Lawyers from O’Melveny & Myers Establish Diversity Scholarship for First-Year Students at UCI Law



IRVINE, Calif. (Aug. 16, 2022) — The University of California, Irvine School of Law (UCI Law) is pleased to announce that a group of lawyers from O’Melveny & Myers has generously established the O’Melveny & Myers Diversity Scholarship at UCI Law beginning fall 2022 for first-year law students.

This joint gift from O’Melveny lawyers, and Gary and Melanie Singer, provides additional support strengthening UCI Law’s dedication to recruiting diverse students from all backgrounds to Orange County, and to further the Law School’s mission of training the future leaders of the legal profession. The combined gift of $100,000 – which will be matched by UCI to double its impact – provides critical support to students from low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented communities. Financial support of this kind can make the crucial difference in talented students being able to attend law school and reach their professional goals.

UCI Law has consistently been recognized as one of the best law schools in the nation for its commitment to diversity, providing opportunities for gifted students from underrepresented backgrounds to bring a wide range of talents, perspectives, and ideas to Orange County. The school’s dedication to equity, diversity and inclusion is also seen in the research and scholarship performed by the school’s lauded faculty, in the work performed in its legal clinics and pro bono projects, and in the commitments of the school’s award-winning centers, initiatives, and programs.

“Serving and improving the communities in which we practice is a central tenet of our firm, and we believe that broader access to legal education is essential—especially for diverse and underrepresented students,” said O’Melveny Newport Beach partner Brett Williamson. “We are proud to support UCI Law’s efforts to develop the next generation of brilliant, talented, and diverse lawyers. We hope that the O’Melveny & Myers Diversity Scholarship will help these impressive students achieve their goals and reach their highest potential.”

“O’Melveny has long been a leader in opening pathways for talented students, who without financial support might otherwise not be able to join the legal profession,” said Dean Austen Parrish. “The firm understands that pipeline building is essential to increasing diversity of all kinds. We are particularly grateful to partners Gary Singer and Brett Williamson – community leaders who have been unwavering partners with UCI Law since our founding and who had the vision for this scholarship. We’re also grateful for the leadership of Orange County Managing Partner Amy Laurendeau and the more than 25 attorneys who contributed to this important scholarship initiative.”

As a founding donor to the school, O’Melveny’s long history of involvement with UCI Law has included generous gifts from the firm and its partners to benefit student aid, the UCI Law Public Interest Fund, the school’s legal profession pipeline programs — including the Pre-Law Outreach Program and the Saturday Academy of Law — and the former UCI Law Intellectual Property Consortium. O’Melveny attorneys have been involved with experiential education at UCI Law, including the school’s pro bono program and collaboration with the UCI Law Civil Rights Litigation Clinic.  

Gary Singer (UCI ‘74) was one of the founding supporters of UCI Law and continues to be actively engaged in the Law School, including as a member of the Board of Visitors, frequent lecturer, and serves UCI as a Trustee and Chair-Elect of the UCI Foundation. He currently serves as Of Counsel with O’Melveny, where he was a partner — serving as Chair of the Transactions Department and Managing Partner of the Newport Beach Office — until his retirement in 2013. He also served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel of RSI Equity Partners LLC, a private equity firm, from 2014 through March 2021.

“Orange County is an innovative and booming legal market, with many of the nation’s best regional and national firms working in the technology, health sciences, real estate, and other industries that keep business humming in and around Irvine,” said Parrish. “As one of California’s and the nation’s hottest markets, thousands of lawyers call Orange County home. In this environment, UCI Law’s ability to attract the very best and brightest students from all over the country, perfectly aligns with the interest of businesses and largest firms in the area who depend on a local and gifted talent pool to thrive. A significant need exists for us to develop greater funding to recruit and enroll students from low-income, first-generation, and other underrepresented groups. We’re looking forward to partnering with others, following the lead of O’Melveny and others, to help diversify the legal profession while attracting the very best future lawyers to Orange County.”

About the University of California, Irvine School of Law 

The University of California, Irvine School of Law is a visionary law school that provides an innovative and comprehensive curriculum, prioritizes public service, and demonstrates a commitment to diversity within the legal profession. UCI Law students have completed more than 135,000 hours of pro bono work since 2009. Forty-eight percent of UCI Law’s J.D. graduates are people of color. At UCI Law, we are driven to improve our local, national, and global communities by grappling with critical issues as scholars, as practitioners and as teachers who are preparing the next generation of leaders. The collaborative and interdisciplinary community at UCI Law includes extraordinary students, world-renowned faculty, dedicated staff, engaged alumni and enthusiastic supporters. More information on UCI Law is available here. Please follow us on Twitter @UCILaw and Facebook @UCIrvineLaw and Instagram @ucilaw.

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Stephanie Wilner
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About O’Melveny
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Brandon Scott Jacobsen
Senior Manager of Public Relations