Celebrating Our 2021 Fellows

On November 4, 2021, the Patiño community gathered online to welcome the newest Fellows from the class of 2021 and to congratulate our newly selected Fellows-Elect. Our second virtual event was a warm reminder of the strong connections we all share as members of the Tony Patiño Fellowship. Each of the 2021 graduates shared short remarks, and a quote from each speech is included below.

UC Hastings

Shannon Gillespie McComb

“My mentors at the Fellowship were my stalwart support throughout law school. They gave me the wisdom of time, experience and friendship to go forward when I had challenges. The Fellowship gave me a sense of belonging and security, reminding me of the support network I had.”

Columbia University

Matthew Beckwith

“Community is my clearest memory of the Fellowship – stories, laughing, lunches, and maybe most memorably, dinners at Carmine’s. I’m honored and grateful to understand the work I have to do to earn this selection in the years ahead of me.”

Haris Durrani

“Sometimes I felt crazy for following these dreams, but the Patiño community encouraged me to pursue them, to be unafraid of my interdisciplinary interests, to bring my Dominican-ness and Pakistani-ness to the table. It was the Patiño community’s acceptance of me, those years ago in backing my goals, that really encouraged me to stick to my wildest convictions from the very beginning.”

Laura Harder

“I am grateful for the many ways this Fellowship enhanced my law school experience. I looked to the older Fellows for advice and guidance, and I had mentors I could go to with my questions and concerns. One Fellow in the year ahead encouraged me to apply to the immigrant rights clinic, which ended up being a formative experience for me in law school.”

University of Chicago

Victor Cedeño

“The pandemic will leave many scars, but I do believe this experience can also inspire us to remember to serve others, and to do so, we don’t have to be extraordinary. Some of the people on the Zoom today will start nonprofits, run for public office, lead government agencies, they’ll have big titles – but there’s always something small that can be done for your community.”

David Finkel

“What makes the Patiño Fellowship exceptional is the shared commitment to service, a culture of excellence, and this community of leaders.”

Clare Lee

“The Fellowship and the other Fellows helped to educate me beyond my law school formal education in more ways than I can count. From the first day of being welcomed into the Fellowship, the other Fellows have challenged me, encouraged me, and exposed me to thoughts, ideas, and areas of law that I didn’t know existed.”