Legal Employers Advancing Diversity of Washington

Fellowship Program 2016

LEAD-WA Calendar

December 1, 2015

Information meeting for interested first-year students at UW School of Law, 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. (RSVP via Symplicity)

January 20, 2016

Application deadline. Students to submit application materials via Symplicity by noon.

February 10, 2016

Students who have been selected for interviews will be notified by this date

February 20, 2016

Interviews will be conducted, with every employer interviewing each candidate

March 4, 2016

Anticipated deadline for employers to notify students of selection to be a Fellow in the summer of 2016

Introduction and Overview

Legal Employers Advancing Diversity in Washington (“LEAD-WA”) is a Washington non-profit organization created to increase the number of lawyers from diverse backgrounds practicing in the Washington legal community. LEAD-WA, through its participating law firms and companies, provides summer associate opportunities to diverse first-year law students from Washington’s three law schools: Gonzaga University, Seattle University and the University of Washington Schools of Law.

LEAD-WA was established by the Puget Sound Area Minority Fellowship Program (“PSAMFP”) Board, to continue to provide opportunities for traditionally underrepresented law students to work in a variety of law firm and corporate law environments and otherwise foster diversity in the profession.

Students who are chosen to participate as Fellows in this highly competitive program will be selected as summer associates with one of LEAD-WA’s participating employers.

Employers participating in the 2015 PSAMFP are:

Carney Badley Spellman, P.S.
Gordon Thomas Honeywell LLP
Oles Morrison Rinker Baker LLP

T-Mobile USA, Inc.
Patterson Buchanan Fobes & Leitch, Inc.
Karr Tuttle

Note: We anticipate that several more Employers will join prior to or during the application period.

Application Process

Students will submit a single Application Packet (described below). The Application Packet will be provided to all Participating Employers (“Employers”) for consideration. Employers will select semi-finalists for interviews based on the materials submitted for consideration. Following the interview process, references will be checked. Employers will select students based upon each Employer’s criteria.

If selected for a Fellowship, applicants will receive one, and only one, offer. Applicants will have 48 hours in which to decide whether to accept an offer; however, if an applicant declines his or her only offer, he or she will not receive any other offers through the LEAD-WA Fellowship Program. Applicants may indicate a preference for Employers in Eastern or Western Washington, but should be willing to work for any of the participating Employers.

Materials to be submitted are:

  1. A personal statement, one to two pages in length, which will serve as a cover letter. Please be sure your name and contact information appear at the top of the letter. The personal statement should provide the Employers with information you wish the Employers to know about you and your personal background, aspirations, etc. It should be addressed to:

    Legal Employers Advancing Diversity in Washington Fellowship Program
    c/o Teresa Daggatt
    Gordon Thomas Honeywell
    1201 Pacific Ave, #2100
    Tacoma, WA 98402
  2. A resume;
  3. A list of three references;
  4. A writing sample, three to five pages in length. This is typically a legal writing assignment, which has not been significantly edited by others and reflects your writing abilities in the context of legal analysis; and
  5. An official or unofficial undergraduate transcript, and an official or unofficial law school transcript to the extent such law school transcript is available.

Selection Process

All Employers will review the Application Packet to select students for interviews. The selected students will be invited by the Employers to participate in interviews. Students will interview with all participating Employers. If selected for an interview, students must confirm they will attend. While we understand students may be looking at multiple opportunities, if a student is not committed to accepting a Fellow position, or if a student receives an offer of employment for the summer, we ask that students withdraw their application prior accepting an interview in order for the Employers to focus on committed candidates. Following the interviews and after completing reference checks, Employers will select candidates to whom a Fellowship (summer associate position) for the summer will be offered. Students will have 48 hours in which to decide if they want to accept the position.

Employers are responsible for integrating the students into their respective summer programs. Some Employers conduct a background check or check additional references. Employers consider a number of factors in the selection process, including undergraduate academic credentials, law school academic credentials if available, undergraduate experiences and activities, law school experiences and activities, employment and other life experiences, demonstrated writing ability, and skills and attributes demonstrated during interviews.

Summer Fellowship Experience

The following guidelines apply for students selected to participate in LEAD-WA:

Salary. The Fellow’s salary should be equal to the salaries of other summer associates working at the participating employer. Positions are expected to pay a weekly rate of not less than $1,000. Students are required to be available to work for a minimum of 10 weeks during the summer program. The Employer with whom they are matched will provide direction on a start date.

Training Opportunities. Student integration into the participating employer’s summer associate program is key to student success. Student experience should be identical to that of any other summer associate, including opportunities in the social, educational and professional aspects of the firm or company.

Evaluation Process. Ongoing and timely evaluation of student work product contributes to student success. Periodic evaluations during the course of the summer and a more formal end-of-summer review and interview are recommended.

Employment Opportunities

LEAD-WA allows Employers to extend an offer to the Fellow for an opportunity to return as a second-year associate or as a full time employee following graduation. However, we want both students and Employers to consider the following.

One of the purposes of LEAD is to provide minority students with an opportunity to gain legal experience and learn about the practice of law in a variety of settings. As such, some Employers do not invite their Fellows to return and/or do not extend offers of full time employment following graduation. Fellows, therefore, should not automatically expect such an invitation and should wait for the Employer to initiate such a conversation.

In the event an Employer decides to invite their Fellow to return for part-time employment during the academic year, as an associate the following summer, or extends an offer of employment, that Employer will determine when the offer is made. Offers will not be made in conjunction with this program, and LEAD-WA guidelines do not apply to such employment opportunities.

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