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Procopio Awards Diversity-Focused Scholarships and Internships to Two Promising Law Students

Procopio Awards Diversity-Focused Scholarships and Internships to Two Promising Law Students

Procopio Awards Diversity-Focused Scholarships and Internships to Two Promising Law Students

January 6, 2021 (San Diego) – As part of Procopio’s increasing focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion, the AmLaw 200 law firm has awarded its first two Scholarship and Internship Awards, one each to promising law school students at the University of San Diego School of Law and the California Western University of Law. This new annual program adds to an extensive list of scholarships Procopio has either organized or sponsored with a focus on increasing diversity in the legal profession. The awardees are Erica Spence (left) and Janine Parchment (right).

The Procopio Scholarship and Internship Award is available for law students of color with an initial emphasis on Black candidates and/or candidates who have made significant contributions to the Black community. Procopio Scholars receive an initial $15,000 for the first year of law school; an internship at Procopio after their first and second years in law school, where the student will be mentored and trained by Procopio partners, attorneys, and staff; and an additional $15,000 for each of the Procopio Scholar’s remaining years in law school, with the goal of hiring the student following the successful completion of the California State Bar exam.

“At Procopio, achieving greater diversity and inclusion is a vital part of our practice and culture,” said Dave Deonarine, a partner with Procopio and Chairperson of the law firm’s Racial Equality Task Force. “We are proud to offer these scholarships and look forward to helping these students succeed and reach their full potential.”

Janine Parchment was named the inaugural Procopio Scholar from USD. She served as the First Year Student Representative of the Black Law Students Association, and is a member of the Women’s Law Caucus and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee of the Student Bar Association. A graduate of Georgia State University with a Bachelor in Business Administration with a paralegal certificate from USD, Janine has since 2016 volunteered with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County in their Beyond School Walls (BSW) program. BSW brings children of color from underserved areas to a real-life work environment, helping them to create a vision for a positive future. She worked for several years in the legal profession before starting law school, and intends to use her law degree to positively impact minorities and the broader community.

Erica Spence is the inaugural winner for Cal Western. With an undergraduate degree from California State University, Fullerton, she worked for more than a decade as a pharmacist, earning a Doctor of Pharmacy from the Western University of Health Sciences. A first-year law student, she has always wanted to be an attorney. Erica plans to combine her professional educations to serve health care professionals in the field of pharmacy.

Procopio, the largest law firm in San Diego, was recently named by the San Diego Business Journal a 2020 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award winner. It is rated a top law firm for diversity as rated by American Lawyer magazine (AmLaw 200) and Law 360, and in 2020 achieved Mansfield Rule Certification by Diversity Lab. Now in its third iteration, Mansfield certification measures whether law firms have affirmatively considered at least 30 percent women, attorneys of color, LGBTQ+, and lawyers with disabilities for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, formal client pitch opportunities, and senior lateral positions. Only a few dozen law firms have achieved this recognition.

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