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Vedder Thinking | News Thomas Lopez and Rushi Patel Named 2020 Diversity Scholars

Annual Scholarship Program Names Recipients in Chicago and New York

Press Release

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Vedder Price is pleased to announce that Thomas Lopez, a first-year law student at Stanford Law School, and Rushi Patel, a first-year law student at Columbia Law School, have been named Diversity Scholars in Chicago and New York, respectively. This is the sixteenth year Vedder Price has provided the scholarship, which provides both a monetary award and placement in the firm’s Summer Associate Program.

Mr. Lopez will assist the firm’s Corporate, Litigation and Labor & Employment practice areas from the Chicago office. Prior to attending Stanford Law, Mr. Lopez graduated from Yale University with a B.A. with Distinction in History (Politics, Law, & Government). As an undergraduate, Mr. Lopez played on Yale’s Rugby team and was a Dean’s Office counselor for first-year students transitioning to college. Currently, Mr. Lopez is an editor for the Stanford Journal of International Law and is a volunteer for the Stanford Law Immigration Pro Bono Project. He will also co-author a textbook on Afghan law with the Afghanistan Legal Education Project, and will work with the Professional Development Committee of the Stanford Latinx Law Students Association.

“While the United States is filled with individuals from all different walks of life, the U.S. legal field does not reflect the diversity of its citizens,” said Mr. Lopez. “The Vedder Price Diversity Scholarship is an important step in supporting underrepresented groups in the legal field. I’m looking forward to gaining valuable professional experience at Vedder Price this summer and learning from mentors who promote and appreciate diversity.”

Mr. Patel will assist the firm’s Corporate practice area, particularly the Global Transportation Finance team, from the New York office. He brings to Vedder two years of experience as a high school world history teacher through Teach For America, and spent a summer as an Investment Banking Analyst at a New York City investment bank. Mr. Patel graduated as Valedictorian from New York University with a B.S. in Finance & Politics. There, he also served as Vice President of Beta Gamma Sigma Honors Society and President of the NYU Social Impact Council.

Born in New Jersey to immigrant parents, Mr. Patel has always valued and embraced diversity. “Diversity is recognizing and then embracing the different perspectives and backgrounds we all bring to the table,” he said. “The Diversity Scholarship will help me fund my legal education while gaining a valuable, hands-on experience at Vedder Price.”

Since 2005, the Vedder Price 1L Diversity Scholarship Program has awarded more than $100,000 to law students to further promote and enhance diversity and a culture of inclusion at the firm. As Summer Associates, Mr. Lopez and Mr. Patel will receive one-on-one training and mentorship to acclimate them to the legal profession and help guide them in their path to becoming lawyers. Recipients are selected by the firm’s Diversity Committee for their academic excellence and on-campus involvement.

“We are pleased to support Tommy and Rushi, two outstanding individuals and promising lawyers, in their legal education through our annual 1L diversity scholarship program,” said Jeanah Park, Chair of Vedder Price’s Diversity Committee. “By investing in the next generation of diverse lawyers, we hope to do our part in broadening and enriching the talent pool across the legal industry.”
To learn more about the Vedder Price Diversity Scholarship, please click here.


Jeanah Park