The HCBA 1L Minority Clerkship Program first began in the fall of 2005 under the direction of the Minnesota State Bar Association. The program places first-year racial minority law students with Minnesota legal employers for a summer associate experience. The goal of the program is to bring together qualified racial minority law students and larger legal employers in Minnesota. Ultimately, the program hopes to find its participants becoming future partners and leaders in Minnesota’s larger legal employer community.
For the first summer experience in the summer of 2006, 24 first-year law students worked with 24 legal employers. Since then, the program has experienced great success. The 2014 summer was the program’s ninth year. Hundreds of law students from underrepresented backgrounds have been served by the program since its inception.
Here Is How It Works:
Each 1L law student, who provides a complete application and who self-identifies as a minority under the EEOC definition of minority, will be interviewed by members of the HCBA Diversity Committee and other volunteer attorneys in early January. A limited number of students (based on the number of participating employers) will be chosen for a second round of interviews in early February. Those students chosen for the second round of interviews are guaranteed summer employment. However, they will still need to interview with all the participating employers during a day-long interview process. The employers and students will then rank their choices from first to last. The program chair will then generate a blind match of employer and students, which will determine the employment matches for the clerkship program.
What You’ll Be Doing:
While the clerkship program is organized through the Diversity Committee of the HCBA, it is the individual employers who hire the students. As such, the students are afforded the same level of respect and professionalism as any other person hired by the organization. Each participating employer will hire one or more law students at their organization’s normal salary for first-year summer clerk position and provide the clerk with legal work, mentoring, frequent performance feedback, and exit interviews. In addition, each employer must consider its 1L clerkship student for an offer to return to work in the future (e.g., school year clerk, 2L summer associate, post-graduation, etc.). In turn, each participating student is asked to work for the selected employer for an eight to twelve week period during the summer following their first-year of law school. During that time, they will conduct legal work including, but not limited to research, writing, analyzing, and engaging in thoughtful analysis in an effort to serve the employer and the employer’s clients.
Nov. 1, 2014: Application period opens
Dec. 10, 2014: Application deadline
Jan. 5 – Jan. 9, 2015: First-round interviews (bring legal writing sample to first-round interview)
Feb. 6, 2015: Matching Interviews (bring first semester law grades to matching interviews)
Feb. 10, 2015: Matching Preferences due
April 17, 2015: 1L Summer Clerkship Orientation
Applications will begin to be accepted on Nov. 1, 2015 for the 2016 program, using the "Apply for this Program" link below. The deadline for applications is Dec. 10, 2014. Call 612-752-6600 with any questions.
Applicants should upload a single pdf in the "upload field" that includes the following items in order:
2) personal statement (essay explaining what makes you a unique candidate for this program and how you think your uniqueness will affect your legal career in Minnesota).
3) undergraduate transcript with GPA (unofficial transcripts are acceptable).
There are two ways to combine docs into a single pdf:
1) You can combine documents into a single pdf using Adobe Acrobat Pro.
2) You can scan all of the documents into a single pdf using a scanner.
All applicants will be interviewed in early January. After submitting an application, please select an interview time. Students unable to attend in-person may participate by phone. Students should bring a legal writing sample demonstrating their legal reasoning skills to the first-round interview (the legal writing sample may also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Apply for this Program >>
Contact your law school’s career services office if you have difficulty preparing your application materials or if you have any other questions.