Ropes & Gray Announces Largest Class of 1L Diversity Fellows in Firm History
Ropes & Gray today announced that it will welcome 23 1L Diversity Fellows to its 2022 summer associate program, representing the largest class in the history of the program.
The 1L Diversity Fellowship is an integral component of Ropes & Gray’s mission to attract and retain outstanding lawyers of varied backgrounds who have historically been underrepresented in the broader legal profession.Diversity fellows participate in all aspects of the firm’s summer program. In addition, they have an opportunity to spend a portion of their summer working with a firm client and attending the 1L Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Scholars Virtual Summit. Upon completion of the program, fellows are eligible to receive an offer to return for their 2L summer and a $20,000 scholarship to offset the cost of their legal education. Fellows who return to the firm as a full-time associate receive an additional $20,000 scholarship.
The 2022 diversity fellows will be based in five of Ropes & Gray’s 12 U.S. offices, with seven scholars in Boston, three in Chicago, seven in New York, three in San Francisco, and three in Washington, D.C.
“We are excited and proud to welcome such an outstanding group of scholars,” said Joan McPhee, partner and co-chair of the firm’s global diversity committee. “These students have excelled in their first year of law school. They have achieved academic excellence while also completing internships, fellowships, and a wide range of business and entrepreneurial endeavors.”
“In addition to their academic and professional achievements,” added Chong Park, partner and co-chair of the diversity committee, “these students have demonstrated a commitment to public service, and to championing diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives at their law schools and in their larger communities. They exemplify our firm’s commitment to practice with purpose.”
Ropes & Gray proudly welcomes the following 2022 1L Diversity Fellows to the firm this summer:
Miguel Alvarez Jr., Boston University School of Law, serves as a 1L section representative for First Generation Professionals, and is a member of the Latin American Law Students Association and Women of Color Collaborative. Prior to law school, Miguel worked as a research analyst and administrative aide in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, where he edited amendments, researched legislation, drafted speeches and coordinated oversight hearings for the Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities. Miguel earned his B.S., summa cum laude, in Psychology and Government from Suffolk University, with a concentration in American Politics.
Sungmin An, Stanford Law School, is an associate editor of the Stanford Journal of Law, Business & Finance, and a member of the Asian and Pacific Islander Law Students Association. Sungmin was a teaching assistant for Columbia University’s Department of Economics, and a research analyst for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where he prepared policy briefings, developed econometric models, and co-authored an article about the economic implications of COVID-19. He holds a B.A., summa cum laude, in Economics-Mathematics from Columbia University, with a minor in Computer Science.
Ibrahim Bah, Boston College Law School, is a member of the Black Law Students Organization. Prior to law school, Ibrahim worked as a legal intern at a Boston law firm, conducting legal research and assisting in trial preparation. He was also a diversity & inclusion intern at a global insurance company, and worked as a program director for the Mandela Resident Cooperative Association, where he coordinated an after-school tutoring program. Ibrahim’s volunteer experience includes serving as a peer advisor at the Obama Foundation, with a focus on facilitating programs to increase civic and community engagement in Boston. Ibrahim graduated cum laude from Northeastern University with a B.S. in Political Science and a minor in Law and Public Policy.
Gueinah Carlie Blaise, Columbia Law School, serves as the 1L representative for First Generation Professionals, and is a member of the Latino Law Students Association, the Black Law Students Association (Health and Wellness Committee), and Empowering Women of Color. Prior to law school, Gueinah was a legal assistant at a New York City law firm, where she prepared antitrust law briefs, aided in trial preparation and co-founded the firm’s First Generation Professionals affinity group. As an undergraduate, Gueinah interned for the United States Senate, served as co-president of the Caribbean Culture Circle, and was a sportswriter for The Hoya at Georgetown University, where she graduated with a B.A. in Government and a double minor in Journalism and Jewish Civilization.
Piper-Simone Casey, University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, is a member of the Black Law Students Association and serves on the Student Life and Wellness Committee of the Council of Student Representatives. As an undergraduate, Piper-Simone worked as a corporate governance intern for Chesapeake Utilities, and as a legal intern with a Delaware law firm, where she maintained the firm’s client database and assisted in preparations for class-action lawsuits. Piper-Simone graduated from Spelman College with a B.A., summa cum laude, in Political Science.
Bolaji Ekhator, Fordham University School of Law, completed a teaching residency at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education prior to law school and worked as both a history teacher and an assistant director of admissions at a Massachusetts area school. He currently serves as a council member for the Saint Mark’s School, and previously helped develop an educational and mentorship program for justice-involved youth through the Justice Ambassadors Program at Columbia University’s Center of Justice. Bolaji graduated from Amherst College with a B.A., cum laude, in Political Science.
