Ropes & Gray, named both the “2022 Law Firm of the Year” and the number one firm on the 2022 A-List by The American Lawyer in the U.S. and UK, today announced that 12 outstanding law students will receive its prestigious Roscoe Trimmier Jr. Diversity Scholarship. The 2023 class is the largest group of recipients since the program started in 2015. Since then, 57 law students have received scholarships.
The scholarship honors the memory of Roscoe Trimmier Jr., a celebrated trial lawyer who was Ropes & Gray’s first Black partner and a pioneering leader of the firm’s diversity and inclusion efforts. To honor his legacy, the scholarship underscores Ropes & Gray’s dedicated mission to attract and retain outstanding lawyers of diverse backgrounds. The 12 Trimmier Scholars will each receive a $25,000 award to offset the expenses of their legal education. They will join the firm’s 2023 summer class of associates, with four in Boston, four in New York, two in Chicago, one in Washington, D.C., and one in Los Angeles, which opened earlier this year.
“We are proud to welcome these exceptional law students to the firm. They join an outstanding group of Trimmier Scholars, who are leaders in the legal industry,” said Chong Park, partner and co-chair of the firm’s diversity committee. “The scholarship recipients will become outstanding lawyers. Each has demonstrated academic excellence, civic engagement and dedication to advancing DE&I. We look forward to having them at Ropes & Gray.”
“It is impressive to see what these students have already accomplished,” said Paulita Pike, partner and co-chair of the diversity committee. “Their strong sense of purpose mirrors Roscoe Trimmier’s deep commitment to the practice of law, his colleagues and our firm.”
The 2023 scholarship recipients are profiled below.
Joining in Boston:
Adam Mohsen-Breen, Harvard Law School, is an editor of the Harvard Business Law Review, and a member of the Latinx affinity group and the Middle-Eastern Law Students Association. Adam was a summer associate and 1L Diversity Scholar at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, and worked in-house with Amazon. Prior to law school, Adam was a staff assistant at Open Philanthropy, focusing on farm animal welfare and artificial intelligence. He also worked for the Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project of South Texas, serving child asylum-seekers detained at the U.S.-Mexico border. Adam graduated from Harvard College with a B.A., magna cum laude, in Government and Middle-Eastern Studies.
Jack Donahue, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, is an Executive Editor of the Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law & Justice, and a Student Leader of the Survivor Advocacy Project and the Berkeley Resistance Against Interpersonal Violence. He is also a student fellow with the Homelessness Service Project, a delegate to the school’s Graduate Assembly, a member of First Generation Professionals, and a leader in several LGBTQ+ advocacy groups. Jack was a summer associate at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius and previously interned with a boutique criminal law firm outside Boston. He has also interned at the Nature Conservancy and at Prosecutor Impact, a nonprofit focused on community safety. Jack graduated from Duke University with a B.A., cum laude, in Political Science and Philosophy, with minors in Global Health Studies and Sexuality Studies.
Sebastien Philemon, Northeastern University School of Law, serves as secretary of the Black Law Students Association and is a member of the First-Generation Law Association. Sebastien is an intern to the Honorable Kimberly S. Budd on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Previously, he was an intern with the Massachusetts Department of Labor Relations and a summer associate at Nutter, McClennen & Fish. Prior to law school, Sebastien was a corporate paralegal at Ropes & Gray. His volunteer work includes mentoring students through Colby Cares for Kids. Sebastien graduated from Colby College with a B.A. in Government and French Studies.
Sofia Scotti, Harvard Law School, is an article editor for the Harvard Latin American Law Review. She is a student attorney with the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau and a member of La Alianza. As a summer law clerk at the Florida Justice Institute, Sofia focused on prisoners’ civil rights cases. She previously interned in the office of U.S. Senator Bill Nelson and on the campaign of Florida State Senator Annette Taddeo. Sofia graduated from Florida International University, Honors College, with a B.A., summa cum laude, in English and Psychology.
Joining in Chicago:
Julia Angelica Muhsen, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, is an associate editor of the California Law Review, a submissions editor of La Raza Law Journal, co-president of the Middle Eastern and North African Law Students Association, and is a member of La Alianza Law Students Association and the Womxn of Color Collective. Julia is a student leader with UnCommon Law, which assists people navigating California’s parole process. Prior to law school, Julia worked as a litigation specialist for the Exoneration Project at the University of Chicago Law School, and as a high school special education English teacher. Julia graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in English and Ethnicity and Race Studies.
