Christopher Ortega (’16) Named Zelle Hofmann Diversity in Law Scholarship Recipient
AUGUST 20, 2014—The law firm of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason has named Christopher Ortega (’16) the recipient of the firm's Diversity in Law Scholarship for 2014. Ortega will receive a scholarship to be applied toward his law school tuition, fees, and textbooks. He will also be assigned a mentor at the firm for his remaining law school career.
Ortega is a second-year student at the University of Minnesota Law School, where he is a staff writer for the ABA Journal of Labor and Employment Law, treasurer of the Latino Law Student Association, and vice president of the Saint Thomas More Society. He is also a Certified Student Attorney, which gives him the opportunity to represent clients in district court through a competitive public interest clerkship offered by the Minnesota Justice Foundation.
Ortega, who has a background in teaching and advocating for at-risk minority students, is a Mexican-American who overcame generational poverty in Southern California. "I am honored to be the recipient of the Zelle Hofmann Diversity in Law Scholarship," he said. "Attending law school comes with financial pressures, and my family has made great sacrifices for me to get here. I recognize the significance of this scholarship, because only a few with my background get this kind of opportunity."
Following Ortega's graduation from high school, he attended Vanguard University in Costa Mesa, Calif., where he earned a bachelor's degree in history and political science and a master's degree in education. While at Vanguard, he served as student body president and led service project teams to Mexico and China. After receiving his undergraduate degree, he taught government and U.S. history at high schools in Southern California. Following his master's program, he served as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Nicaragua, working as an English teacher and trainer at Mother Marie Eugenie High School and the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua.
Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason is a national litigation and dispute resolution law firm with offices in Boston, Dallas, London, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., and an affiliate office in Beijing. The Diversity in Law Scholarship was created for rising second-year law students who either are a member of a diverse group that is historically underrepresented in the private practice of law or who demonstrate a long-standing commitment to diversity that will be furthered by award of the scholarship.