law students from across the country while also alleviating their financial burdens,” said Manuel Berrelez, Lead Partner – Recruiting, Vinson & Elkins and member of the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Executive Committee. “With the addition of our Fellows, we strengthen our foundation for success in the long term as a firm, and I’m proud to be part of an institution that remains committed to increasing diversity and inclusion within the legal industry.”

The following students, representing 13 law schools, are this year’s 2L Diversity Fellowship recipients who will be joining as Summer Associates in one of Vinson & Elkins’ offices:

  • Destiny Alliniece (South Texas College of Law, Houston office)
  • Yusuf Bavi (Columbia Law School, returning Fellow, Houston office)
  • Ronnie Braxton (University of Alabama School of Law, Houston office)
  • Dasha Brotherton (The University of Texas School of Law, returning Fellow, Houston office)
  • Courtney Cater (The University of Texas School of Law, returning Fellow, Houston office)
  • Tayler Daniels (University of Pennsylvania Law School, returning Fellow, Dallas office)
  • Drew Gehman (Washington University School of Law, returning Fellow, New York office)
  • John Heo (Harvard Law School, Houston office)
  • Danny Kim (The University of California, Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco office)
  • Kylan Kinkade (Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law, Houston office)
  • Camryn McGinnis (Georgetown Law School, returning Fellow, Dallas office)
  • Tiffany Monroy (Fordham University School of Law, New York office)
  • Jason Onyediri (The University of Texas School of Law, returning Fellow, Houston office)
  • Brian Park (The University of Texas School of Law, Houston office)
  • Jas Sethi (Northwestern Law School, returning Fellow, Austin office)
  • Sarah Smati (The University of Houston Law Center, returning Fellow, Houston office)
  • Ebony Turner (Howard University School of Law, New York office)

“Vinson & Elkins’ investment and interest in supporting diverse perspectives were evident from the beginning,” said Tayler Daniels, a returning 1L Diversity Fellow. “They have well-established structures to support and bolster the voices of students and attorneys who come from underrepresented backgrounds and mentoring is a top priority at the firm. I am honored that I was chosen as a 1L Diversity Fellow last year and excited to return to the Dallas office as a 2L.”

“It is an honor and pleasure to be a Diversity Fellow at Vinson & Elkins. As an African American woman and first-generation lawyer, diversity in the legal field is important and necessary to achieve ultimate inclusion,” said fellowship recipient Ebony Turner. “Vinson & Elkins has welcomed me with open arms and has shown true commitment to diversity. I look forward to working alongside the firms’ attorneys this summer and working on complex matters.”

Nineteen former Diversity Fellows are currently attorneys at Vinson & Elkins, including Michelle ArishitaAngie Garcia, Shelby Hart-ArmstrongElizabeth Matthews, and Seth Yost (all Complex Commercial Litigation); Sebastian Devora and Kene Obi (both Energy Transactions/Projects); Jyra BickhamNatalie Harrison, Arthur Muñoz, and Tania Pinon Venegas (all Finance); Emiliano Aguirre, Desi Baca, Jennifer ChaconPhil Greenfield, K.J. Pedersen, Ryan Polk, and Natalie Steen (all M&A/Capital Markets); and Ida Ayalew (Restructuring & Reorganization). Eleven former Fellows will start their careers with the firm in September 2022.

Vinson & Elkins’ diversity pipeline efforts began in 1990 with Diversity Scholarships, which award college scholarships to high school seniors who are LGBTQ+ and students of color. 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, the firm has awarded 115 fellowships to underrepresented students. On January 12, 2022, Vinson & Elkins announced it would be the founding sponsor of The University of Texas School of Law’s Pipeline 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. V&E is currently accepting applications from first-year law students for its 1L Fellowship opportunities. Access the application here.

About Vinson & Elkins
For more than a century, Vinson & Elkins has provided outstanding client service across important industries that drive the global economy. Built on a strong culture of collaboration across 11 offices worldwide, V&E lawyers are committed to excellence, offering clients decades of legal experience in handling transactions, investments, projects and disputes across the globe. Learn more by visiting or connect with us on LinkedIn.

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