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Legal Education,
Community News

Oct. 5, 2021

Southwestern Law alumni offer trial experience fellowship for students

The Yoka-Panish Civil Justice Fellowship will allow first-year students to participate in two five-week civil trials, working for the plaintiff and defense side.

Los Angeles attorneys Brian J. Panish and Walter M. Yoka created a paid fellowship to give Southwestern Law School students foundational career experience, the school announced Monday.

The $300,000 endowment for the Yoka-Panish Civil Justice Fellowship will provide first-year students at the attorneys' alma mater civil litigation externships.

Students will participate in two five-week civil trials, working for the plaintiff and defense side. They will receive academic credit and a $4,000 stipend.

"Southwestern students should be introduced early and often to the local civil trial bar community. What better way than a program like this to meet trial lawyers, establish relationships, and be given an opportunity to prove yourself?" Yoka, of Yoka & Smith LLP stated in a news release..

"I feel strongly that seeing/working for both the plaintiff and defense, is invaluable for developing perspective, civility and professionalism. The two of us are a living example of adversaries who treat each other with respect and deference," Panish, of Panish Shea & Boyle LLP, said in the release.

"I want to thank Wally and Brian for their generosity and creativity in establishing this fellowship. Giving 1Ls a 360-degree view of civil litigation promises to produce some of the best-prepared and savvy graduates in Southwestern's 110 years," Darby Dickerson, president and dean of the law school, said in the news release.

The fellowship is expected to launch in summer 2023, and students can apply in the second semester of their first year.

-- Pete Escobar


Pete Escobar

Daily Journal Staff Writer

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