As Charlotte Becomes a Hub for Innovation, Shumaker Awards New Scholarships to Promote Diversity in Patent Law

CHARLOTTE, NC —Shumaker Law Firm, a leading legal institution in the Charlotte region, is proud to announce the launch of its new scholarship program aimed at promoting diversity in the field of patent law. With Charlotte emerging as a hub for growth in the finance, technology, and manufacturing sectors, the importance of companies protecting their inventions with patents is increasing, and Shumaker recognizes the need for a diverse and inclusive legal profession to meet the demands of this flourishing practice.

The inaugural recipients of the Shumaker Undergraduate Diversity Science Scholarship are Ivey Gray, a student at Clemson University, and Sophie Tanker, a student at UNC Charlotte. Both recipients will receive $5,000 toward their tuition and also start paid internships at Shumaker's Charlotte office, providing them with valuable hands-on experience in the field of patent preparation and prosecution this summer.

"Shumaker is dedicated to promoting diversity within the legal profession, recognizing the immense value that diverse perspectives bring to the practice of law,” said Patrick Horne, Charlotte Partner and Intellectual Property and Technology Regional Service Line Leader. “As Charlotte expands its footprint in the finance, technology, and manufacturing sectors, patent procurement plays a pivotal role in protecting and advancing innovation. It is imperative that our legal teams reflect the diversity of the communities we serve so we can consider the full range of perspectives our clients face and the goals they seek to achieve, allowing us to provide more creative, insightful, and complete guidance and counsel.

The Charlotte region has experienced a significant surge in finance, technology, and manufacturing businesses, with over 3,600 manufacturers, 145,000 manufacturing workers, and 7,500 jobs announced since 2020. Despite this growth, the legal profession, particularly in the patent law sector, continues to face a lack of diversity, with less than six percent of patent attorneys being women or ethnically or racially diverse.

""Lawyers must be a better representation of the people we serve. By proactively seeking underrepresented talent, particularly in the area of patent law, Shumaker is seeking to create a more just and equitable legal system that benefits everyone,” said Shumaker Partner, Management Committee Member, and Diversity & Inclusion Committee Liaison, Sharon Fulop. “The Shumaker Undergraduate Diversity Science Scholarship is a step forward in our commitment to creating a more diverse legal landscape and ensuring equal access to opportunities in patent law."

For future applicants interested in the Shumaker Undergraduate Diversity Science Scholarship, more information can be found on Shumaker’s website.