The international law firm Akin Gump has launched a new fellowship for Howard University students in honor of American attorney, business executive and civil rights activist Vernon E. Jordan Jr., who was an alumnus of Howard Law School and an Akin Gump partner.
Headquartered in D.C., Akin Gump is considered the largest lobbying firm in the United States by revenue. Its fellowship will offer a paid internship for two third-year Howard law students to work in its public law and policy practice.
“We are honored to have Akin Gump establish this prestigious fellowship in honor of Howard law alumnus Vernon Jordan Jr.,” said Howard University’s School of Law Dean Danielle Holley-Walker. “Mr. Jordan was a giant in the legal field and an inspiration for our law school community. He loved the law school and continues to be a guiding light for our students, faculty and alumni. We are deeply committed to celebrating Mr. Jordan’s legacy of excellence through this fellowship.”
Akin Gump is also donating $1 million to the Howard School of Law’s Vernon E. Jordan Jr. Law Library, which was renamed in honor of Jordan in March 2021 following his death on March 1. Jordan was executive director of the United Negro College Fund and president of the National Urban League before joining Akin Gump in 1981. He served as an adviser to presidents, governments and CEOs.
“Despite Vernon Jordan’s singular influence and his vast individual capabilities, he recognized that the pursuit of one’s personal mission requires external support. Throughout his life, he was a humble recipient of help, especially as he so often worked behind the scenes on important projects, and he was always willing to lend a helping hand. No matter how high he climbed, he would always reach back to pull others forward,” said Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick, president of Howard University. “We could not be more pleased to partner with Akin Gump through the Vernon E. Jordan Fellowship, and we are deeply appreciative of the firm’s generous donation to our law library. Through these actions, Akin Gump is helping preserve Vernon’s legacy of service and commitment to lifting up those around him.”