Diversity Fellowship 2015


The Los Angeles Intellectual Property Law Association (“LAIPLA”) announced that it had selected Daniel Latimer as its inaugural Diversity Fellow (2015-2016). Through the generous support of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP’s Orange County office, Mr. Latimer will be placed in the legal department of Honda Patents & Technologies North America, LLC for 10 weeks, where he will learn about and practice in trademark, copyright, and patent law.

LAIPLA created the Diversity Fellowship in 2014 to increase diversity in the Intellectual Property (“IP”) bar. Although the lack of diversity generally in the legal field has been well documented, the problem of underrepresentation in the IP bar has been discussed less frequently despite evidence suggesting that it is even more pronounced. One survey showed that minorities only comprised 9.1% of the IP bar, while women were 16.2% of the IP bar.

LAIPLA also formed the Diversity Fellowship to give law students practical skills and experience working as in-house counsel. As the legal profession has changed, more employers have sought law school graduates with hands-on, real-world skills. In turn, law students are seeking experiences that help them better understand the needs of corporate clients.

“As the premier IP law association in Southern California, LAIPLA takes every opportunity it has to better the IP bar for judges, practitioners, litigants, and law students. The Diversity Fellowship does just that by promoting diversity and equipping law students with the practical skills needed to succeed as an attorney.” said Darren Franklin, president of LAIPLA. The LAIPLA Diversity Fellowship provides a $5,000 stipend for a law student to work for 10 weeks in an in-house legal department. It is open to first or second year law students at an ABA or California accredited law school, who have an interest in practicing IP law in Los Angeles and are from a diverse background, which is defined broadly.
Mr. Latimer was selected after a comprehensive application process that involved representatives from LAIPLA, Honda Patents & Technologies North America, and Akin Gump. Born and raised in Helsinki, Finland, to a Finnish mother and an African-American father, Mr. Latimer immigrated to the United States when he was twelve years old. Despite struggling to learn English and acclimate to a new culture, Mr. Latimer graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a degree in civil engineering and after having played on the men’s varsity basketball team for four years. Mr. Latimer expressed that he is interested in helping “the world’s brightest minds” “protect and advance their ideas.”
“I feel blessed to have an opportunity to work for such an innovative and creative company as Honda and to become a part of such a welcoming community as the Los Angeles Intellectual Property Law Association,” said Mr. Latimer.