Macio Sexton, Jr., University of Notre Dame Law School, associate editor of Notre Dame’s Journal on Emerging Technology, National BLSA Liaison of the Black Law Student Association, and law school alumni manager. Macio worked as a 1L summer associate at Faegre Drinker in Chicago, IL, where he wrote legal memos, updated fund prospectuses and registration statements, and conducted interviews for a veteran discharge upgrade pro bono case. He previously worked as a summer analyst at Citibank, an investment operations summer analyst at Genworth Financial, and a wealth management summer analyst at Atlantic Union Bank Wealth Management. He served as an equity research analyst at Undergraduate Investment Fund, where he provided portfolio management and security for William & Mary’s endowment. He graduated from the College of William & Mary with a B.B.A., magna cum laude, in Finance with a Business Analytics concentration.
Joining in Los Angeles:
Brandon Park-Lee, University of Southern California Gould School of Law, is co-president of the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association, a Legal Writing and Advocacy fellow, and a mentor for the Business Law Society. Prior to law school, Brandon was an investment analyst at a private debt investment firm and a summer analyst in the corporate finance division of a multinational toy company. This past summer, he was a summer associate at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, where he conducted M&A transactional due diligence and helped draft formation documents. His volunteer work includes providing resources to disadvantaged families in Seattle with the University District Food Bank. Brandon graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a B.A. in Honors Business Administration and Political Science.
Joining in New York:
Kaela Hardy, Boston College Law School, is co-president of the Intellectual Property and Technology Forum, a member of the Black Law Students Association and is a member of the Business Law Society. She was a Wilson Sonsini 1L Diversity Summit Scholar in 2022 and worked as a summer associate at Cullen and Dykeman LLP. She also interned at PricewaterhouseCoopers for two summers. Kaela graduated from UMass Amherst with a B.S. in Resource Economics from the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences, and a B.B.A. in Finance from the Isenberg School of Management.
Kadeem Harper, Fordham University School of Law, is secretary of the Black Law Students Association. He is a member of the Fordham Law Review, as well as the Dispute Resolution Society’s International Mediation Competition. Kadeem worked as a summer associate at Morgan Stanley. Prior to law school, he worked for both CVS Pharmacy and Delta Air Lines. Kadeem graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Law.
Briana Thomas, New York University School of Law, is co-director of the Suspension Representation Project and communications chair of the Black-Allied Law Students Association. Briana served as an intern at the New York Legal Assistance Group. Prior to law school, Briana worked as an education opportunities intern at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and as an intern for the Office of Barack and Michelle Obama. Briana graduated from Georgetown University with a B.A. in Sociology and a minor in Economics.
Insia Zaidi, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, serves as the legal resources chair of the American Muslim Bar Association. She is a member of the Womxn of Color Collective and a pro bono staff member of the Reentry Advocacy Program, Youth Advocacy Program, and FosterEd. She interned for the Keta Taylor Colby Death Penalty Project at the Office of State Public Defender Office in Jackson, Mississippi. Prior to law school, Insia graduated from New York University with a B.A. in Economics and a B.S. in Psychology. She received her M.A. in Education Policy and Administration at Loyola Marymount University, where she received the “Researcher of the Year” award for her thesis. During her undergraduate career, she worked with incarcerated, adolescent students at Rikers Island with the Petey Greene Program. She taught math in Compton, California with Teach for America. Insia also worked as a currency trader at UBS.
Joining in Washington, D.C.:
Shontae Salmon, University of Virginia School of Law, is pursuing her Master’s in Public Health alongside her law degree. Shontae serves on the editorial board of the Virginia Law Review and is the Research and Projects Editor for the Virginia Journal of International Law. She is a member of the Health Law Association and served as Membership Chair of the Black Law Student Association. Shontae was a 2L summer associate at Polsinelli PC, where she worked primarily with the health care and FDA teams. She was also in the inaugural 1L summer law clerk class at Pillsbury Winthrop. Before law school, Shontae worked as an immigration paralegal at Gibney, Anthony & Flaherty, LLP. Shontae graduated from New York University with a B.S., magna cum laude, in Global Public Health and Social Work.
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