Announcing the 2023 Gregoire Fellows
Eight UW Law students are named Gregoire Fellows as part of a continuing partnership between law schools and the Washington legal community to increase professional diversity.
The University of Washington School of Law is proud to announce its 2023–2024 Gregoire Fellows: Lauren Chivers, Julia Ely, Esha Jain, Jason Lu, Tavis McClain, Gary Nguyen, Francisco Quintana and Kyler Teo.
Since 2015, the Gregoire Fellows Program has attracted diverse and talented students to UW Law and connected them with leading Puget Sound area businesses, governmental organizations and law firms committed to increasing diversity in the legal profession. In 2019, the program expanded to include the Seattle University School of Law.
The program is a unique partnership between the law schools and the legal community in Washington to ensure the legal profession reflects the diversity of our society.
As part of the program, students receive paid summer internships, which split their summer work assignments between two placements at a participating law firm, a corporate legal department and a governmental entity after the first year of law school. Students also receive scholarship aid and financial assistance for bar exam preparation. Additionally, the fellows participate in a mentorship program with former Washington Governor Christine Gregoire.
The Gregoire Fellows Program is made possible thanks to generous support from sponsors, including Amazon; Davis Wright Tremaine; Expedia Group; Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center; K&L Gates LLP; Keller Rohrback LLP; King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office; Lane Powell PC; Moss Adams LLP; Microsoft Corp.; Nintendo of America Inc., Ogden Murphy Wallace PLLC, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP; Pacifica Law Group; Perkins Coie LLP; Reed Longyear PLLC; Ryan Swanson PLLC; Seagen Inc.; Starbucks Corp.; Stoel Rives LLP; Stokes Lawrence PS; Vulcan Inc.; Washington State Office of the Attorney General; and Weyerhaeuser Co.
Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Sustainability, Pepperdine University
Lauren focused her undergraduate studies on the systematic inequalities of climate change. As a leader in Pepperdine University’s sustainability coalitions and a part of the second inaugural class to receive a bachelor’s degree in environmental sustainability, Lauren looks forward to tackling topics involving the intersection of technology and environmental issues while at UW Law. Additionally, Lauren spent time serving as a judicial intern for the Superior Court of Santa Clara County, working on research pertaining to child dependency and juvenile justice in her native Bay Area. Through her time in this role, Lauren developed a deeper interest in the process of judicial decision-making and witnessed firsthand how judicial proceedings and fierce advocacy shape the lives of those in her community.
“I am honored to have the support of this fellowship as I launch my legal career. Through building connections within the Seattle legal industry, I hope to use this opportunity to reflect on how I may leverage my values and skills to serve the communities most affected by social inequality,” says Lauren. “As a first-generation student, the Gregoire Fellowship will provide the first steps toward my commitment to uplifting others seeking to enter this field. I am grateful to be part of a program that will foster my confidence, ambition and leadership skills as an emerging legal professional.”
Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Sociology minor, American University
During her undergraduate studies, Julia interned for the Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women where she worked on several projects aimed at strengthening services to victims of domestic violence. She then worked for Holland & Knight’s Public Policy and Regulation Group, where she assisted with policy in areas such as Indigenous affairs, agriculture and COVID-19 resources. After graduation, Julia spent three years working in local government with the Pitkin County, Colorado Board of County Commissioners. These experiences allowed her to examine how our communities are affected by legal and governmental intervention, highlighting her passion for advocacy and inclusive leadership.
“As a Gregoire Fellow, I am eager to build upon my experiences and work on combating some of the most pressing legal issues of our time, such as fair housing, sustainable growth and development, and economic justice,” says Julia. “The opportunities afforded by this program provide the resources to flourish as an attorney and promote diverse perspectives in the legal field. I am honored to have the support of the Gregoire Fellows Program as I begin law school and work towards starting my legal career.”
Bachelor of Arts in English, Philosophy and Political Science, University of Washington
Esha is a consultant for a local small business, where she researches codified laws and analyzes their impact on an ongoing land use dispute, mentors new personnel and furthers their writing abilities, and maintains all written communication, including regular correspondence with government agencies, on behalf of the client. In this role, Esha also created an exhibit list and helped draft a closing argument for a quasi-judicial proceeding. Esha is also on the board of a homeowners’ association, where she resolves various tenant and member concerns and collaborates with board members to ensure compliance with governing legal documents.
