« Back Taft Selects Six for Its Inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Fellowship Program

April 18, 2017

Taft’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee is pleased to announce the first six Midwest law school students who have been awarded fellowships in Taft’s 2017 Academic Diversity and Inclusion Fellowship Program. In August 2016, the Fellowship Program was announced, with $30,000 to be awarded in the first round of funding.

Each recipient is a highly motivated first-year law student from a historically underrepresented ethnic and/or racial minority group. Each will receive a paid summer associate position in a Taft office closest to their residence.

The fellowship recipients are:

  • Chicago: Eunie J. Cho
  • Cincinnati: Maria C. Castro Reece
  • Columbus: Erica M. Rodriguez and David C. Roper
  • Cleveland: Allison Smith
  • Indianapolis: Kayla Moody-Grant

The fellows will participate in a 10-week paid summer program between their first and second years of law school. Assuming satisfactory performance during their first summer fellowship, each will have an option to return as a second-year summer associate. Taft fellows who accept the option to return will be awarded a one-time signing bonus of $5,000.

“Taft knows that people with diverse experiences bring creative thinking, multiple perspectives and innovative problem-solving techniques to issues in the practice of law. We are committed to fostering a culture among our attorneys and professional support staff that values differences.” stated Robert J. Hicks, Taft Chairman and Managing Partner.

“The fellows can expect a realistic experience of what it is like to practice law at Taft,” said Adrian D. Thompson, Taft Partner/Chief Diversity Officer and co-chair of the Taft Diversity & Inclusion Committee. “Our new summer associates will work on a variety of actual client matters and attend depositions, hearings, closings, conferences and trials, as well as perform the careful research expected from all of our lawyers.”

The program is structured so that each fellow will be evaluated throughout the summer on an informal basis, along with formal mid-summer and end-of-summer reviews.

To be considered for the program, scores of applicants submitted formal transcripts and paperwork. A deciding factor was also a personalized 500-word essay where each applicant penned a paper highlighting a personal accomplishment or an important influence that inspired each to pursue a career in law. The program is expected to run from June through early August.

About Taft’s Diversity & Inclusion Initiative
At Taft, we have adopted and implemented a “Play to Win” mindset and strategy. Playing to win doesn’t simply mean delivering winning and effective results for our many clients. It also means being a truly “winning” organization in all aspects of what we do. Taft is committed to creating an inclusive culture of individuals from diverse backgrounds. This commitment allows us to fulfill our primary mission – serving our clients to the highest standards of professional excellence. A diverse and inclusive culture also benefits our professionals by fostering teamwork and providing opportunities for professional growth and personal satisfaction. For more information, visit here.

At Taft, we work as one team, driven and committed to helping our clients succeed. Our attorneys understand that innovative, value-creating solutions help our clients reach their goals. Our collaborative approach, advanced technological resources and depth of services can transform what is expected from a legal team.

With more than 400 attorneys, Taft has offices in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Dayton, Ohio; Chicago, Illinois; Indianapolis, Indiana; Covington, Kentucky; Ann Arbor, Michigan; and Phoenix, Arizona, and maintains a presence in Florida. The firm practices across a wide range of industries, in virtually every area of law. For more information visit here.

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