Six 2012 Diversity Scholars Named by Latham & Watkins

Timing for 2013 applications moved up to April-May 2012

March 19, 2012

Latham & Watkins LLP1 is pleased to announce the recipients of awards under the Latham & Watkins Diversity Scholars Program2 for the current academic year. Now in its seventh year, the program has been expanded to award six $10,000 scholarship to eligible law school students. 

Latham & Watkins also announced that the timing of applications for the program’s scholarships to be awarded for the 2012-2013 academic year has been moved up – now starting April 1, 2012 and closing July 20, 2012 with the recipients announced in late summer 2012.  An application and additional information are available on the firm’s Web site. The scholarship program, which named four award recipients in previous years, is among several firm initiatives designed to promote diversity and equal opportunity in the legal profession. The program has awarded more than $300,000 in scholarship funds since its inception, and the awards are not contingent on future employment at the firm. 

The 2012 Latham & Watkins Diversity Scholars are: 

  • Lisa Beane of the University of Minnesota Law School
  • Wei Lien Dang of Harvard Law School
  • Kyle DeThomas of Stanford Law School
  • Atticus Lee of the University of California, Davis School of Law
  • Jason Lee of Harvard Law School
  • Christopher Martin of the University of California, Berkeley School of Law

See below for biographical sketches of the Diversity Scholars.

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 200 applications representing 80 US law schools. 

“Our Diversity Scholars program has grown in popularity and attracts a great number of deserving candidates,” said Sharon Bowen, Co-Chair of Latham & Watkins’ Diversity Committee. “This year’s recipients demonstrated traits of tenacity and dedication to inclusiveness that we believe will serve them well in their legal careers.” 

Robert M. Dell, Chairman and Managing Partner of Latham & Watkins, added: “Latham & Watkins is strengthened enormously by our diversity, which supports a creative environment that also enhances our client service. We are very proud of our support for 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: “Latham & Watkins has been a leader in conceiving, promoting and implementing methods that ensure lawyers are hired, trained and promoted fairly and with attention to the goals of equal opportunity and diversity in the practice of law. The Diversity Scholars program is one of many ways we demonstrate this commitment on a daily basis.” 

Following are biographical sketches of the 2012 Diversity Scholars: 

Lisa Beane – After graduating from Augustana College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science, magna cum laude, Beane earned a Masters of Public Affairs from the University of Wisconsin’s LaFollette School of Public Affairs and a Masters in Political Science from Pennsylvania State University. At the University of Minnesota Law School, Beane is currently a member of the Minnesota Law Review and has been a recipient of the Dean’s Distinguished Scholarship. She has also been active as a member of OutLaw, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) student association, founded at the University of Minnesota Law School in 1984. Her work experience includes interning both with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, where she assisted with investigation of claims of employment discrimination, and with Planned Parenthood of the Heartland. Beane currently is a law clerk with the US Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota, where she assists with civil rights cases, and with the Minnesota House of Representatives Research Department, where she assists legislative analysts with research projects and reports.    

Wei Lien Dang – Currently enrolled in both Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School, Dang graduated with a Master of Science in Physics from Harvard University and a Master of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering from the University of Cambridge. Dang was the recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and the Marshall Scholarship, the latter which allotted him two years of study in the United Kingdom. Dang is a member of the Journal of Law and Technology and Harvard Business Law Review, and he also is a recipient of the Soros Fellowship. As a graduate researcher at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, he oversaw a team working on the development of silicon-based nanotechnology tools. He received a Bachelor of Science degree, with honors, in Applied Physics from the California Institute of Technology in 2005. A former member of the US Tennis Association, Dang has traveled to more than 35 countries.    

