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Inaugural Procopio Scholarship Presented to Incoming CWSL Student Erica Spence

Erica Spence

Procopio, a full-service law firm headquartered in San Diego, has presented their inaugural Procopio Scholarship and Internship Award to incoming California Western School of Law student Erica Spence.

The Procopio Scholarship is awarded to incoming California Western students and is available for people of color with an initial emphasis on Black candidates and/or candidates who have made significant contributions to the Black community. $15,000 is awarded for the student’s first year of law school. The Procopio Scholar will also be offered an internship at Procopio after their first and second years in law school, where the student will be mentored and trained to become a highly skilled attorney by Procopio’s partners, attorneys, and staff. Upon successful completion of the internships, Procopio will provide an additional $15,000 for each of the Procopio Scholar’s second and third years at California Western, with the goal of hiring the student following the successful completion of the California State Bar exam. Procopio anticipates selecting a new Procopio Scholar annually.

“At Procopio, achieving greater diversity and inclusion is a vital part of our practice and culture,” said Dave Deonarine, a partner with Procopio and Chairperson of the law firm’s Racial Equality Task Force. “We are proud to offer this scholarship to California Western’s Erica Spence and look forward to helping her succeed and reach her full potential.”

Incoming student Erica Spence spent her undergraduate years at California State University, Fullerton. She went on to attend pharmacy school at Western University of Health Sciences and was awarded her Doctor of Pharmacy degree in May 2020. She comes to California Western to pursue her legal education in hopes of combining both her professional educations to serve health care professionals in the field of pharmacy.

“I am deeply grateful to Procopio for this extremely generous scholarship and the commitment they have demonstrated in me for my time at California Western and beyond,” said Spence. “It has always been my dream to become an attorney, and I am determined to make both Procopio and California Western proud. Thank you.”

Commenting on the Procopio scholarship, California Western’s new President and Dean Sean Scott said, “California Western values its rich diversity among our students, alumni, faculty, and staff, as well as in the larger communities of which we are a part. I am especially happy that Procopio shares those values. Actions always speak louder than words, and the generosity of this scholarship are a demonstration of the firm’s commitment to those values, and I am grateful for that. I want to give special thanks to former California Western President and Dean Niels Schaumann for partnering with Procopio on this scholarship opportunity.”

Procopio, the largest law firm in San Diego, is rated a top law firm for diversity as rated by American Lawyer magazine (AmLaw 200) and Law 360. Procopio has achieved Mansfield Rule Certification by Diversity Lab. Now in its third iteration, this certification measures whether law firms have affirmatively considered at least 30 percent women, attorneys of color, LGBTQ+, and lawyers with disabilities for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, formal client pitch opportunities, and senior lateral positions. Only a few dozen law firms have achieved this recognition.

About Procopio: Procopio is an AmLaw 200 full-service business and litigation law firm committed to thoughtful problem solving and improving clients’ bottom lines. With more than 180 attorneys based in San Diego, Del Mar Heights, Orange County, Silicon Valley, Las Vegas, and Phoenix, Procopio is passionate about knowing their clients’ businesses and helping grow and protect them for the long term. More information is available at