On June 13, Hughes Hubbard's New York office hosted the Eighth Annual Opening Reception for the Ronald H. Brown Law School Prep Program at St. John's University School of Law.

The program's mission is to increase the diversity of the legal profession by preparing exceptional college students from disadvantaged and historically underrepresented groups for success in law school and the legal profession. The kickoff reception introduced attorney mentors to students in this year's junior class of the program.

More than 80 friends and supporters of the program attended. Diane Lifton, Ted Mayer and Charles Huberty delivered welcome remarks on behalf of the firm. Summer associate Brittney Cox and summer intern Mercedez Taitt-Harmon, both alumnae of the program, also spoke about its positive impact. Professor Elaine Chiu, the director of the program, and Darryl Gibbs, associate general counsel of AXA Equitable, praised the firm's contributions to the program's continued success.

The event also served as an opportunity to welcome attorneys from Merck who recently volunteered to join the firm in supporting the program. The partnership began when Lifton, Huberty and Mei Li Zhen delivered a presentation to approximately 50 attorneys from Merck's Office of General Counsel on May 23, 2016, including litigation chief James Grasty and Mark Daniel, the chair of Merck's pro bono committee.

Lifton, Huberty, and Zhen lead the firm's efforts. A number of additional Hughes Hubbard attorneys have volunteered to serve as mentors: Jason Benton, Patrice Jean, Bill Maguire, Chris Paparella, Robb Patryk, Marc Weinstein, Jessica Studness, Brett Collings, Erin Diers, Ashley Hodges, Caroline Parker-Beaudrias, Matthew Reynolds, and Andrew Schwenk.