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Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner has announced the recipients of its diversity scholarship program, a component of the firm’s ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion. Now in its second year, this program awards diversity scholarships to up to four second-year law students.

Each scholarship recipient will receive $10,000 to help defray the cost of law school tuition and related expenses during the student’s final year of law school. Half of the scholarship will be paid after successful completion of BCLP’s Summer Associate Program. The other half will be paid prior to the second semester of the recipient’s third year of law school, providing they have received and accepted an offer to join the firm as an associate after completing their legal education.

The students who have been awarded diversity scholarships and will be joining the firm as summer associates in 2019 are:

  Shehmin Awan is a law student at Washington University’s School of Law in St. Louis, Mo. Awan has served as staff editor of the Washington University Global Studies Law Review and is active with the Women’s Law Caucus and the Middle Eastern Law Student Association. She previously worked with Legal Services of Eastern Missouri as an advocate for adults with mental illnesses and has worked as a law clerk/outreach intern for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (Missouri). Awan received her B.A. in political science and international studies, summa cum laude, from Maryville University in St. Louis in 2017. She will work in BCLP’s St. Louis office. 

  Julie Dargus is a law student at the University of California-Los Angeles School of Law where she is co-president of the International Human Rights Law Association and a training director at the El Centro CARACEN Violence Against Women Clinic, among other involvements. This past summer she also provided legal services in Spanish and Portuguese for families seeking asylum through the CARA Pro Bono Project in Dilley, Texas. Dargus received her B.A. in linguistics and Spanish, with a concentration in Portuguese, summa cum laude, from the University of Arizona in 2014. She will work in BCLP’s Los Angeles office. 

  James Gilmore is a law student at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., where he is a member of the Journal of Law & Modern Critical Race Perspectives. Prior to law school he was the director of research and policy, economic programs, for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in Washington, where he conducted analysis of national, state and local economic legislation and policy and worked to organize community-led policy discussions concerning topics of economic inclusion. Gilmore also has worked as a public policy analyst with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, as a civil rights and racial justice fellow with the People for the American Way (PFAW), and as a legislative fellow with the office of Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. in the U.S. House. Gilmore received his B.A., with honors, in criminal justice and criminology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2010. He will work in BCLP’s Washington office.

  Courtney Thompson is a law student at the University of California-Irvine School of Law. She is an active member of OutLaw and a fall 2018 participant of the UCI Law Moot Court Competition. Thompson worked as a summer law clerk for Public Counsel with its Children’s Rights Division Guardianship Clinic in Los Angeles, assisting petitioners in completing and filing petitions, objections and letters to resolve guardianship issues, and as a pro bono volunteer at the Legal Aid Society Expungement Fair in Santa Ana, Calif. Thompson received her B.S. in gender studies from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City in 2014. She will work in BCLP’s San Francisco office.

Bringing diversity and inclusiveness into every aspect of work and culture is one of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner’s core values. “Our mission is to create a firm where women lawyers, lawyers of color, LGBTQ lawyers and lawyers with disabilities want to come and stay, and where they can thrive,” Chief Diversity Officer Lisa Martin said. “We are excited as we embark on the second year of this successful scholarship program.”