What is a 1L Scholars Partnership?

LCLD was founded on the belief that change in the legal profession won’t happen without collaboration between law firms and corporations. Through 1L Scholars Partnerships, law firms and corporate legal departments work together to create summer internships in which both organizations provide insights and experience to diverse, first-year law students.

Read more about how partnering has benefitted two LCLD Member organizations and their Scholars here


Benefits of Participation

“Shared internships give law students real-world experience as both corporate attorneys and outside counsel. These unique arrangements not only bring these future lawyers’ perspectives into Microsoft and our firms, but are invaluable to students as they contemplate their legal careers.” — Brad Smith, President, Microsoft Corp. 


For LCLD Member Organizations: 

  • Builds your organization’s pipeline of diverse legal talent.
  • Demonstrates your commitment to diversity to clients or outside counsel.
  • Makes your summer program more attractive to students.
  • Strengthens your relationship with clients or outside counsel.
  • Fits your organization, enabling you to choose your partner and design a model that works for you. 

For 1L Scholars: 

  • Exposes Scholars to client business early in their careers.
  • Prepares Scholars for the culture of both law firms and corporate legal departments.   
  • Gives diverse law students an edge with a unique summer experience. 

Partnership Models 

1L Scholars Partnerships are meant to be flexible, so there’s no specific model to follow. Design the partnership that works best for you and your organization. 

Split Summers 

In a typical secondment-style experience, summer associates split their time between a law firm and a corporate legal department. Many LCLD Member organizations have used variations on this model, including equal time at both organizations, 10 weeks at a law firm and two weeks at a corporation, and seven weeks at a corporation and three weeks at a firm. 

Creative Opportunities 

The best partnerships are those that effectively use the resources of each organization to provide a unique and meaningful experience to summer associates. Consider one of the following “outside-the-box” options, or build one of your own. 

  • Invite Scholars to corporate headquarters for a special event focused on the company’s business, diversity, or other topics. The event can be a full day, half a day, or regularly occurring. Read more about the Diversity Summer Associate Experience that Altria hosted for Hunton & Williams Scholars here
  • Assign in-house mentors to Scholars spending their summer at a partnering law firm. LCLD Pathfinders make great mentors! 
  • Design networking opportunities that allow Scholars to meet clients or outside counsel.  
  • Empower your Fellows to plan a networking event for Fellows, Pathfinders, and Scholars in your community. Go one step further and ask Fellows and/or Pathfinders to plan a substantive event around the annual LCLD CLE. For assistance setting up an event, contact Strategic Initiatives Manager Erin Hess.  

Curious about how a partnership worked in the past? Contact Nancy Richardson for details. 


Forming a Partnership 


Complete the following tasks (in no particular order) ahead of the 1L Scholars Summit. 

  • Register your organization for the 1L Scholars Program and indicate your interest in a partnership. Registration closes November 28.
  • Choose a partner organization. Law firms can partner with one or more Member organization(s) or non-Member in-house legal department(s). In-house legal departments can partner with one or more LCLD Member law firm(s).
  • Connect with your partner organization, and determine which partnership model works best for your organizations. 
  • Confirm your partnership with LCLD. You can do this on your registration form, or by emailing Nancy Richardson once the details of the partnership are confirmed.
    1. Provide a partnership contact for each organization. 
    2. Confirm that your partner organization has registered for the 1L Scholars Program. 
    3. Confirm the number of Scholars who will be participating in the partnership. 

Questions? Contact 1L Scholars Program Manager Nancy Richardson at nrichardson@lcldnet.com or 804.399.2985. 

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