Above: The Susman Godfrey Prize ceremony was held by Zoom on Tuesday, May 25.
Travis Gidado, JD/MBA ’22, is among 12 recipients of the inaugural Susman Godfrey Prize, which recognizes law students of color who have demonstrated academic excellence and overall achievement. Gidado, whose academic interests include business, law, and public policy, is a part of the Law School’s Doctoroff Business Leadership Program, a counterterrorism fellow in the Stanford US-Russia Forum, and an engaged member of the Law School community. In the fall, he served as an intern with the US House of Representatives’ Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis.
"Nominating Travis was an obvious choice: he is a brilliant law student with a strong devotion to racial justice and diversity," said Deputy Dean Anthony Casey, the Donald M. Ephraim Professor in Law and Economics and the faculty member who nominated Gidado. "His work ethic, kind heart, and positive attitude make Travis an exceptional student deserving of the prize."
The law firm of Susman Godfrey launched the $2,500 prize this year as part of its “ongoing commitment to enhancing diversity in the legal profession and with the goal of increasing the pipeline of diverse attorneys interested in civil trial litigation.” They also offered each recipient an opportunity to work as a summer clerk in any of their four offices during the summer of 2022.
“It’s an honor to be an inaugural recipient of the Susman Godfrey Prize,” Gidado said. “I was humbled when Professor Casey decided to nominate me for the award, as he has been one of my biggest mentors and advocates since I arrived at the Law School. Last week, I received word that I was selected in the inaugural class, and I am grateful to the entire Susman Godfrey Selection Committee for its kindness and generosity.”
Gidado is the founder of the Law School’s first-person writing program, Bridges. He has also been a member of the Black Law Students Association, a mentor for First-Generation Professionals and UChicago Careers in Law Undergraduate Mentorship Program, a participant in the International Immersion Program, and a member of the Student Admissions Committee.
During his time at the Law School, he also produced a report on pro bono legal services in Greece for Transparency International and completed an independent study chronicling China’s effort to create a digital sovereign currency.
Gidado graduated from Yale University with a BA in Ethics, Politics and Economics before joining Goldman, Sachs & Co., where he was a legal analyst for the firm’s commercial banking arm. Later, he earned an MPhil in Public Policy from King’s College, Cambridge, and a Master of Law in China Studies from the Yenching Academy of Peking University, where he was a Yenching Scholar.
Gidado also has worked for a range of public and private sector institutions, such as the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the White House during the Obama administration, Atlantic Media Company, and Milbank LLP.
“We are thrilled to recognize these law students and shine a light on the incredibly talented diverse young lawyers coming up the ranks,” said Susman Godfrey co-Managing Partner Kalpana Srinivasan. “The practice of civil trial litigation will benefit greatly by having more lawyers of color, and we developed the SG prize with that aim in mind.”