July 31, 2007 (Mountain View, CA) – Fenwick & West, a premier law firm providing comprehensive legal services to high technology and life sciences clients, has established an innovative Diversity and Public Interest Summer Associate Fellowship. The Fellowship will be presented to up to two summer associates who will work for eight weeks at Fenwick & West, then will work for the remainder of the summer, at law firm summer associate pay levels, with one of many public interest organizations that focuses on serving the legal needs of a diverse population.
The Fellowship will be available to second year law students selected for their commitment to community service, exceptional leadership and outstanding academic performance. Public interest organizations that have agreed to partner with Fenwick & West to provide placements for law students include organizations such as the Asian Law Caucus and La Raza Centro Legal.
Managing Partner Kate Fritz said, "We designed the scholarship to fulfill two goals: to encourage and support future lawyers committed to a professional life that includes activism on diversity and to extend direct service to the legal needs of historically underrepresented and diverse groups. We are always looking for new and creative ways to extend and deepen our commitments to diversity and pro bono service, and this scholarship is the latest example."
Fenwick & West received high honors on the Minority Law Journal's Diversity Scorecard. The firm recently placed third in a field of 244 U.S. law firms reporting ethnic minority data.
"Fenwick & West believes a commitment to diversity is essential for a vibrant, talented law firm to serve an increasingly diverse client base, our local community and world," said Laurence Pulgram, Chair of Fenwick & West's Diversity Committee. "Fenwick has been recognized for achievement by a number of publications for our firmwide pro bono and diversity commitments and for innovation in these areas. We want this scholarship to bring summer associates more fully into these core firm commitments."
The Diversity Committee at Fenwick & West works closely with the attorney recruiting department to increase outreach at law schools targeted to diverse student communities. The Firm has been actively involved in various groups and activities that work to promote diversity both in the legal profession and the community, including the Asian American Bar Association, Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF), the ABA Section of the Litigation Committee for the Minority Trial Lawyer and the Minority Corporate Counsel program. The Firm has implemented diversity training, mentoring, assignment tracking and recruiting initiatives in order to strengthen diversity. In its efforts to embrace diverse heritages, the Firm hosts cross-cultural celebrations, including Cinco de Mayo, Chinese New Year and Juneteenth.