Dinsmore’s Leanthony Edwards Named to National Black Lawyers 40 Under 40 List
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP intellectual property attorney Leanthony Edwards has added an impressive accolade to his resume this week with his selection to The National Black Lawyers 40 Under 40 list.
“It is truly a blessing to be acknowledged for something like this,” Edwards said. “It’s a nice boost in this particular year. This is huge for me and affirms the things I’m working toward.”
The National Black Lawyers, which also has a running Top 100 list, is a network of “highly successful and influential lawyers with reputations for providing excellent legal representation in their respective practice areas.” The 40 Under 40 award is given by nomination only. The organization then selects winners from the pool of nominees who most closely align with its criteria.
The National Black Lawyers’ mission statement is to “harness the knowledge of legal stalwarts of the African American community, forge a brain trust for diverse thought, and level the legal playing field for all.” According to the American Bar Association’s National Lawyer Population Survey, only five percent of active attorneys identified as Black or African American in 2017. That skewed playing field is one Edwards has experienced first-hand.
“There’s attention on diversity now, which is good, but the numbers truly are that bad,” Edwards said. “I’ve witnessed people who look like me leave the field altogether, and a Black client in the software and tech space told me he’d never met a Black attorney in this space before me.”
Dinsmore has amplified its efforts to reverse this trend. In recent weeks, the firm launched its Minority Pre-Law Program, which will provide mentoring and scholarship funds to students of color at four Kentucky universities. It also announced this week the formation of the Dinsmore and P&G OIP Fellowship, which will give a recent diverse law school graduate the opportunity to hone lawyering skills and gain experience in civil rights litigation and policy-making. Dinsmore’s commitment to The Mansfield Rule, which asks firms to interview at least 30 percent diverse candidates for all open positions, is adding attorneys of color with accomplishments similar to Edwards’ to the firm’s ranks.
“Leanthony is a wonderful attorney and colleague,” said Dinsmore Intellectual Property Department Chair Josh Lorentz. “He’s achieved an inordinate amount of success fairly early in his career, and we expect his future will be bright.”
Edwards counsels his clients at the intersection of entertainment, technology, big data, and new media to help them protect and enforce their trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. He is also on the diversity and inclusion committee of the Intellectual Property Owners Association and is a board member at Flywheel Social Enterprise Hub.