Vanderbilt 2L Tyler Hagenbuch is one of four recipients of the Latham & Watkins Diversity Scholars Program for 2009. The program awards four $10,000 scholarships to second-year law students in the United States.
Hagenbuch was selected from a pool of nearly 250 applicants representing 90 U.S. law schools. Factors considered in choosing the Latham & Watkins Diversity Scholars include academic and leadership achievements, life experiences and challenges that have shaped values, and a desire to practice at a global law firm and contribute to its diversity objectives.
Candidates for the Diversity Scholars Program submitted written applications, and several short-listed finalists met with a selection panel consisting of partners and associates. The applicants were required to be enrolled in an ABA-accredited law school, with intent to practice in a global law firm.
Hagenbuch serves as Co-President of OUTlaw and as a member of various organizations including the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, the Vanderbilt Legal Aid Society, and the American Constitution Society. Drawing on his atypical experience of growing up gay on a family-owned and operated pig farm in rural Illinois, Hagenbuch is motivated to unite diverse groups in an effort to make people see their commonalities despite their differences. As an intern for Obama for America, he helped research and respond to legal questions on a variety of intellectual property and employment law issues, and also focused on election law and voter protection issues. Hagenbuch graduated with highest honors and as a Ledger & Quill Scholar from DePaul University in 2003 with a B.S. in commerce.
"I feel very honored to receive this award," Hagenbuch said. "Latham & Watkin’s diversity program is a reminder that differences should be celebrated – not hidden – in the legal workplace. It’s also important to remember that whatever our differences, they are far outweighed by what we hold in common, and by our shared goals of pursuing justice and equality under the law."
“This year’s Diversity Scholars are inspiring individuals who have shown strong conviction, courage and leadership despite facing tough odds,” said Sharon Bowen, Co-Chair of Latham’s Diversity Committee, who served on the scholarship selection panel. "Their personal stories of accomplishment are case studies of determination and integrity."