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Bar Association of San Francisco Member Benefits: Publications

Farella Braun + Martel Offers Diversity Pipeline Program Details to Legal Community

Development of Diverse Workforce is the Goal


Borrowing from the technology industry, Farella Braun + Martel LLP is “open sourcing” its Diver-
sity Pipeline Internship Program curriculum aimed at diverse or disadvantaged high school students. The details of the program are now available to the legal community and firms seeking to adopt similar initiatives to minimize the significant start-up investment involved in developing and launching an internship program.

“An ‘open source’ phi-losophy has helped many software developers in their quest to innovate and build new programs,” says Managing Partner Steve Lowenthal. “In a similar manner, we are publishing the complete materials to this diversity program in the hopes that others will adopt and innovate based on our efforts. Increasing diversity is a business goal that benefits everyone and so we are happy to contribute to these efforts.”

Winners of the State Bar of California 2010 Diversity Award for a Law Firm and the California Minority Counsel Program’s 2010 Drucilla Stender Ramey Majority-Owned Law Firm Award, Farella’s Diversity Pipeline Internship Program provides diverse or disadvantaged high school students with a unique opportunity to learn about the legal profession. The hands-on multi-week summer internship program provides participants with practical law firm/professional office experience while exposing them to the possibilities of a legal career. The mentoring relationships forged during this internship program continue after the school year begins and runs through the college application process.

The program curriculum is composed of weekly seminars focused on three key areas: the practice of law, the college application process, and interview skills and resume coaching. These seminars are geared toward fostering and developing a student’s interest in the law and providing the information, tools and confidence to pursue a college education and, if desired, a law degree. To date, 100 percent of the firm’s pipeline interns have gone on to college or are completing high school and preparing to enter college.

Highlights of the program include: a mock trial; a college panel in which attorneys, law students, and undergraduate students share their college experiences; and a college night where interns and their parents are given an overview of the requirements for college, financial aid and scholarships.
Farella currently assists several law firms in San Francisco, as well as The Bar Association of San Francisco with their pipeline internship programs. Firms interested in implementing a pipeline internship program modeled after Farella’s can contact Recruiting and Diversity Manager Jennifer Peneyra for the entire program curriculum at 415-954-4749 or

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