UVA Student Justin Ngo Receives McGuireWoods Scholarship

June 6, 2022

The firm recently announced the recipient of the 2022 McGuireWoods scholarship at the University of Virginia School of Engineering & Applied Science: rising fourth-year student Justin Ngo. He will graduate from UVA in December 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and a minor in engineering business and plans to attend law school.

Ngo visited McGuireWoods’ Richmond office on June 1, 2022, and met with some of the firm’s lawyers, including managing partner J. Tracy Walker IV and partner George Keith Martin.

Ngo’s family immigrated to the United States after the Vietnam War to start a new life. He is passionate about fairness and promoting diversity and believes his upbringing has shaped his independence and resilience.

While pursuing his computer science/engineering degree at UVA, Ngo has taken undergraduate courses in commercial law, media law, election cybersecurity and computer science ethics, which piqued an interest in intellectual property law. Ngo created a website in April 2022 to synthesize personal research on gene editor CRISPR and the legal implications of novel genetic technologies on intellectual disability. For the project, he interviewed genetic engineering and legal scholars and shared recordings on the website. He also designed a social media app to share verified news, petitions and fundraisers, and he is vice president of Alternative Spring Break, for which he organizes more than 300 students to participate in service trips and fundraising.

Over the summer, Ngo has a technology consulting internship at Ernst & Young in McLean, Virginia. In summer 2020, he was a software engineering intern with STEM-Away. Since summer 2021, he has worked as a computer science teaching assistant and law library assistant at UVA.

“I was delighted to meet Justin and to learn more about his interests and about what he is doing in school,” Walker said. “He is an impressive young man. I am confident that he is going to find great success in law school and in all his future endeavors.”

The McGuireWoods scholarship is part of a law school pipeline project the firm launched in 2019. In addition to awarding a scholarship each year to a rising fourth-year student interested in law school, the firm has partnered with the School of Engineering to develop and sponsor the school’s Future Leaders Speaker Series, where students can learn about careers outside of engineering.

Walker, who graduated from UVA with a degree in mechanical engineering, has explained the firm’s focus on engineering students: “Engineering school graduates are particularly well-positioned to do well in law school and to go on to successful careers as lawyers. Engineering schools, like business schools, focus on team-based problem solving, a particularly important skill set for lawyers. It is a demanding curriculum. Students who thrive in that environment have developed strong analytical skills and are poised to do well in law school and beyond.”