On June 4, 2019, the New York City Bar Association's Committee on Recruitment and Retention of Lawyers recognized Venable as its 2019 Diversity Fellowship Program Partner of the Year during its Annual Diversity Fellowship Program luncheon held in New York, NY. Michael Phillipou, who has led Venable's efforts to support the work of the committee, accepted the honor on the firm's behalf. The reception was also attended by Suzanne St. Pierre, chair of the New York Real Estate Practice Group, and Karol Thwaites, Michael's legal administrative assistant, both of whom have assisted with Venable's efforts in connection with the program.
Over the past three years the firm has been the host partner for the committee's main event, Interview Night, at which all fellowship applicants are interviewed by representatives of participating employers, committee members, and law schools. This year, on May 21, Michael also hosted part of the committee's formal orientation for this year's selected fellows. The event was held in Venable's New York office and consisted of a panel discussion on the topic of "Seasoned Advice and Practical Tips for a Successful 1L Summer." Michael was joined on the panel by three other practicing attorneys at other firms and companies, some of whom are alumni of the fellowship program. The event was followed by a reception for fellows, their mentors, and alumni of the program. Other members of the Venable team have also been essential to coordinating the logistics for these events.
The Diversity Fellowship Program provides first-year law students from underrepresented populations with the chance to spend a summer working in some of New York's leading law firms and corporate/government law departments.