As women attorneys of color, we’ve all heard the grim reports surrounding the state of diversity in the legal profession. These include unequal compensation and the lack of diversity in the profession as a whole.

We also know that simply talking about this problem ad nauseum won’t provide any solutions. It is up to all attorneys, partners, law schools and law firms to be the change that we would like to see.

That’s why it’s important to share information about organizations that have stepped up to the challenge to further diversity, equity and inclusion in the legal profession. Here are five organizations that are taking the lead to expand the pipeline of 21st century attorneys of color.

1. Epstein Becker Green LLP

Program: 1L Pipeline Program

Mission: To identify a pipeline of first-year law school students with diverse backgrounds. Students will gain real life experience while contributing to the firm’s core practice areas.

Benefits of the program: Participants in the Epstein Becker Green LLP 1L Pipeline program can earn placement as a 2L in the firm’s Summer Associate Program and a $10,000 bonus.

2. Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe

Program: Diverse Pipeline Pilot Program (Partnership with Legal Innovators)

Mission: To employ and help train new attorneys out of law school and increase the number of practice-ready diverse attorneys. Partner with more than 25 law schools including Howard University, George Washington University and The University of Connecticut to increase the pipeline of diverse applicants.

Benefits of the program: Participants are selected as fellows to work at one of the Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe offices. After completing the first year of the program, participants may be offered placement as an attorney.

3. Corporate Counsel Women of Color (CCWC)

Program: Corporate Counsel Women of Color Bar Prep Assistance

Mission: To help diverse students prepare for the July 2022 Bar Exam. This program is designed to benefit third-year law students. CCWC will select 5 diverse students to participate in the program.

Benefits of the program: Students will receive a Kaplan Bar Exam preparation course.

4. Steptoe & Johnson LLP

Program: Steptoe Pre-Law Fellowship

Mission: To expand the pipeline of diverse attorneys. This two-year fellowship program is open to new college graduates who are interested in pursuing a career in law.

Benefits of the program: Fellows will work at Steptoe to learn about law firm life, law firm operations and the practice of law. First-year fellows will work in operational departments or the talent department. Second-year fellows will work in a practice group and shepherd first-year fellows.

5. Barclay Damon

Program: Diversity 1L Summer Associate Program

Mission: To provide a paid opportunity for underrepresented groups to gain professional experiences as first-year law students.

Benefits of the program: This internship gives law students the opportunity to work in various practice areas at Barclay Damon.

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