At Locke Lord, we are all too aware that the number of diverse students entering and remaining in the legal profession is insufficient to appropriately advance the profession. To that end, lawyers across the country are involved in a number of pipeline initiatives designed to support diverse students interested in pursuing a legal career.
Locke Lord previously partnered with the Vanguard Leadership Group, an Atlanta-based leadership development academy and honor society for top students at historically black colleges and universities, to host 12 students in our Washington, D.C., office for an afternoon of dialogue and discussion. Our Chicago office regularly hosts students as part of the Middle School Law Camp sponsored by Just the Beginning Foundation (JTBF), a nonprofit organization that aims to increase diversity in the legal profession. In 2012, we received the Diversity Partnership Award from the JTBF for our pro bono work with this organization.
The Firm’s Boston office has been a longtime supporter of the Boston Bar Association’s Summer Jobs Program, which provides paid internships to high school students representing every neighborhood in Boston. Interns rotate throughout different administrative departments and gain exposure to various aspects of the legal profession, all while honing valuable professional skills.
In the community, Locke Lord’s Dallas office has sponsored Medrano Elementary School, a diverse and multicultural community school, for over 10 years. Every Thursday at lunchtime, Firm lawyers meet with students at the school to tutor them in a variety of subjects. In addition, our Houston office sponsors the first grade classes at Hilliard Elementary School and hosts an annual holiday party in our downtown offices. Our Austin office has partnered with Sanchez Elementary School since 2004 and hosts a similar holiday event for the students.
Additional organizations with which we work to diversify the pipeline include the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois, its sister organization, the Hispanic Lawyers Scholarship Fund, and the Houston Bar Association’s Subcommittee on Minority Opportunities Program. We also participate in local high school pipeline initiatives through which we employ diverse students in our Chicago and Houston offices for the entire academic year. Our Dallas office participates in the Summer Law Intern Program (SLIP) through the Dallas Bar Association. A number of the Firm’s offices participate in Cristo Rey Jesuit High School’s Corporate Internship Program, which aims to make private education affordable to at-risk youth, provide them with work experience and prepare them for leadership roles in the community.