Gunderson Dettmer Announces the 2021 1L Diversity Fellowship Cohort

May 24, 2021Firm News

Gunderson Dettmer is pleased to announce its inaugural 2021 1L Diversity Fellowship recipients: Adriana Alvarado, Emily Gaudiani, Natalie George, Wolfgang Jorde, Jimmy Sanders and Shane Visram.

1L Diversity Fellows receive a scholarship, as well as a paid 1L Summer Associate position at Gunderson Dettmer’s offices in either the Bay Area, Boston or New York. The program, launched in 2020, intends to expand access to emerging companies and venture capital to law students who self-identify as diverse. 

“Developing a program for talented young attorneys with diverse backgrounds has been top of mind for several years. We firmly believe that to achieve a diverse cohort of attorneys, we need to be intentional about developing a strong pipeline using a variety of initiatives. The 1L Diversity Fellowship is one such initiative and it gives us a chance to share our firm with these promising law students early in their career,” said corporate partner Brian C. Patterson.

The 1L Diversity Fellowship is application and interview-based, including both partner and associate interviewers from local offices and members of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee. Selection criteria focused on prospective candidate’s demonstrated interest in emerging companies and venture capital; their commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion; the quality of their personal statement; and their personal, professional, leadership, community and/or academic achievements.

“We are thrilled at the response to our initial 1L Diversity Fellowship. While there was some concern that the pandemic would impact our ability to conduct outreach during our first year, we received over 200 applications from 1L law students at more than 35 law schools.  We were so impressed with the students with whom we met, we doubled the amount of Fellowships awarded,” said Chief Talent Officer, Jane Rhee. 

“Gunderson Dettmer is committed to furthering diversity at the firm, in the legal industry and in the tech world. We are quite proud of the work we do to support underrepresented founders and VC clients, but also to expand access and create connections for them with others in the industry. This program was the natural next step in these efforts and is designed to accelerate and enrich the legal careers of our inaugural 1L Diversity Fellow cohort,” said Gunderson Dettmer’s Managing Partner, David Young.

As part of an active summer curriculum, Gunderson Dettmer’s 1L Diversity Fellows will participate in various trainings, including mock transactional exercises, and work with attorneys in the firm’s Corporate, Fund Formation and Licensing, Strategic Partnering and Commercial Transaction practices. As Summer Associates, they will attend various firm networking and social events designed for the students to get to know their colleagues on a personal level, with the hope of forging long-term professional connections. Each Fellow will also be actively mentored by a firm attorney for the duration of the program and will spend one week with a Gunderson Dettmer client.

Bay Area

Adriana Alvarado attends the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley (B.S., 2020). At Berkeley Law, she writes for the Berkeley Business Law Journal, participates in mock negotiation competitions and mentors undergraduates.

Jimmy Sanders also attends the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. He is a graduate of California State University, Chico (B.A., 2020). Sanders is a member of the “Startup Law Initiative” at Berkeley Law – a pro bono program providing free business incorporations to local founders.


Shane Visram attends Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law. He is a graduate of Tufts University (B.A., 2018). After graduating, he worked as a life sciences and biotechnology consultant in Boston, where he had the opportunity to advise several pharmaceutical and med-tech companies. At Northwestern Law, Visram is involved the Entrepreneurship Law Society, the South Asian Law Students Association, the Muslim Law Students Association and the Sports Law Society.

New York

Emily Gaudiani is working on a dual J.D./MBA degree at the University of Michigan Law School and the University of Michigan – Stephen M. Ross School of Business. She is a graduate of Harvard University (B.A., 2017). During college, Gaudiani spent a summer at a future tech “unicorn,” and after graduating, she spent three years as an analyst at a major beverage and snack foods company. Gaudiani is on the boards of the Business Law Association and Res Sista Loquitur, the women of color coalition.

Natalie George attends the University of Michigan School of Law. She is a graduate of Stony Brook University (B.S., 2017). After graduating from Stony Brook, George spent four years in finance working on trading platforms. At Michigan Law, she is an active member of the Business Law Association and a protest monitor for the National Lawyers Guild and the ACLU.

Wolfgang Jorde is working on a dual J.D./MBA degree at the New York University School of Law and the New York University Stern School of Business as part of the university’s Jacobson Leadership Program. He is a graduate of Wesleyan University (B.S., 2016). After graduating, Jorde worked in and around the restaurant industry, including at the James Beard Foundation, where he currently serves on its “Young Professionals Committee.”

About Gunderson Dettmer

Gunderson Dettmer has more than 350 lawyers singularly focused on the global venture capital/growth equity and emerging companies ecosystem, across ten offices in key venture markets throughout the world, including Silicon Valley, Ann Arbor, Austin, Beijing, Boston, Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, San Francisco and Singapore. The firm represents more than 2,500 venture-backed companies and over 450 of the world’s top venture capital and growth equity firms, with thousands of their underlying funds. The firm routinely negotiates about one-third of every venture capital dollar raised worldwide and is the recognized global leader in the representation of venture capital and growth equity funds in their investment activities, negotiating more than 1,000 venture and growth financings every year. For venture-backed companies, the firm provides guidance at every stage in their lifecycle, from launch through IPO and a public companies, becoming extensions of their management teams as they progress through each stage of growth.