News & Announcements

Weil Hosts Third Year of Innovative Public Service Program for Rising Law Students

NEW YORK, July 14, 2022: International law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is pleased to announce the 2022-2023 class of its multi-stakeholder public service initiative, the Weil Legal Innovators Program (WLI), now in its third year.

The ten individuals in this year’s class were accepted to one of the WLI partner law schools and deferred entering their first year of study to complete one year of public service at a WLI nonprofit partner organization. The program offers these rising law school students a rare chance to work on some of the nation’s most pressing social and legal challenges at leading nonprofits, such as the Earthwatch Institute, the National Women's Law Center, Human Rights Watch, the National Urban League, the Tahirih Justice Center and Asian Americans Advancing Justice. They will focus on a breadth of issues including rights for immigrants, gender equity, racial justice, higher education, human rights, ESG and more.

The Innovators commence their fellowships at the nonprofit organizations later this summer and continue through July 2023, and before they begin their first year of law school. The Innovators’ WLI positions at nonprofit organizations and law school acceptances are as follows:

  • Avery Allen will join the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) in Houston as a Legal Assistant, Affirmative Services. She will attend Duke University School of Law.
  • Rimpal Bajwa will join the Tahirih Justice Center in Washington, D.C. as a Public Policy Innovator. She will attend the University of Michigan Law School.
  • Herber Banda-Cruz will join the Earthwatch Institute in Boston as an Impact Manager. He will attend New York University School of Law.
  • Kate McNamara-Marsland will join the National Women’s Law Center in Washington, D.C. as a TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund Innovator. She will attend University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School.
  • Brady Miller will join the National Urban League in New York City as an Equitable Justice Legal Fellow. He will attend University of Texas at Austin School of Law.
  • Sadie Statman will join Human Rights Watch in Washington, D.C. as an Associate, Washington Advocacy Team. She will attend Harvard Law School.
  • Sara Taketatsu will join Asian Americans Advancing Justice in Washington, D.C. as a Special Projects Fellow. She will attend Harvard Law School.
  • Filmore Thomas, IV will join the Posse Foundation in New York City as a Program Associate. He will attend Berkeley School of Law.
  • Etta Wang will join Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights in New York City as an Investor Engagement Fellow, RFK Compass Program. She will attend Harvard Law School.
  • Jackson Weihe will join the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Texas in Houston as a Legislative Research and Advocacy Assistant. He will attend University of Texas at Austin School of Law.

All Innovators will receive a $50,000 salary and full benefits package for their one-year engagement with the aforementioned nonprofit organizations. Upon starting law school, they will receive a $10,000 scholarship towards their first year academic expenses. Nonprofit partners will receive a stipend to help cover operating expenses associated with onboarding their Innovators.

To kick off the third year of the program, Weil’s New York City office will host the 2022 WLI Conference, which will take place next week. Three cohorts of Innovators (including the 2020-2021, 2021-2022, and 2022-2023 classes) will spend the week engaging in an array of enriching and exciting activities, including professional development training, networking events with Weil attorneys and administrative staff, and a community volunteer project. Featured content includes a design thinking and innovation in practice seminar led by experts from Penn Carey Law School and University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Social Impact Strategy; diversity, equity and inclusion training led by Paradigm; and the opportunity to learn about associate life in Big Law and much more. The outgoing class of 2021-2022 Innovators will present their achievements and reflections from serving at their nonprofit organizations over the past year. The closing presentations will include three panel discussions exploring topics such as gender equity and justice, advocacy and policy, and nonprofit capacity and program development.

The WLI program is made possible by an annual commitment of more than $1 million from Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP.

“We’re incredibly proud of the Weil Legal Innovators program and the many positive impacts it has in so many corners of our society,” said Weil Executive Partner Barry Wolf. “By working closely with our partner law schools and some of the nation’s leading nonprofits, we are able to offer life-changing opportunities to some of today’s brightest and most motivated students. Being able to create change like this is one of the most rewarding aspects of my job.”

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About Weil’s Citizenship Commitment

Weil is committed to engaging as a responsible corporate citizen in the communities where we live and work. The Firm’s corporate citizenship footprint is brought to bear through Weil’s longstanding community engagement; diversity, equity and inclusion; pro bono legal service; and charitable contributions programs, including the Weil Foundation.

About Weil

Founded in 1931, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP has been a preeminent provider of legal services for more than 90 years. With approximately 1,100 lawyers in offices on three continents, Weil has been a pioneer in establishing a geographic footprint that has allowed the Firm to partner with clients wherever they do business. The Firm’s four departments, Corporate, Litigation, Restructuring, and Tax, Executive Compensation & Benefits, and more than two dozen practice groups are consistently recognized as leaders in their respective fields.

Weil Legal Innovators Program