Banner & Witcoff awards diversity scholarships

Banner & Witcoff recently announced that Benjamin Hong Huh and Stacia M. Stokes received the Donald W. Banner Diversity Scholarship for law students.

The scholarship program will provide Huh and Stokes with $5,000 each, payable for their upcoming fall semester of law school.  Huh is enrolled at the University of Maryland School of Law, and Stokes is enrolled at Emory University School of Law.

“First I want to mention how deeply honored I am to receive this scholarship,” said Huh, who plans to be a patent attorney. “I think it is wonderful that Banner & Witcoff has a strong commitment to diversity and understanding. And it is great to be recognized by those who are dedicated to the IP field.”

The scholarship is open to all law students who are members of a minority group (including any group traditionally under-represented in the field of intellectual property law) and who meet the following criteria:

  • Current enrollment in an ABA-accredited law school in the United States;
  • Commitment to the pursuit of a career in intellectual property law;
  • Strong communication and writing skills; and,
  • Demonstrated leadership qualities and community involvement.

Applications for the 2010 scholarship will be made available through the Banner & Witcoff website: www.bannerwitcoff.com.

Part of the firm’s strength comes from its diversity and the different experiences people bring to the firm, said partner Scott Burow. A challenge within the IP field is dealing with the shortage of minority students who pursue IP law, Burow said.

“When I first started practicing a number of years ago very few female attorneys were interested in IP law, and even fewer minority lawyers went into the IP field,” he said.

A goal of the scholarship is to encourage more law students who are members of under-represented segments to get into IP law, Burow said. There has been discussion within the firm about reaching even further into colleges and high schools to encourage minority students to explore the science and engineering fields, he said.

“It makes us feel good to be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our clients who are actively pursuing diversity initiatives,” he said. “Being able to stand along side them with our endeavors makes the firm feel good, and it makes me feel good as well.”

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