Six Law Students Earn Diversity Scholarships

Berkeley, Columbia, Georgetown, Harvard and USC recipients represent an array of backgrounds, coupled with tenacity and commitment to community.

January 30, 2013

Latham & Watkins LLP1 is pleased to announce the recipients of awards under the Latham & Watkins Diversity Scholars Program for the current academic year. Now in its eighth year, the Latham & Watkins Diversity Scholars Program is designed to increase the number of diverse law students studying at ABA-accredited law schools who want to pursue a career in a global law firm and intend to practice law in the United States. The program was launched in 2005, and for the first six years, the firm selected four Diversity Scholars each year to receive $10,000 scholarships. In 2012, the program was expanded to award six $10,000 scholarships to second-year students.

The 2013 Latham & Watkins Diversity Scholars2 are:

  • Alexia Brown of the University of Southern California’s Gould School of Law;
  • Lizzie Gomez of Columbia Law School;
  • Criselda Haro of the University of California, Berkeley School of Law;
  • Kelvin Le of Harvard Law School;
  • Georgina Owino of Georgetown University School of Law; and
  • Cristina Sepe of the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.

Candidates for the Diversity Scholars Program submitted written applications, detailing academic and leadership achievements as well as their life and work experiences. The firm received more than 300 applications representing 114 US law schools.

“We’re so pleased each year to see the incredible talent represented by the applicants to our Diversity Scholars program,” said Sharon Bowen, Co-Chair of Latham & Watkins’ Diversity Committee. “The group’s applications were particularly strong – they are tenacious and ambitious, with a drive to help themselves and others that we believe will serve them well in their legal careers.”

Robert M. Dell, Chair and Managing Partner of Latham & Watkins, added: “Two of our core tenets at Latham are respect and collaboration. We couldn’t live up to these values without the benefit of diverse viewpoints. I know we are strengthened by them. And that’s why we are so thrilled to support diversity programs at our firm and within the legal community.”

Ora Fisher, Co-Chair of Latham & Watkins’ Diversity Committee and a firm Vice Chair, added: “Our commitment to equal opportunity enables Latham to draw from a remarkable wealth of talent to recruit and retain the best lawyers, professional staff and paralegals to create one of the world's leading law firms. The Diversity Scholars program is one of several ways in which we share this commitment with the broader legal community. These scholars have our hearty congratulations for their accomplishments thus far, as well as for those to come.”

Following are biographical sketches of the 2013 Diversity Scholars:

Alexia Brown: As an undergraduate of The George Washington University, Brown obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. She is currently studying at the University of Southern California’s Gould School of Law and expects to graduate May 2014. She previously studied at Howard University School of Law, where she was Vice President of the International Law Society, a selected member of the Goler T. Butcher International Moot Court Brief Writing and Oral Advocacy Competition and a selected member of the Howard Law Journal Write-on Competition. Her work experience includes interning with the D.C. Housing Authority, where she assisted in drafting contracts, property deeds and licenses and conducted case law and regulation research.

Lizzie Gomez: After graduating from Williams College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History cum laude, Gomez worked for Bank of America Merrill Lynch and for Harvard Business School learning how to analyze business deals and the financial markets. While her interest in becoming a lawyer was sparked years before, her work experience fueled her interest in becoming a transactional lawyer. She is currently enrolled in Columbia Law School, where she is a member of The Columbia Science and Technology Law Review, Co-Chair of the Unemployment Action Center, an Executive Board Member of the Columbia Business and Law Association and an Executive Board Member of the Columbia Latino/a Law Students Association.

Criselda Haro: At the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, Haro is a member of the California Law Review, the Berkeley La Raza Law Journal, and the Women of Color Collective. She has received a number of honors, including: recipient of the Prosser Prize in Constitutional Law; selected to the American Bar Association Section of Litigation Judicial Internship Opportunity Program; selected to TRIALS, the scholarship program offered by Harvard and NYU Law Schools for law school admission process; and recipient of the Law Preview Scholarship given by Morrison & Foerster. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Swarthmore College, where she was editor of ñ (Enie), Swarthmore College’s Literary Magazine in Spanish. Last summer, Haro was an extern for US District Court Judge Virginia A. Phillips. She also is a co-founder of the Bright Prospect Alumni Network, which connects college students and graduates to career opportunities and provides a structure for alumni to give back to the Bright Prospect program.

Kelvin Le: As an undergraduate at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), Le worked at Merrill Lynch as a wealth management intern.  He graduated from CSULB with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics, magna cum laude.  Le went on to the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law where he was a mentor in the Law Fellows Program, designed to introduce undergraduate students to the field of law and to increase the diversity of the law school applicant pool. After his first year, Le worked at Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp, and was also named a Michael T. Masin Scholar, awarded to the students with the 12 highest grade point averages after the first year at UCLA Law. Now at Harvard Law School, Le is a team leader in the Harvard Law Entrepreneurship Project, a Harvard Law School organization that provides pro-bono legal research and analysis to entrepreneurs at Harvard and MIT.

Georgina Owino: At Georgetown, Owino is a member of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA), serving 2010 – 2011 as its first-year representative and was one of three students selected nationwide to participate in a National BLSA CARES service project in Nigeria. She currently works as a mentor for the Women’s Legal Alliance and as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children in Washington, D.C. In addition, Owino works at a Georgetown clinic investigating trends in foreign investment policy in the US, the EU and South Africa.  Her international experience also includes work on judicial capacity building efforts through the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Initiative in Liberia and internships at the World Bank, US Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Society for Democratic Initiatives in Sierra Leone, among others.

Cristina Sepe: As an undergraduate at Stanford University, Sepe received the Ann Seminara Award (given to the Most Outstanding Public Policy Senior), and was a member of the Cap and Gown society, an organization that connects women leaders to their communities through service and networking. In law school, she was a recipient of the Berkeley Law Matching Scholarship and the American Bar Association Section of Litigation Judicial Intern Opportunity Program Award. Her professional experience includes service as a judicial extern to the Honorable Charles R. Breyer of the US District Court for the Northern District of California, as well as at the Center on Reinventing Public Education as a researcher and the Congressional Hunger Center as a Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellow. Sepe served as a student representative to Berkeley Law’s Financial Aid Committee, is the Co-Chair of the Women of Color Collective, and is a member of the California Law Review.

About Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins is a global law firm with approximately 2,000 attorneys in 31 offices, including Abu Dhabi, Barcelona, Beijing, Boston, Brussels, Chicago, Doha, Dubai, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Milan, Moscow, Munich, New Jersey, New York, Orange County, Paris, Riyadh, Rome, San Diego, San Francisco, Shanghai, Silicon Valley, Singapore, Tokyo and Washington, D.C. For more information on Latham & Watkins, please visit the Web site at www.lw.com.

Notes to Editor

1 Latham & Watkins operates as a limited liability partnership worldwide with affiliated limited liability partnerships conducting the practice in the United Kingdom, France and Italy and affiliated partnerships conducting the practice in Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore. Latham & Watkins practices in Saudi Arabia in association with the Law Office of Salman M. Al-Sudairi.

2 Photos of the 2013 Diversity Scholars are available on request.

Contacts

Robert M. Dell, Chair and Managing Partner, +1.415.391.0600

Sharon Bowen, Co-Chair of Latham & Watkins’ Diversity Committee, +1.212.906.1332

Ora Fisher, Co-Chair of Latham & Watkins’ Diversity Committee and a firm Vice Chair, +1.650.463.2616