Janaba Gakou is a Bridge to Opportunity Scholar at Columbia Law School. She is active in a number of law school organizations, including the Black Law Students Organization, Columbia Law Women’s Association and the Law School Pathways Program. Prior to law school, Janaba was an SEO Law Fellow at Ropes & Gray, assisting on client and pro bono matters, and drafting memoranda on 83(b) elections. As an undergraduate, Janaba received a travel grant from NYU’s Academic Achievement Program, which she used to travel to Ghana for six weeks to conduct research on maternal mortality. She also served as a peer mentor to first-generation students through the Proud to Be First Program. Janaba graduated from New York University with a B.A. in Global Public Health/Sociology.
Amanda Edilia Gómez Feliz, Yale Law School, is an editor of the Yale Journal of International Law, and a member of the Black Law Students Association, First Generation Professionals, Latinx Law Students Association and Yale Law Women. Amanda also works as a legal intern for the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic. Prior to law school, Amanda was an SEO Law Fellow at Ropes & Gray, where she monitored corruption risks in Latin America and assisted in asylum cases and immigration-related matters. Amanda graduated from the University of Rochester with a B.A., magna cum laude, in Political Science, with minors in Philosophy and Latin American Studies.
Ramis Said Khan, The University of Chicago Law School and The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, participates in the Muslim Law Students Association and Booth Real Estate Group, and mentors undergraduates considering careers in law. Ramis worked as a financial analyst for United Airlines and a consultant for the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, where he advised clients on various real estate ventures. Ramis mentors high school and college students through the Chicago Scholars program, and is the COO of 70 E Rockwood LLC, where he manages a two-unit building. Ramis graduated from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business with a B.S. in Business Administration.
Jade Larrieu, American University Washington College of Law, is a Dean’s Merit Scholarship recipient and member of the Intellectual Property Law Society. Prior to law school, Jade worked as a language assessment analyst at Columbia University, and as a lead teacher at Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School, where she coached and managed a team of teachers and managed internship programs. Jade graduated from Sichuan University with B.A. in English and holds a master’s degree in Applied Linguistics from Columbia University.
Crystal Liu, UCLA School of Law, serves on the Alumni Relations Committee for the Asian Pacific Islander Law Students Association and is a recipient of the Harold and Roberta Delevie Scholarship. Prior to law school, Crystal worked as a paralegal at a Seattle-area law firm focused on animal and environmental justice. In that role, she performed extensive research, drafted motions and correspondence, communicated with clients, and prepared attorneys for oral arguments. As an undergraduate, Crystal studied abroad in the U.K. and Senegal, and was an editorial intern at an English-language magazine in Berlin, Germany. Crystal graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy from Princeton University.
Willa Lu, New York University School of Law, serves as a member of the Law and Business Association and Women of Color Collective. Willa is a chartered financial analyst (CFA) and previously worked as a senior associate for L.E.K Consulting and a senior analyst for Goldman Sachs, where she managed daily market risk exposure and evaluated hedging strategies for multimillion-dollar funding. Willa also served as an IDEA board member and as a volunteer recruitment liaison for Minds Matter, a nonprofit organization that prepares students from underserved communities for college. Willa graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a B.S. in Business Administration and an additional major in Statistics.
Brianna Morigney, University of Michigan Law School, is a member of the Women Law Students Association and Wolverine Street Law. She also volunteers for the University of Michigan Law School Admissions Department and serves on the Admissions Committee of the Black Law Students Association. Brianna was an SEO Law Fellow for Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, where she conducted extensive legal research on various matters, including health care, civil rights and regulatory affairs. As an undergraduate, Brianna held legislative, investigative and program internships, including at the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCIA), where she coordinated a program to enable congressional internship opportunities to foster care alumni. Brianna is a graduate of the University of Michigan and holds a B.A. in Political Science.
Lisabelle Anahid Panossian, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, serves as a student caseworker for the International Refugee Assistance Project and as a 1L representative for the California Legal Society. She is active in a number of student organizations, including the Women’s Leadership Coalition, the Middle Eastern Law Students Association and OUTLaw. Lisabelle works as the director of public relations for the Assyrian Aid Society of America. Previously, she was a program manager and research lead with the USC Gould School of Law Immigrants and Global Migration Initiative. As an undergraduate, Lisabelle served as the president of the USC Society of Women in Law and as an associate justice in the USC Undergraduate Student Government. Lisabelle graduated with honors from the University of Southern California, where she earned a B.A. in Public Relations and a B.A. in Philosophy, Politics and Law.
