SWLAW Blog | Diversity

Image - 1L Diversity Positions

December 20, 2018

Applying for 1L Diversity Positions

This is a magical time of year! Trees change, people decorate for the holidays and buy gifts for family and friends, …and employers launch their diversity positions and scholarships!

This means before you have grades, sometimes before your finals are even over, you can be applying for paid summer positions at prestigious firms. You can be paid in the form of a traditional paycheck, a stipend, a scholarship, or any combination thereof.

Sounds great, right?! 


 But you have to apply!

Please keep in mind that while these diversity positions and scholarships are predominantly aimed at 1Ls, there are some that are available to upper-division students. 

Applications opened for 1L Diversity positions earlier this month on December 1, 2018. Some are posted on Symplicity or individual firm websites, but the majority of the positions can be found here.

As part of the application, employers often require a diversity statement. This causes great stress to many law students, but we will try to simplify the process.

  1. This is not a cover letter, and it is not your admissions personal statement. This is a narrative essay telling a story to connect your personal and professional experience. Have you overcome an obstacle in getting to law school? This is the time to talk about it! But keep in mind, this is not about your parents or grandparents and their struggles; this is about you. Being the child of immigrants has its own challenges; don’t focus too much on anyone else’s challenges. Here are some additional diversity statement tips and examples from George Washington Law School.
  2. What is Diversity? Employers define diversity differently. Some say that it is race/ethnicity/sexual orientation. Some say that veteran status, religion, and disability make you diverse as well. Many don’t consider gender a diversity category, but some big law firms with few female partners still do. Research what the firm is looking for and apply to the ones that you fit.
  3. So, what do you write about? Don’t incorrectly assume that you aren’t diverse enough or unique enough. The statement doesn’t have to be about an insurmountable obstacle, it just has to tell the story of you. The most successful applicants tend to write about a demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion in the legal field and their own personal experience. Be authentic. It will show in your writing. Know your audience. And seek assistance from CSO & the Writing Center. You should get all your materials reviewed by CSO before you submit!

Need more guidance?  The CSO offers one-on-one career counseling. To schedule an appointment, call or come to the office and speak with the CSO front desk representative.