May 18, 2021 – University of Houston Law Center student Charisma Ricksy Nguepdo has been selected as one of 12 Susman Godfrey Prize winners after multiple stages of application and a virtual interview with attorneys from the national boutique litigation firm.
“I was humbled and excited when I learned that I was selected as one of the recipients of the Susman Godfrey Prize,” Nguepdo, who just completed her 2L year, said. “When I was nominated for the prize in February, I knew that only 12 students would ultimately receive an award, so I was cautiously optimistic.”
Established in 2020, the accolade is intended to promote diversity among trial lawyers and is awarded to students of color who demonstrated academic excellence and overall achievement in their first and second year of law school.
“The Susman Godfrey Prize exemplifies the firm’s commitment to diversity and inclusion,” Nguepdo said. “As a Black student attending law school during one of the most racially charged times in recent memory, I am acutely aware of firms merely proclaiming a commitment to diversity and firms proving their commitment to diversity.
“This prize, which offers recipients financial support and an opportunity to work for the firm, demonstrates that Susman Godfrey’s leaders believe that actions speak louder than words. At a time like this, we need action to effect change instead of talking about the ways to do so.” Nguepdo is the first African American editor-in-chief of the Houston Law Review, fellow for the Legal Writing Center, research assistant for George Butler Research Professor of Law Meredith J. Duncan and a summer associate at Locke Lord, gaining vital experience by participating in conference calls and researching complex legal issues.
“I hope to learn more about trial work, specifically how the concepts I’ve learned in law school are used by practicing attorneys,” Nguepdo said. “I am also hoping to get a sense of the strategies attorneys use to advocate on behalf of their clients, perhaps by sitting in on a deposition or trial.”