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Latham & Watkins Invests in Life-Changing UH Law Scholarships

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Nov. 15, 2021 - Latham & Watkins, a leading global law firm, has committed to making available multi-year scholarships and diversity student leadership programming to UH Law Center students — a significant investment over three years. “Gifts like this are truly transformative and inspirational,” said UH Law Center Dean Leonard Baynes. “When a law firm commits to investing in law students and potential future employees, it shows where their heart and dedication lies.”

Bill Finnegan, a Latham partner and 1981 UH Law Center alum, was instrumental in connecting his firm with his alma mater. “The stats we heard about how hard it is to compete for the best students and how hard it is to retain the best students are real,” said Finnegan. “Anything we can do to help let those students attend UH and focus on their education without worrying about a second job or how are they are going to pay for this is really meaningful, so we're excited about that.”

Latham’s gift also includes external programming, with a Latham & Watkins Student Diversity Leadership Forum event that aims to connect students directly with the firm and help students learn more about transactional law.

Latham’s commitment to UH Law Center comes out of its mission to expand learning opportunities for law students early in their careers, facilitating a more inclusive recruiting process. As an example, the firm offers a number of complimentary Virtual Experience Programs to simulate real life legal work, hosts a full complement of educational webinars, and partners with several non-profits to provide free legal education to students to expose them to the world of Big Law. 

The firm also recently expanded its long-running Pathways Program, which helps students through law school while relieving some of the financial pressure as they begin to practice. This past year Latham doubled the value of its 2L diversity scholarship, from $25,000 to $50,000, and more than half, 54%, of its 2021 summer associate class identifies as racial/ethnic minorities.

Latham employs over 3,000 lawyers across a global platform spanning 14 countries. As a testament to the firm’s long-standing commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, Latham received Mansfield Certification Plus status for the fourth consecutive year for achieving at least 30% representation among underrepresented lawyers in key leadership roles and among senior lateral hires.

“Texas, in all its diversity, represents the future, and we are thrilled to support the UH Law students who will shape it,” said Abid R. Qureshi, Global Chair of Latham’s Recruiting Committee. “We want law students of every background to get to know Latham, and to learn about the work we do in transformative industries, from technology to renewable energy. We look forward to welcoming more and more UH Law students into Latham’s Texas offices over the coming years.”

Latham’s scholarship gift is also part of the Law Center’s, Fuel the Future campaign. The campaign aims to advance the Center’s mission with an ambitious plan to empower social equity and access to legal education through philanthropic support of the Law Center’s areas of greatest need - scholarships and the law fund. “By investing in students today,” Dean Baynes said. “We remove financial barriers to fuel the legal minds and leaders of tomorrow. Scholarship support grows not only an individual’s prosperity, but a robust and diverse legal community, and ultimately grows a philanthropic community to continue to give back for generations to come.” The initiative goal is to triple annual philanthropic scholarship support and raise $10 million by 2025. Gifts from firms like Latham can assist in making that goal a reality. Navigate here to learn more about this program.

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