Inaugural Akin Gump/Robert Strauss Scholarship Winners Announced

(Washington, D.C.) – Akin Gump is pleased to announce the first two recipients of the Akin Gump/Robert Strauss Diversity Scholarship: Sofia Syed, a second-year student at Columbia Law School, and Erica Holland, a second-year student at the University of Pennsylvania Law School 

The Strauss Scholarship provides a $25,000 scholarship to each of two outstanding second-year law students at U.S. law schools to help offset expenses for their third year of law school. The scholarships are given to those students who show a commitment to diversity in the legal profession, demonstrate excellence and can bring diverse viewpoints and experiences to Akin Gump. In addition to the financial award, the scholarships provide mentoring from attorneys at the firm and a paid second-year summer associate position in the firm’s New York or Washington, D.C. offices.

“Students like Sofia and Erica embody the future of the legal profession,” said Robert S. Strauss, a founding partner of Akin Gump and the namesake for the scholarship. “The commitment they’ve shown not only to being exceptional law students but also to promoting diversity in their lives and those of others points the way forward for the practice of law. I am delighted that we have found such deserving individuals as these two to receive the inaugural Strauss Scholarship.”

A former chairman of the Democratic National Committee and U.S. ambassador to Russia, Mr. Strauss has been a staunch advocate for diversity in the legal profession since founding Akin Gump in 1945. Based upon his own perceptions and experiences, Mr. Strauss determined that the firm would proactively seek opportunities to extend a message of inclusiveness by reaching out to groups traditionally underrepresented in the bar. As a result, Akin Gump’s Mandate for Diversity articulates the firm’s goal of becoming a leader in diversity and serves as a guideline for ongoing efforts.

Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading international law firm with more than 850 attorneys in offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

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