Gift Boosts Law Fellows Program Initiatives in 2021

November 16, 2020
UCLA Law Fellows Program
Founding executive director Leo Trujillo-Cox ’97 (center, in blue) stands with members of the UCLA Law Fellows Program.

UCLA School of Law’s trailblazing Law Fellows Program has received a generous gift of $25,000 from the litigation firm Larson LLP to provide robust support to the program’s approximately 100 new law fellows and other initiatives in 2021.

The donation creates the Larson LLP Cohort of UCLA Law Fellows and gives a full year of support to the program’s critical work in opening the doors of legal education to undergraduates from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds. In addition, the award-winning Law Fellows Program will work with the esteemed litigation firm to create an attorney mentoring partnership aimed at fostering a supportive network for Law Fellows alumni.

Entering its 24th year, the Law Fellows Program demystifies the practice of law through a series of Saturday Academies that include lectures, networking events with current law students and other resources that prepare law fellows for success in applying to law school, as law students and as practicing attorneys. The program is often recognized for being an innovative and impactful pipeline-building enterprise: Since 1997, more than 1,800 people have participated in the program, and nearly 1,000 law fellows are in law school or practicing law nationwide.

The funding will allow a full cohort of law fellows to participate in the program’s five Saturday Academies in 2021. The Larson LLP Cohort will also receive help preparing for the LSAT and counseling in law school admissions, academics and student finances.

“We could not be more grateful for Larson LLP’s generosity and vision, which will benefit the Larson LLP Cohort of UCLA Law Fellows in many incalculable ways in 2021 and well beyond,” says founding executive director and UCLA Law alumnus Leo Trujillo-Cox ’97, who runs the program with assistant director and former law fellow Amanda Smith. “To receive this support during the pandemic and economic downturn is especially important, and we are so pleased that Larson LLP shares our commitment to the vital work that we do to diversify the legal profession.”

The elite Los Angeles-based trial boutique litigates and tries high-stakes complex commercial and white collar cases, regulatory matters, appeals and international disputes.

“I am beyond thrilled that Larson LLP is partnering with the Law Fellows Program,” says Larson LLP partner Jonathan E. Phillips ’04, a longtime program supporter who volunteered as a student mentor when he attended UCLA Law. “I was privileged to meet Leo when he was co-founding the Law Fellows Program, and I was blown away by its mission and goals. While following the program’s growth over the years, it has exceeded my expectations. In fact, my wife and I have donated to the Law Fellows Program every year since I graduated from UCLA Law because we believe it is one of the most important and impactful initiatives in the country in helping to diversify the legal profession. I’m particularly excited for Larson LLP to be part of the new mentorship program for current law students, and I believe that our attorneys will play a critical role in helping Leo and his team continue to fulfill their mission.”

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