Tech Companies and Law Firms Partner To Seek More Diverse Candidates
Talk about a great idea! eBay, Facebook, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, LendingClub, Symantec, Turo and Uber and 12 off their outside law firms have partnered to create a “new 1L (first year law student) program that gives students from underrepresented backgrounds an opportunity to split 10 weeks of their summer between a firm and legal department.” At each phase of my career, whether it was being a tech geek, being a lawyer, or being a special agent for the FBI, diversity (or the lack thereof) was an unspoken reality. Yes, it was very lonely, but the experience helped me develop some strong ideas about how I would go about fixing the issue. More on that very soon.
One of the things that is really important when speaking about diversity and inclusion in any field is the understanding that they are two different things. Diversity means you pay attention to and hire people from diverse backgrounds, inclusion means valuing those individual differences from a cultural perspective and ensuring each employee has the same opportunities and supported in your corporate culture.
The schools that were targeted were non-traditional schools like Howard University Law, Santa Clara Law, Texas Southern University - Thurgood Marshall School of Law (my alma mater btw), University of California, Berkeley - School of Law, UC Davis, UC Hastings, UC Irvine, and University of Miami Law. There were 225 applicants for 14 roles. Let’s just hope more companies and law firms get involved because as you can tell there is a need. This 1L program is a great first step in diversifying the legal departments of both in-house and outside counsel.