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Keker, Van Nest & Peters Awards $75,000 in Diversity Scholarships

Press Release

Keker, Van Nest & Peters has continued its efforts to promote access to the legal profession by awarding $75,000 in scholarship funding to four recipients from its Diversity Scholars program. Recipients Yongbin Chang, Susana Herrera, Erica Peña, and Janay Williams were selected from this year’s highly competitive pool of applicants.

Keker, Van Nest & Peters first began its diversity scholarship program in 2011 and has since awarded more than $200,000 in scholarship funds to law students who have shown incredible promise in the legal field and demonstrated interest in pursuing a career in complex litigation in the San Francisco Bay Area after graduation. In addition to cash awards, the recipients will be mentored by a Keker, Van Nest & Peters attorney throughout the remainder of their legal studies. 

“Mr. Chang, Ms. Herrera, Ms. Peña, and Ms. Williams have all shown incredible commitment to their communities and to their legal endeavors,” said Jan Little, Keker, Van Nest & Peters partner and member of the firm’s Diversity Scholarship Committee. “With such promise, we look forward to seeing what the future holds for each one of them as they progress throughout their careers.”

Yongbin Chang is a first-year J.D. candidate at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. He currently serves as a student advocate for the East Bay Dreamers Project, providing immigration legal services to Bay Area residents under the guidance of supervising attorneys at the East Bay Community Law Center. Yongbin is a Dreamer who came to the U.S. from Korea and, through Immigrants Rising, has collaborated with an immigration attorney to support undocumented minors nationwide. Yongbin was awarded the Graduate Diversity Program Fellowship, NAPABA Law Foundation Scholarship, and is a Korean American Scholarship Foundation recipient. He holds a B.A. in Economics from UC Berkeley.

Susana Herrera is a first-year J.D candidate at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.  She previously worked as a legal assistant for Camille King Collaborative Law & Mediation, where she drafted and filed initial pleadings with local family courts. Most recently, Susana spent her summer before law school at Morrison & Foerster LLP as an SEO law intern conducting research and analysis for class action and trade secrets litigation. Susana has received the California Change Lawyer Scholarship and the ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship, and was a Sidley Austin Pre-Law Scholar. She holds a B.A. in Psychology and a B.A. in Legal Studies from UC Berkeley. 

Erica Peña is a first-year J.D. candidate at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, where she regularly participates in the Youth Advocacy Project. Through this project, she meets with an underaged client at the Orin Allen Youth Rehabilitation Facility on a weekly basis to discuss client’s prospects upon release, school integration plans, concerns about the facility, and provides weekly reports to the assigned public defender. Erica was also a volunteer for the USC Citizenship Project, where she received training on translating legal terminology into Spanish and preparing naturalization applications, and has assisted clients in completing their naturalization applications and fee waivers. Erica received a Prosser Prize in her first semester for her performance in Torts. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from USC, where she graduated magna cum laude.

Janay Williams is a first-year J.D. candidate at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law. She is currently a graduate student representative for the UCLA Student Fee Advisory Committee. She was appointed to this position to advise the chancellor on the allocation of $30 million in student service fees, registration fees, user fees, and course material fees. She also acts as a first-year representative for the Black Law Students Association and works closely with other law student organizations. Janay is a UCLA Graduate Student Opportunity Fellow, Class of 2018 Scholarship Recipient, and received multiple honors as an undergraduate at UCLA. Prior to law school, she spent two years working as a public high school biology and chemistry teacher in Southern California, which motivated her to pursue a legal career focusing on intellectual property. She holds a B.S. in Biology.

About Keker, Van Nest & Peters

For more than 40 years, Keker, Van Nest & Peters has litigated complex, high-stakes civil and criminal cases throughout the nation. The firm takes the cases where companies, products, and careers are riding on the result. Its clients are high-profile individuals, as well as some of the world’s most successful companies, including Google, Facebook, Electronic Arts, Lyft, Genentech, Comcast, and Qualcomm. The firm’s areas of expertise include intellectual property, professional liability, class actions, general contract and commercial litigation, antitrust, white collar, and appellate.  The firm is passionate about increasing the diversity of the legal profession.