Diversifying the legal profession by cultivating exceptional lawyers

Diversifying the legal profession by cultivating exceptional lawyers

Diversifying the legal profession by cultivating exceptional lawyers

Diversifying the legal profession by cultivating exceptional lawyers

Diversifying the legal profession by cultivating exceptional lawyers

Our Mission

The Pipeline to Practice Foundation is committed to enhancing diversity in the legal profession by supporting and nurturing diverse law students and early-career attorneys at key stages of their academic and professional development. Our purpose is to provide access to programming and coaching that is critical to achieving academic excellence in law school, developing the skills necessary to be successful attorneys, creating pathways to leadership positions, and ultimately, to become role models to the next generation of diverse law students.

Our Team

Pipeline to Practice Foundation’s Board of Directors is comprised of  in-house counsel at Fortune 500 companies and associates working at the world’s leading law firms. These young, diverse attorneys not only achieved academic excellence in law school, but have also enjoyed incredible success in their professional careers. Given their age and experience our Board members are uniquely positioned to appreciate the challenges facing today’s diverse students and how best to help those students become successful lawyers.

Why We Serve

Given that many young, diverse students have never been exposed to lawyers and might not consider a career in the legal profession, society as a whole suffers when these talented individuals choose to pursue other opportunities. In response to this need, a number of pipeline programs have evolved at the high school and undergraduate level to increase awareness of, and build interest in, careers in the legal profession.

While there has been some increase in the diversity of law school populations, a number of academically talented and driven students from underrepresented demographics are frustrated by a lack of familiarity with law schools’ illusive pedagogical approach and common strategies for success.  We are committed to equipping these students with the right advance knowledge to correctly define and achieve their legal ambitions. Because academic success in law school directly correlates to post-graduate employability, diverse students must fully prepare for the challenges they will face in law school; otherwise, the  unintended consequence of early pipeline programs is a system that saddles many students with staggering law school debt and little hope of finding meaningful employment. Strong academic performance in law school is so crucial to having real career options, the legal profession has a moral  obligation to ensure that the lives of the diverse students it attracts are improved by their decision to become lawyers, not worsened.

Enhancing diversity in the legal profession hinges on the success of students in the pipeline. The next generation of diverse students needs not only leaders who will continue to push for greater diversity, but also role models at various stages in their professional careers to call on  for advice and mentorship, and demonstrate that a successful career in law is an achievable goal.

In order to truly move the needle in diversifying the legal profession, we need a long-term commitment to student success which provides tools for academic excellence, opportunities for meaningful employment and a network of diverse role models and mentors.

Lawyer Development

Almost every successful law student and lawyer can trace his or her development to three key stages in their academic and professional careers:

  • First Year of Law School

    1L success largely determines initial post-graduate employment opportunities, academic honors and students’ ability to transfer schools in order to improve/expand their career options.

  • Post Graduate Bar Exam Success

    Law schools graduate lawyers, but they must first pass a bar exam to become practicing attorneys.

  • Skills Development

    A mastery of “practical” and “soft” skills are not only the hallmarks of all successful practitioners, but also differentiate young attorneys, making them more attractive to potential employers.

While proven, quality programming currently exists to help all students at each critical stage of development, it can be cost prohibitive. To insure that the best talent flourishes in our profession, we aim to remove the financial barriers that may preclude our program participants from enjoying a full opportunity to excel and lead.

Additionally, a legal education provides all students and early-stage attorneys with unique opportunities to improve their career options and maximize the return on their law school investments. However, many of these opportunities are time-sensitive with very small windows for appreciating their benefit and deciding whether or not to pursue them. A failure to timely consider/capitalize on these opportunities may permanently foreclose them; therefore, in addition to programming, the most successful attorneys seek out coaches to help them make (or at least identify) choices that can have profoundly positive impacts on their professional careers.

Like programming, coaches readily exist, however, many students or young attorneys are often afraid to ask for help. To advise this cohort, we seek to mobilize industry experts and experienced practitioners into a network of virtual coaches to help our program participants with the timely identification, assessment and pursuit of career enhancement opportunities.

Our Vision

Pipeline to Practice Foundation seeks to diversify the profession by cultivating exceptional legal talent.  We aim to build outstanding lawyers who also happen to be diverse, by offering access to various resources throughout their academic and professional careers, including:

  • COACHING by industry experts, BigLaw hiring/assigning partners and experienced practitioners that helps them make informed, time-sensitive choices to maximize their professional options and develop the necessary “soft skills” that lead to rewarding careers and ensure long-term job satisfaction; and
  • PROGRAMMING that is proven to improve academic performance in law school and that teaches practical skills to make them more attractive employment candidates and, ultimately, highly effective lawyers.

As program participants progress through our program, they must serve as mentors to members of subsequent classes and regularly release academic/employment metrics that help the Foundation evaluate its impact.

P2P-Timeline

Volunteer Opportunities

  • HUMAN CAPITAL – Success is multiplied when tasks are divided. If you have a conscientious member of your organization who is passionate about improving diversity in the legal profession, please use the form below nominate him or her.
  • PROFESSIONAL SERVICES – The Foundation seeks to keep its administrative expenses to a minimum so that every dollar we raise will benefit students/attorneys who apply for support; therefore, we gladly accept support in the form of professional services used to further the Foundation’s mission
  • FINANCIAL PLEDGE – Pipeline to Practice Foundation, Inc. a tax-exempt non-proit corporation organized under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  All contributions are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.
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