(Reuters) – Could hiring lawyers before they even enroll in law school be part of the next wave of law firm diversity efforts?
Two Ohio firms are giving it a try, partnering with the University of Dayton School of Law to recruit J.D. students with a promise of tuition and living expenses, mentoring, and a full-time job once they graduate.
Thompson Hine and Taft Stettinius & Hollister are the first two firms to sign on to Dayton’s Flyer Legal Promise Program, which builds on an undergraduate scholarship program for underserved students from local high schools.
The law school and firms this year will select two students from that pool of undergraduates for full-ride scholarships to the J.D. program, paid for by the school. The sponsoring firms will cover two-thirds of an annual $15,000 living stipend, as well as summer jobs at the firms and a full-time job offer after graduation.
Many law firms have summer associate programs for diverse law students and so-called pipeline programs to get underrepresented students interested in law school and help them apply. But Dayton Law Dean Andrew Strauss said he doesn’t know of any other firms offering permanent jobs to would-be law students so early on.
Click here to read more.