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MENLO PARK, Calif., June 10, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Robert Half Legal, a legal staffing and consulting services firm, and the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA), an organization that advances the hiring, retention and promotion of diverse attorneys in legal departments and the law firms that serve them, have named Sohayl Vafai as the Robert Half Legal Scholar and member of MCCA's Lloyd M. Johnson, Jr. Scholarship Program, Class of 2017. He has been awarded $10,000 to use toward law school tuition expenses in addition to the opportunity to work with MCCA leaders and mentors as he prepares for his legal career.
A first-generation Iranian-American whose parents immigrated to the United States during the Iranian revolution, Vafai is a student at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (Boalt Hall). He earned a bachelor's degree in English language and literature, summa cum laude, from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2012, where he received numerous awards, including the Joseph W. Houppert Memorial Prize for best essay on Shakespeare and Sara Ann Soper Service Award for commitment to community service.
Following college, Vafai served as a paralegal for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), where he researched legislative histories and case law in a variety of litigation matters, including those involving imports, drug approvals and denials and good manufacturing practices. While at the FDA, Vafai developed an appreciation for the legal processes integral to pharmaceutical companies and device manufacturers. "Working closely with attorneys who interpret and help shape the complex regulatory framework of the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors has been a formative experience," Vafai said. "After law school, I would like to work as a litigator, focusing on intellectual property, health, and food and drug law to continue my professional growth and build on my existing skills."
"Sohayl Vafai is an exceptional, multifaceted student, who demonstrates a strong commitment to academic and communications excellence, community service and the legal field," said Charles Volkert, executive director of Robert Half Legal. "We are privileged to partner with MCCA to help offset the educational expenses of outstanding law students like Vafai so they can pursue their career ambitions."
Joseph K. West, MCCA President and CEO, added, "We are honored to recognize Vafai as the recipient of the MCCA Lloyd M. Johnson, Jr. Scholarship. He is an accomplished and highly motivated law student who is poised for future success in the legal field."
Open to U.S. citizens interested in a corporate law career, MCCA's Lloyd M. Johnson, Jr. Scholarship Program provides financial support for first-year law students who are pursuing a juris doctor degree. Program recipients receive a $10,000 award for the first year of law school, with an opportunity to qualify for additional funding in each of the two following years of their law studies. In addition, MCCA offers mentoring opportunities for scholarship recipients and helps place them in paid internship positions with corporate law departments during the summer immediately following successful completion of their first year of law school. Each scholarship recipient also receives ongoing professional development.
The Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) was founded in 1997 to advocate for the expanded hiring, retention, and promotion of minority attorneys in corporate law departments and the law firms that serve them. MCCA furthers its mission through the collection and dissemination of information about diversity in the legal profession. MCCA takes an inclusive approach to the definition of "diversity." Therefore, its research addresses issues of race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability status, and generational differences which impact the legal profession's workforce. For more information, go to mcca.com.
About Robert Half Legal
Robert Half Legal is the legal staffing and consulting services division of Robert Half. A premier legal employment agency, Robert Half Legal provides highly skilled legal professionals for law firms and corporate legal departments on a temporary, project and full-time basis. With North American and global locations, the company offers a full suite of legal staffing and consulting services to help organizations manage constantly changing workloads and access expertise across in-demand legal practice areas. More information, including online job search services, can be found at roberthalflegal.com. For career and management advice, follow our Legal Blog at blog.roberthalflegal.com.
SOURCE Robert Half Legal