Kyle DeThomas – DeThomas is a Captain in the US Air Force (Inactive Ready Reserve) who is concurrently enrolled in the Stanford Schools of Law and Engineering, where he is pursuing both a Juris Doctorate and a Masters of Science degree in Sustainable Design & Construction. After obtaining a BS in Civil Engineering from the US Air Force Academy, where he was on the Dean’s List all semesters, DeThomas was stationed at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan and subsequently deployed to Balad Air Base, Iraq — where he directed a team of 50 to create and execute regional comprehensive plans for project developments exceeding $1 billion and provided engineering support for the Theater Hospital and busiest runway in the Department of Defense, respectively. Later in Kabul, DeThomas served as a communication liaison between field engineers, US Forces headquarters and local contractors in an effort to enlarge the operational footprint of Afghanistan's National Security Forces. At Stanford, he is the Social Chair of the Black Law Students Association; President of the Real Estate and Land Use Association; Director of Photography for the Documentary Project (Stanford’s film journal); and a founding member of Stanford Law Veteran’s Organization. As a cadet, DeThomas was also a combat survival training instructor, glider/soaring and skydiving student.

Atticus Lee – In her undergraduate education at Stanford University, Lee obtained a BA in human biology with a minor in creative writing. She worked extensively on anthropological issues of women's footbinding in rural China, and represented transgender and queer students on the Stanford Genderblind Taskforce. She also served as a contributing editor to The Beveler, a Stanford magazine for creative nonfiction. Currently enrolled at the University of California, Davis School of Law, she is a member of the UC Davis Law Review, the UC Davis Moot Court Program, as well as the King Hall Intellectual Property Law Association. Lee also serves as the Clinic Director for the Sacramento LGBT Community Clinic and as Senior Articles Editor for Environs: The UC Davis School of Law Journal of Environmental Law. Lee is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and Taiwanese. 

Jason Lee – At Harvard Law School, Lee is the Editor-In-Chief of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. He serves as a regional chair for the LGBT Bar Association Law Student Congress, where he facilitates communication between the National LGBT Bar Association and fifteen LGBT campus groups across the northeastern United States. Lee is also an active member of Lambda at Harvard Law School, a group dedicated to serving the needs of the Harvard’s LGBT community. Prior to law school, Lee obtained a BA in Communications and Theater Arts from Stanford University — upon graduation, the Stanford Department of Drama awarded him the Sherita Omade Edoga Prize in recognition of his exemplary undergraduate theater work involving social issues. Lee is the first in his family to pursue graduate-level education, and is also a former national and world champion in the sport of baton twirling. 

Christopher Martin – At the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), Martin is a member of the California Law Review and the Berkeley Law Queer Caucus. Attending Washington and Lee University, Martin obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree summa cum laude, in Politics, Program in Poverty and Human Capability Studies. There, he was awarded the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Medallion for Community Engagement and Service and was a member of the Shepherd Poverty Program Student-Faculty Advisory Committee. He also was awarded the honors of Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa, Pi Sigma Alpha, and Phi Eta Sigma. Martin recently served as an extern for the US District Court for the Northern District of California, Oakland where he drafted orders regarding civil rights actions and matters involving homeowner mortgage defaults. 

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

The firm works toward its diversity goals through a series of initiatives, including the Diversity Scholars Program, a range of mentoring and career development opportunities, and a noted initiative in support of women in business. Latham’s Diversity Hiring Sub-Committee, an integral part of the firm’s Global Recruiting Committee, consists of Committee members and professional staff devoted to diversity outreach efforts, including the Diversity Scholars Program. The firm’s Training and Career Enhancement (TACE) Committee provides comprehensive training opportunities for attorneys in all practice areas, and also manages a firm-wide Mentoring Program designed to facilitate the integration of new associates of all backgrounds into the firm. In 2006, the firm launched an official initiative to help address the business challenges and opportunities unique to women lawyers and to existing and prospective women clients; the firm’s Women Enriching Business (WEB) initiative creates broader networks and productive business relationships by promoting the long-term success of women via legal, educational and social events.    

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 Mohammed Al-Sheikh.     

2 The Latham & Watkins Diversity Scholars Program is open to second-year law students for use of the awarded scholarships during their third year of law school. 

Contacts

Sharon Bowen, Co-Chair of Latham & Watkins’ Diversity Committee, +1.212.906.1332
Ora Fisher, Co-Chair of Latham & Watkins’ Diversity Committee, +1.650.463.2616