Law Firm Gardere Wynne Sewell Announces Winner of Leadership Scholarship



DALLAS (Lawfuel) – Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP is proud to announce that Ausra Laurusaite-Kromelis has been selected as the recipient of the 2008 Donald C. McCleary-Gardere Leadership Scholarship. The scholarship was presented during the Dallas Bar Foundation’s Annual Fellows Luncheon today at the Belo Mansion.

The $7,500 scholarship is presented annually to a second-year student at Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law in the memory of former Co-Managing Partner Donald McCleary. Recipients are selected based on the student’s character, academics, leadership, and involvement with the law school and community.

“We had 14 outstanding applicants for this scholarship and it was not easy making the selection. But looking at her academic records and her involvement in a number of volunteer projects, Ausra was someone who stood out,” says Gardere Managing Partner Steve Good. “Don was a leader with high ideals for himself, the firm and the entire law profession. Ausra shares many of those same beliefs and we are thrilled to be able to award her this scholarship.”

At SMU, Ms. Laurusaite-Kromelis is a member of the Law Review and serves as president of the International Law Society. She also is a student member of the Dallas Bar Association, and maintains a place among the top 10 percent of her class. She is a graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas and attended Vilnius Pedagogical University in Vilnius, Lithuania.

“I am inspired by Mr. McCleary’s story, especially his belief that diversity was also about ideas, not only about race or gender,” says Ms. Laurusaite-Kromelis, who was born in Lithuania. “I am proud to have been selected by the firm as the person that most closely mirrors those attributes.”

Ms. Laurusaite-Kromelis works with the school’s International LLM program and has served as the head of JD student mentors for international students. She has worked on numerous Community Connections Programs, designed by the State Department to help familiarize foreign participants with American society and the free-market economy. She also worked with the European Law Moot Court Competition hosted by the Dedman School of Law in February, and was a volunteer with Dallas’ 2007 Russian Winter Festival.

Mr. McCleary, who passed away in 1996, served as Gardere’s co-managing partner from 1991 through 1995. His leadership was rooted in the belief that a shared vision, fueled by superior legal talent, was the basis for a successful law firm. It was under Mr. McCleary’s leadership that the firm established many of the community outreach programs that have become a hallmark of the firm, including GardereProud and the annual Gardere Martin Luther King Jr. Oratory Competition.

Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP, an AmLaw 200 firm, was founded in 1909 and is one of the Southwest’s largest full-service law firms. With offices in Austin, Dallas, Houston and Mexico City, Gardere provides legal services to private and public companies and individuals in areas of energy, litigation, corporate, tax, environmental, labor and employment, intellectual property and financial services.

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