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Zelle Hofmann Announces 2015 Diversity in Law Scholarship Recipient

Posted On:Monday, November 02, 2015

Zelle Hofmann is pleased to announce Deena Tumeh as the recipient of the firm’s 2015 Diversity in Law Scholarship. Tumeh will receive a financial scholarship to be applied toward her law school tuition, fees and text books. She will also be assigned a mentor at the firm for her remaining law school career.

Tumeh is a second-year law student at Stanford Law School. She plans on pursuing a legal career serving vulnerable communities, including immigrants who have been subject to discriminatory employment practices.

Prior to law school, Tumeh received her B.A. in American Studies from Yale University. Her undergraduate thesis at Yale addressed how immigration detention creates formal and informal infrastructures of inequality. In preparing her thesis, she studied how the lack of legal counsel, the use of en masse hearings, and the transfer of detainees between detention centers, away from their communities and lawyers, have affected immigrant populations. While at Yale, she also interpreted for Spanish-speaking migrant workers at the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic at Yale Law School. Following her graduation from Yale, Tumeh worked at the Center for Legal and Social Studies in Buenos Aires, Argentina with the support of the Parker Huang and Gordon Grand Fellowships.

“I am honored to be the recipient of the Zelle Hofmann Diversity in Law Scholarship,” said Tumeh. “Being an effective lawyer requires listening to your client’s story, valuing their story, and delivering it in a way that advances their interests. I am further developing these skills in law school and hope to continue doing so with Zelle Hofmann’s generous mentoring and financial support through the scholarship.”

Tumeh’s commitment to immigrants’ rights and diversity in the legal profession stem from her family’s immigration experience. “When my parents left the Lebanese Civil War and immigrated to this country, they were able to gain citizenship and employment,” said Tumeh. “Their ability to do so has been critical to supporting not only their children but also our Syrian family members who, one generation later, are fleeing from their own war-torn context in pursuit of a better future in the U.S.”

The Diversity in Law Scholarship is the keystone of the firm's Diversity Outreach Plan and was created for first year law students who either (1) are a member of a diverse group that is historically underrepresented in the private practice of law; or (2) demonstrate a long-standing commitment to diversity that will be furthered by award of the scholarship. To learn more about the Diversity in Law Scholarship and Zelle Hofmann's commitment to diversity, please click here.