The Palm Beach County Bar Association’s Diversity Internship Program was formed in 2010 to provide students of diverse backgrounds an opportunity to gain valuable work experience in legal work environments. Prior to 2011 the program had previously been run as the Minority Law Clerk Program, and was focused solely upon providing inroads into the legal work experience to students from historically disadvantaged minority groups. The program was expanded in 2010 to open the opportunity to a broader range of diverse groups that have experienced obstacles to securing legal employment. In providing such opportunities, the Palm Beach County Bar Association intends that the law students will gain valuable work experience, have opportunities at future employment, and decide to stay and live in Palm Beach County, with the end result to create a diverse bar that reflects the diversity of the Palm Beach County community as a whole.
Law firms of many different practice areas and those classified as large, medium and small have participated in the program. The program has also included opportunities for governmental and public interest employment. The program has also resulted in some of the law clerks being offered opportunities for future, permanent employment. However, future, permanent positions are not promised.
Each of the Florida law schools is invited to participate in this year’s Diversity Internship Program. Students that are interested should contact their career counselors and/or voluntary law school organizations for applications and other details on participating in the program.
The application packets are currently being disseminated to the Florida law schools for the 2016 Diversity Internship Program. The application can also be downloaded using the link below. Law firms that want to support the Diversity Internship Program, but are unable to offer an internship position at their own firm, may still support the program through other means. This includes sponsoring a student’s expenses such as travel or boarding. Law students or law firms that are interested in participating in the program should call or email Jean Marie Middleton – Phone (561) 432-6368 or email.
Almost 100 Law Students attended the first Diversity Session in conjunction with the 2011 Bench Bar Conference