From left: Christopher Schmidt and Jacob Frost of Boardman & Clark LLP with the firm’s summer law clerk, Candace Hayes. Frost originally clerked with the firm through the Diversity Clerkship Program in 2008 as a law student before being hired after graduation.
Visit the State Bar’s Facebook page for more photos of last year's diversity clerkship program, or click here. See them all on Flickr.
Oct. 21, 2015 – It’s a chance to get to know – and shape – the up-and-coming generation of law students.
Employers – law firms, corporate legal departments, and government agencies – are needed for the 2016 Diversity Clerkship Program.
Participating employers provide a paid, 10-week summer clerkship opportunity for a first-year law student with a diverse background.
The State Bar’s Diversity Clerkship Program is a limited-term, summer employment experience that gives first-year law students with diverse backgrounds the opportunity to build legal practice skills and knowledge.
For more than 20 years, the Diversity Clerkship Program has provided at least 420 law students of diverse background valuable legal experience and offered employers and students a unique opportunity to share experiences and to promote diversity in the legal profession.
An initiative of the State Bar of Wisconsin Diversity and Inclusion Oversight Committee, the program encourages diversity in the legal profession by providing a rich learning experience for participating students and employers.
“The Diversity Clerkship Program brings legal employers and law students together to provide superior client representation through a diverse bar,” said Kathleen Chung, a past program chair. “Eligible law students are assigned to employers who offer mentoring as well as hands-on legal work in settings that from small to large firms, and in-house counsel to government agencies.”
Make an Impact
The program offers employers and students a unique opportunity to share experiences and to promote diversity in the legal profession. Student clerks gain valuable legal experience; employers obtain valuable legal support.
Participating in the program is a great investment for his firm, said Jacob Frost, an associate at Boardman & Clark LLP, in Madison, a 2015 program participant.
As I think back on it, I think being in this program was perhaps the single greatest contributor to where I am today. -- Jacob Frost, Madison.
“I am certainly proud to say that I am in a firm that always participates in this program,” Frost said.
The program provides employers with the chance to meet a lot of talented and diverse candidates.
“It allows us to work with one of them every single summer,” Frost said. “It gives us just a constant means of having access to those diverse and potential future associates and attorneys that our firm could have.”
Join the List – Sign up to be a Diversity Clerkship Employer
2015 Diversity Clerkship Employers:
American Family Mutual Insurance Co. – Corporate
Artisan Partners Limited Partnership
Boardman & Clark, LLP
CUNA Mutual Group
Gonzalez Saggio & Harlan LLP
Institute for Global Ethics
Law Office of Odalo J. Ohiku
Law Offices of Thomas P. Stilp
Madison City Attorney Office
Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co.
Rockwell Automation Inc.
SC Johnson & Son Inc.
Wisconsin Department of Corrections
Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services
Frost participated in the program as a 1L heading into his second year as part of the Diversity Clerkship Program. He returned to the firm as a law clerk the next summer, and was hired in 2010 when he graduated from the U.W. Law School.
“As I think back on it, I think being in this program was perhaps the single greatest contributor to where I am today,” Frost said.
How It Works
Qualified 1L students apply to the program at the beginning of their second semester. Employers participating in the program have a chance to interview the students at locations in Milwaukee and Madison once the students are accepted. To facilitate the assignment process, all employers interview all students.
Employers and law students are matched together after the application and interview process. During the summer weeks, students put into practice, in a “real-world” business setting, their research, writing and other legal skills they gained during their first year of law school.
Employers can enroll through Jan. 22, 2016. Learn more about the program by visiting WisBar.org, or by contacting org jvang wisbar Jerry Vang at (800) 444-9404, ext. 6181.