Lariss Jude (’12) Wins DRI Law Student Diversity Scholarship
MAY 27, 2011—Lariss Jude (’12) is one of only two law students nationwide selected to receive a $10,000 DRI Law Student Diversity Scholarship for 2011. She will be honored at the DRI Diversity for Success Seminar in Chicago on June 16-17.
The scholarship is awarded to students who meet diversity requirements, demonstrate academic excellence, and have a record of service to the profession, the community, and the cause of diversity. In addition, a 1,000-word essay is required, for 2011 regarding whether foreign manufacturers can be sued in states where their product is sold.
Jude says she is drawn to civil litigation defense for the inspiring and motivated lawyers she has encountered and for the challenges of litigation, particularly in products liability defense. Also, she says, "I love volunteering, and I plan to continue my commitment to pro bono work through my career," so it is essential that she works with a firm that understands and supports her commitment to public service.
During law school, Jude realized that working in the public sector was not for her but, she notes, "It’s important for people from diverse backgrounds to be in prominent positions, as leaders and role models." Also, in her experience with nonprofit organizations, she learned that "it is immensely valuable to have compassionate people who understand struggles and disparity influencing and controlling resources."
Originally from Corpus Christi, Texas, Jude spent two years in community college in Austin, then completed a B.A. in government and Latino/a studies at Smith College, where she received the David Burres Memorial Law Prize for public service. At the Law School, she has worked on the Journal of Law and Inequality and the Child Advocacy Clinic and served as co-president of the Latino Law Student Association, secretary of the Women Law Student’s Association, and a student instructor of Practice and Professionalism. She is also a Law School Admissions Ambassador, a member of the Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association and DRI, and a volunteer for Linea Legal Latina.
Jude currently is working at Larson King in St. Paul, where she began through Diversity in Practice and was asked to continue as an associate. In mid-July she will move to Bowman and Brooke in Austin to work in products liability defense until fall semester begins.
DRI was founded in 1960 as the Defense Research Institute in response to the increasingly excessive plaintiffs’ awards being granted and their harmful impact on the civil justice system. It is now the largest international membership organization of attorneys defending the interests of business and individuals in civil litigation. Its scholarship program was initiated in 2004.