Chiesi USA Partners with Smith Anderson to Host 1L Excellence in Diversity Fellow this Summer

Duke University School of Law student Cecilia Poston will work alongside Chiesi’s legal team to support her early career development and advance diversity, equity and inclusion in the profession

CARY, N.C., June 12, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Chiesi USA, Inc. (key-A-zee), a Cary-based specialty pharmaceutical company, in partnership with Smith Anderson, a Triangle-based full-service business and litigation law firm, will host Cecilia Poston, the firm’s 2023 1L Excellence in Diversity Fellow for three weeks this month. While at Chiesi, Cecilia will work alongside the in-house legal team to support the company’s legal needs.

The 1L Excellence in Diversity Fellowship provides first-year law students the opportunity to work in a corporate law department and a traditional law firm as a summer associate. The fellowship specifically seeks students from diverse backgrounds to experience different areas of law and contribute their unique perspectives to the profession. The partnership is part of Chiesi USA’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) initiatives in accordance with the Chiesi Group D&I Policy and furthers Chiesi’s commitment to meeting high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability as a Certified B Corporation.™

“With so many avenues to pursue in the legal field, it is important to provide the chance for students to explore these options and determine what career path excites them most,” said Scot Pittman, Managing Counsel, Legal Affairs at Chiesi USA, Inc. “This fellowship allows our team to connect on a deeper level with someone at the start of their journey to introduce them to our work and support their early career development. It’s also tremendously enriching for us, as it broadens our own perspectives and knowledge so we can continuously improve our profession.”

This is the second year that Smith Anderson has awarded this fellowship, which includes a scholarship of up to $20,000 and a nine-week hybrid summer experience. Though Chiesi has hosted fellows in prior years, this is the first year partnering with Smith Anderson. Fellows participating in the program hold the following qualifications:

  • First-year students who are enrolled full-time at ABA-accredited law schools
  • Demonstrate a commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion through their activities, background, and life experiences
  • Members of groups that have been historically underrepresented in the legal profession, including first-generation college students and those from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds
  • Interested in practicing law in the Research Triangle region (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill)

Cecilia’s credentials and dedication to DE&I make her a strong fit for the fellowship. As detailed in the announcement by Smith Anderson, Cecilia’s experience includes:

  • Participation in OutLaw, an affinity group for LGBTQ+ students and their allies that works to advance the professional careers of members, build a community within and outside the law school, increase LGBTQ+ representation at the law school and promote the study of legal issues affecting LGBTQ+ communities.
  • Support of The Clemency Project, a Duke University School of Law program where students prepare clemency petitions on behalf of people incarcerated in North Carolina who have demonstrated rehabilitation that warrants a sentence commutation.
  • Membership in Duke Law’s Innocence Project, where she reviews cases of people who may have been wrongly convicted to help determine whether the cases should be handled by Duke’s Wrongful Convictions Clinic.

“We are thrilled for our legal team to host Cecilia this month as we continue to partner with local organizations who share our values and commitment to DE&I,” said Jon Zwinski, CEO and General Manager of Chiesi USA. “We know the benefit this brings to both the participants and our legal team, with the goal of sharing expertise and cultivating a stronger profession for the future. We are grateful to Smith Anderson for partnering with us to make a positive impact in our community and industry.”

About Chiesi USA
Chiesi USA, Inc., headquartered in Cary, North Carolina, is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on commercialization of products for the hospital and target office-based specialties. The Company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of family-owned Chiesi Farmaceutici S.p.A, a global R&D-focused pharmaceutical company based in Parma, Italy. In the United States, the Company delivers therapies and enhances care for patients in the areas of acute cardiology, neonatology, cystic fibrosis and rare diseases. Recognized as a Certified B Corporation™, Chiesi is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of its communities through its employee-led corporate social responsibility program, Chiesi in the Community. Innovation, collaboration and impact are the cornerstones of the Chiesi culture. For more information, visit

About Chiesi Group
Chiesi is an international, research-focused biopharmaceuticals group that develops and markets innovative therapeutic solutions in respiratory health, rare diseases, and specialty care. The company’s mission is to improve people’s quality of life and act responsibly towards both the community and the environment. By changing its legal status to a Benefit Corporation in Italy, the US, and France, Chiesi’s commitment to create shared value for society as a whole is legally binding and central to company-wide decision-making. As a certified B Corp since 2019, we’re part of a global community of businesses that meet high standards of social and environmental impact. The company aims to reach Net-Zero greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions by 2035. With over 85 years of experience, Chiesi is headquartered in Parma (Italy), operates in 31 countries, and counts more than 6,000 employees. The Group’s research and development centre in Parma works alongside 6 other important R&D hubs in France, the US, Canada, China, the UK, and Sweden.

For further information, please visit

About Smith Anderson
Smith Anderson is a full-service business and litigation law firm serving regional, national and global companies. More than one-third of the firm’s attorneys have joined Smith Anderson from national and international firms, providing clients with a highly experienced and deep bench of support at favorable local market rates. It’s their client-focused culture and forward-thinking insights that have shaped Smith Anderson for more than a century as it helps guide clients toward success.

Media: FleishmanHillard, Elizabeth Comtois, (973) 600-1170,
Chiesi USA: Neha Suryavanshi, +1 (919) 678 6611 x1533,

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