"My experiences have taught me how to interact effectively with a wide array of people. I know that this particular ability will transfer well to my legal career, allowing me to better serve my future clients,” says Esha. “I wholeheartedly support the work that the Gregoire Fellows Program is doing to increase and broaden diversity in Seattle’s legal industry. I am also very grateful for the opportunities that the Gregoire Fellows Program will provide to me, and I look forward to effecting positive change."
Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Russian Language and Literature, Davidson College
During his undergraduate studies, Jason studied abroad in Russia, where he conducted research on the memorialization of eyewitness history through poetry and prose from the Siege of Leningrad. While there, he also interned with integration centers which assisted in the transitioning of refugee children into everyday life. Jason also interned with the International Rescue Committee as an immigration intern, helping U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) applicants with translation and interpreting forms and documents.
“I’m honored to be named a Gregoire Fellow, and also very grateful for all of the professional development and mentorship that the fellowship’s programming will provide,” says Jason. “In return, I intend to use the network and skills acquired through the Gregoire Fellowship to provide legal counsel to communities that have been historically underrepresented and disenfranchised, and to continue to serve the various immigrant and refugee communities, much like the one I’m from.”
Bachelor of Arts in Law, Societies and Justice and Business minor, University of Washington
Tavis's undergraduate studies focused on how differently the law operates on the books and on the ground. He also received an introduction to various elements of business. Following graduation, he worked at a downtown Seattle law firm where he conducted legal research and assisted in various intake roles. This experience, along with his undergraduate studies, piqued his interest in the legal field.
"As an aspiring lawyer and as a Gregoire Fellow, I look forward to taking full advantage of the opportunities that are presented to me and learning from both my peers and mentors,” Tavis said. "I believe that my diverse experiences and background, combined with the unique opportunities provided to me as a fellowship recipient, will allow me to push forward and advance in the legal field and contribute towards equality and fairness in the legal profession."
Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration (Accounting), University of Washington
Inspired by lived experiences, Gary pursued accounting in his undergraduate career to help bridge the gap between the financial world and underrepresented communities. His role as an associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers was one of many experiences that required him to interact with ever-changing tax laws and their subsequent impact on others. To delve into the effects of the law even further, Gary is eager to shift into a legal career while continually uplifting his passion for mentorship and education.
“Throughout my life, I have seen firsthand how mentorship, or the lack thereof, has the power to change lives. As a Gregoire Fellow, I hope to use the invaluable resources provided to me to bring mentorship into the legal field and encourage legal literacy amongst my peers, communities and future clients,” says Gary. “Where accounting is formulaic, the law is fluid and has no limits on how you can help others, so I am confident that this will bring about increased perspectives and creative legal solutions.”
Bachelor of Arts in International Relations, emphasis on Peace and Security Studies, and minor in Human Rights Studies, University of California at Davis
Francisco's undergraduate work focused on the history and development of war and conflict in the Mediterranean region. His honors thesis delved into the mechanisms of genocide denial, exploring its effects through a humanitarian lens. Upon graduation, Francisco pursued a career in political communications, last serving as the Communications Director for California’s 52nd Assembly District, affording him the opportunity to direct the Assembly’s outreach platform for the North and East Los Angeles regions.
“My time in the public sector helped me identify the regulatory aspects of cybersecurity and technology that most fascinate me, which I believe can change the trajectory of future generations,” says Francisco. “The Gregoire Fellows Program, in providing firsthand exposure and access to Seattle's most prestigious legal spaces, has afforded me the opportunity to capitalize on the primary driver of my motivation to pursue a legal career, which is to become an effective advocate for people and for important causes.”
Bachelor of Arts in Political Economy, University of Washington
Kyler began his undergraduate studies in chemistry but pivoted to exploring the intersection between politics and economics. He worked as a writer for Sporcle throughout his studies, covering topics anywhere between “how many holes does a straw have” to human rights violations. After graduating, he returned to coach the undergraduate mock trial program at UW, where he works to uplift speakers from marginalized communities.
“Intersectionality has always been core to my identity and exploring it has similarly always been something I value deeply. Examining that, I think, is key to taking responsibility for inclusion in the legal profession,” says Kyler. “To be accepted as a Gregoire Fellow is a great honor, and I hope the opportunities afforded to me will promote a more equitable and diverse community, one that strives to be better than the one it was yesterday.”