WilmerHale Announces Inaugural Payton Fellow

WilmerHale Announces Inaugural Payton Fellow

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WilmerHale is pleased to announce that Nina Garcia has been selected as the firm’s inaugural Payton Fellow. Ms. Garcia began her fellowship at Lawyers for Civil Rights (LCR) earlier this month and will continue at the organization through July. 

Named after former WilmerHale Partner John A. Payton, the Payton Fellowship Program supports one fellow annually to work at any civil rights organization that is committed to addressing issues related to systemic racism, criminal justice, and police accountability. The fellowship commemorates Mr. Payton’s lifelong devotion to justice, equality and opportunity. Known as one of the greatest civil rights lawyers of his generation, Mr. Payton represented clients in a wide range of matters from defamation to partnership disputes to discrimination claims, served as the District of Columbia’s Corporation Counsel (now the DC Attorney General), and was president and director-counsel of t202he NAACP Legal Defense Fund. 

“We are pleased to launch this new fellowship program focused on addressing some of the most pressing issues our society faces today,” said Susan Murley, co-managing partner of WilmerHale. “Nina is a talented young attorney who will bring her skills and expertise to LCR to help further the organization’s work in battling inequality and injustice.” 

Ms. Garcia, a senior associate in WilmerHale’s intellectual property litigation practice, will work on matters central to LCR’s mission of fighting discrimination on behalf of people of color and immigrants. 

“This fellowship is a leading national example of the creative and impactful partnerships that can flourish between public interest organizations and the private bar,” said Iván Espinoza-Madrigal, LCR’s executive director. “As an attorney who had the pleasure of knowing John Payton through collaborative work in the racial justice movement, I am deeply humbled and honored to help expand his powerful legacy hosting WilmerHale’s inaugural Payton Fellow. We applaud WilmerHale’s leadership and foresight.”

The Payton Fellowship is WilmerHale’s second fellowship program. The firm annually selects an individual for the Pickering Fellowship, named in honor of John Pickering, a founding partner of the firm who inspired generations of lawyers with his commitment to the public interest. The fellowship gives lawyers from the firm’s US offices the opportunity to work at select public interest organizations.