Articles

Rochester Legal Diversity Clerkships

In NLLSA on December 15, 2011 by Public Relations Director

The Rochester Legal Diversity Clerkship Program is co-sponsored by the MCBA (through its Diversity
Committee), the Rochester Black Bar Association (RBBA), and the Greater Rochester Association for
Women Attorneys (GRAWA). This program seeks to increase diversity in the legal profession in the
Rochester area by attracting qualified first-year law students from historically under-represented groups
within the legal profession, including racial and ethnic minorities, to work in paid positions with
Rochester area law firms and other legal employers.
The sponsoring bars and participating employers believe that a diverse work force provides better
service to clients and a better work environment for attorneys and staff. These organizations are
committed to recruiting, retaining and promoting attorneys who contribute to the overall diversity of
the legal community in Rochester. The purpose of the Rochester Legal Diversity Clerkship Program is
to provide Rochester-based work experience to law students of diverse backgrounds, with the long-term
goal of increasing the diversity of the legal community.
The clerkship typically lasts eight to ten weeks and the participating organizations pay their standard
1L rate which has ranged from $500 – $1000 or more.
Program Specifics:
1. Application: Eligible first year law students are required to submit a formal application,
current resume, undergraduate and law school transcripts, a personal statement and the
designated writing sample on or before the deadline for submissions.
2. Interview: Based on the application materials submitted, qualified candidates are
invited to Rochester on a Saturday for an interview conducted by members of the
Diversity Committee. Students must secure their own transportation to Rochester for
the interviews.
3. Selection Process: After the interviews, the Diversity Committee ranks students based
on the criteria described above, and then selects the students who will receive offers,
along with alternates
4. Offers: Selected students receive an offer of placement with a particular organization
and are given three days to accept the initial offer* (there is no discussion of monetary
terms at this point). If an offer is declined, the position will be extended to an alternate
until all positions are filled. Offers are based on random assignment, but a preference
for a public interest/sector position (instead of a private firm) will be accommodated to
the extent possible. Students who decline offers will not be given the option of an
alternate placement.

Application available at: http://www.mcba.org/Members/CommitteesSections/diversity/Clerkshipprogram/
* The participating employer may have additional requirements in connection with the offer.

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