Phil Paradise, University of Michigan Law School, serves on the executive board of OWLS (Older Wiser Law Students). Phil was an SEO Law Fellow at Ropes & Gray, where he drafted key documents for private equity matters and assisted in asylum cases. Prior to law school, Phil worked as a consultant for a management company, where he managed over $7.5 million in investments and designed and implemented several DE&I initiatives. Phil is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, with a B.A. in International and Area Studies. Phil also received his Master of Business Administration from the University of North Carolina on a full-tuition scholarship.
Michelle Rodriguez, University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School and Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, serves as a 1L representative for the Health Law and Policy Project, Penn Law Immigrant Rights Project, and First Generation Professionals. Prior to law school, Michelle supported numerous community organizations, including the LGBTQ Community Center and Jewish Family Services in San Diego. Michelle also worked as a consultant with a national coaching company. Michelle graduated with honors from the University of California, San Diego with a B.S. in Neuroscience and Physiology and a B.A. in Modern Western Humanities.
Alejandra Ruttimann, New York University of Law, is a student volunteer for the Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network and Ending the Prison Industrial Complex. Alejandra is also a 1L representative for the Student Bar Association and Latinx Law Students Association. Prior to law school, Alejandra was a legal assistant at Sullivan & Cromwell, where she assisted in trial preparation for federal securities and antitrust litigation matters. Alejandra also interned for the Miami-Dade Circuit Court and The Sheridan Group, where she researched public policy issues and authored a mock advocacy campaign. Alejandra earned a B.A., cum laude, in Philosophy from Georgetown University, with a minor in Sociology.
Pedro Manolo Sandoval Boburg, Boston College Law School, is a 1L representative for the Latin American Law Students Association. Prior to law school, Pedro worked as a senior auditor and audit researcher at Ernst & Young, where he developed a pilot program for implementing an audit standard. Previously, he was the founder and CEO of Tilapia a la Orden, a wholesale tilapia fish farming business in Guatemala. Pedro is the founder and chair of School the World, a community-driven nonprofit committed to solving poverty through education, and the founder and CEO of Fundación, a nonprofit providing medical kits to underprivileged schools in Guatemala. As an undergraduate, Pedro was a Division 1 racquetball player at Baldwin Wallace University, where he graduated with a B.A., cum laude, in Accounting and Finance, with minors in Entrepreneurship and Psychology, and earned a Master of Business Administration, cum laude.
Julian Sarabia, Harvard Law School, is a member of two student organizations, La Alianza and First Class (for first-generation students), and is a subciter for the Harvard Journal of Law & Technology. During his first semester of law school, Julian was a team member on the Harvard Law Entrepreneurship Project, where he conducted research for a local start-up company. Prior to law school, Julian taught English at the University of the Basque Country in Bilbao, Spain. Julian graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a B.A., magna cum laude, in Economics and a minor in Political Science.
Lila Tabor, Cornell Law School, is a Charles Evans Hughes Scholar and a member of the Black Law Students Association and the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association. As an undergraduate, Lila received several fellowships and grants, including the Mellon Public Humanities Grant. Prior to law school, Lila worked at Queens County Civil Court as a court navigator, assisting underrepresented litigants with resources such as translators and other services. Lila graduated from Hunter College with a B.A., summa cum laude, in History and Comparative Literature.
Kamia Williams, Duke University School of Law, is a member of the Black Law Students Association and the Duke Law Music Association. She also works as an artist manager for Small Town Records, a student-run record label and recording studio based at Duke University. Prior to law school, Kamia worked as Junior PMO Analyst with Capgemini Government Solutions, managing various account governance activities and financial matters. Kamia graduated from the University of Southern California with a B.S. in Business Administration.
Alex Zhang, Harvard Law School, is a subciter for Harvard Business Law Review, as well as a 1L representative for Lambda and a member of the 1L Section Committee. Alex is an award-winning writer and the recipient of a fellowship from the Bucknell University Stadler Center for Poetry & Literary Arts. He previously worked for J.P. Morgan as a private bank analyst, managing client account performance and advising clients on investment, banking and lending solutions. Alex graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia University with a B.A., magna cum laude, in Economics and Creative Writing.
Anna Zhang, The University of Southern California Gould School of Law, is a 1L representative for the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, First Generation Professionals, and Intellectual Property and Technology Law Society. As a capital markets paralegal with Cravath, Swaine & Moore, Anna drafted due diligence materials and created new guidelines for digital due diligence materials in response to COVID-19 restrictions. In addition, she provided Mandarin and Cantonese translations used in intellectual property and contractual matters relating to the Disney/Fox merger as well as pro bono matters relating to immigration, age discrimination and family law. Anna is also a USPTO-registered patent agent. Anna graduated from the University of Rochester, cum laude, with a B.A in Anthropology and a B.S. in Applied Mathematics.