Three Students Receive 2023 Susman Godfrey Prize

Three headshots of YLS students
Kevin Baisden ’25, Rachel Baker ’24, and Jonathan Epps ’24 will receive the 2023 Susman Godfrey Prize

Yale Law School students Kevin Baisden ’25, Rachel Baker ’24, and Jonathan Epps ’24 have been chosen for the 2023 Susman Godfrey Prize, the firm announced on May 8. The prize is awarded to students of color who have demonstrated academic excellence and overall achievement.

Baisden, Baker, and Epps are among 12 students from across the country who will receive the prize. Recipients are awarded $3,000 and an opportunity to accept a 2024 summer clerkship in one of Susman Godfrey’s four offices. Accepting the summer clerkship is not a requirement.

“We are thrilled to recognize this group of incredibly talented and inspiring law students,” said Susman Godfrey co-Managing Partner Kalpana Srinivasan. “We hope the SG Prize can continue to expand the pipeline of diverse lawyers interested in trial practice and civil litigation.”

Winners were nominated by a law school professor or administrator and selected based on resumes, transcripts, letters of recommendations, and virtual interviews conducted by Susman Godfrey lawyers, according to the firm.

The prize was launched in 2021 as part of the firm’s ongoing commitment to enhance diversity in the legal profession. The nationwide law firm has more than 140 trial lawyers that handle high-stakes litigation in a broad range of practice areas and industries, for both plaintiffs and defendants. 

Kevin Baisden ’25

Baisden is an active member of Yale Law School’s Federalist Society and is an alum of Yale’s Access to Law School’s inaugural fellowship cohort. He earned his B.A. with a joint major in economics and philosophy from Columbia University, where he was a Beyond the Bars Fellow at the school’s Center for Justice. Baisden also holds several associate degrees from Northern Virginia Community College.

Rachel Baker ’24

Baker serves as an Editor of the Yale Law Journal and the Yale Law & Policy Review, and as a Research and Teaching Assistant at the Law School. She also is an Executive Board Member of Yale’s Black Law Students Association. Baker earned her B.A. from Yale College, from which she graduated magna cum laude in history with distinction in the major and concentration in politics and the law.

Jonathan Epps ’24

Epps has served as a student leader in several capacities at Yale: as a student clinician in the Challenging Mass Incarceration Clinic and the Veterans Legal Services Clinic, as a Research Assistant to several law professors, and as a Teaching Fellow at the undergraduate level. Epps was recently named a winner of YLW+’s Second Annual Critical Race Theory Award. Before starting at Yale Law School, Epps graduated as valedictorian of his class from Morehouse College, where he held a 4.0 GPA. He was awarded a Morehouse Academic Scholarship and earned the Robert Brisbane Award for highest GPA in the Department of Political Science.