California Bar Foundation Awards Diversity Scholarships to Two USD Law Students

Lisa Heng Charukul

San Diego (November 6, 2012) – Last month, the California Bar Foundation presented its annual Diversity Scholarships totaling $142,550 to 19 law students including University of San Diego School of Law student Claude Durden, Jr. Chosen from a pool of more than 220 applicants, the scholarship recipients will each receive $7,500. They were selected based on academic excellence, financial need and commitment to the community.

"Though there were many strong applicants, those selected rose to the top because of their academic excellence, resilience in the face of adversity, and dedication to giving back to their communities," said Joan Kupersmith Larkin, chair of the Foundation Scholarship Committee and partner at Seyfarth Shaw LLP.

Given for the fifth year, the scholarships acknowledge incoming law school students who hail from communities that are underrepresented in the legal profession. Sandra Fujiyama, a partner with Sidley Austin, one of the law firm sponsors of the program, said the goal of the scholarships is to promote greater diversity and inclusivity for the legal profession as a whole.

"These students have impressed us not only with their academic achievements and compelling life experiences, but also their deep commitment to community leadership," she said.

This year's recipients were honored at an Oct. 4 ceremony at the Southern California Gas Co. in Los Angeles featuring Dolores Huerta, president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation and co-founder of the United Farm Workers. The foundation also gave 21 public interest scholarships at the reception. Announced in April, those scholarships recognize students who aspire to be public interest lawyers. University of San Diego School of Law student Lisa Heng Charukul was named the foundation’s Jim Pheiffer Scholar.

The diversity scholarships are funded by law firms and corporations who combined have made multimillion-dollar commitments to the program including: Arnold & Porter LLP; Calvo Fisher & Jacob LLP; Cox, Castle & Nicholson LLP; Fenwick & West LLP; Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP; Keesal, Young & Logan; Kilpatrick Townsend; Lim Ruger Foundation; Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP; the Morrison & Foerster Foundation; Morrison & Foerster LLP; Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe Foundation; Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP; the Sidley Austin Foundation; SNR Denton; Southern California Edison; Southern California Gas Company and San Diego Gas & Electric; and the Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Foundation.

About the University of San Diego School of Law

Recognized for the excellence of its faculty, curriculum and clinical programs, the University of San Diego (USD) School of Law enrolls approximately 900 Juris Doctor and graduate law students from throughout the United States and around the world. The law school is best known for its offerings in the areas of business and corporate law, constitutional law, intellectual property, international and comparative law, public interest and taxation.

USD School of Law is one of the 81 law schools elected to the Order of the Coif, a national honor society for law school graduates. The law school’s faculty is a strong group of outstanding scholars and teachers with national and international reputations and currently ranks 23rd worldwide in all-time faculty downloads on the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN). The school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Founded in 1954, the law school is part of the University of San Diego, a private, nonprofit, independent, Roman Catholic university chartered in 1949.


Patrick Riedling
(619) 260-4207