DLA Piper Diversity & Inclusion

Pipeline Development

Lack of access and opportunity are issues that prevent some of the brightest students from realizing their dreams of becoming lawyers. Our pipeline development programs take factors such as gender, geographic location, ethnic background, sexual orientation/expression and socioeconomic status into consideration, as we seek out and encourage students from diverse backgrounds to pursue law school education and legal careers.

We support a variety of activities that encourage diverse students to consider future careers in the law and support them along the education continuum.

Mentoring law students

Mentoring law students

Through our partnership with the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, over 50 of our lawyers have mentored diverse 1L law school students across the country.

Inspiring under-represented youth

Inspiring under-represented youth

Just the Beginning, A Pipeline Organization (JTB)®, offers free educational pipeline programming for students in middle school, high school, college, and law school with a mission to inspire under-represented, under-served and at-risk students and increase the diversity in the legal profession.

Increasing opportunities

Increasing opportunities

Through our partnership with the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, we host 1L students in our offices each summer. This program is designed to strengthen the legal pipeline by expanding the number of opportunities for diverse first-year law students. The program offers students the rare opportunity to work side-by-side with our lawyers around the country.

Providing internships to undergrads

Providing internships to undergrads

Our Undergraduate Internship Program seeks to identify, mentor, and develop underrepresented undergraduate students who aspire to careers in the law. The six-week paid summer internship gives students a broad view of the aspects involved in working at a large law firm and encourages them to begin developing professional networks.

This program is currently only available in the US and we began accepting materials for the Summer 2017 program on December 1, 2016. The ideal candidate is someone who (1) is from an underrepresented group; (2) will be a rising senior the summer of the program; (3) is performing well academically; and (4) has demonstrated a genuine interest in attending law school.

Interested and qualified candidates should submit the following: resumé; official school transcript; two letters of recommendation; and a cover letter stating their interest in the internship. Please note that materials received after January 31, 2017 will not be considered. Additionally, incomplete submissions will not be reviewed.

Click here to apply.

In Asia, under-represented young people are struggling to access the education needed to pursue a career in the legal profession, as well as facing significantly greater challenges to securing jobs in general. In China in particular, the poor standard of education in rural schools and schools for children of migrant workers has been identified by the Chinese government as a key contributing factor to the poverty cycle afflicting the country's 800 million rural inhabitants. In Australia, the expense of higher education and the physical and cultural barriers to accessing education across the country are especially felt by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations, leading to their significant under-representation in the legal profession.

Increasing opportunities

Increasing opportunities

DLA Piper has joined forces with client Nord Anglia Education, the British School of Beijing and the Wuxun Education Foundation to launch E3 – Equal Education for Everyone. The program looks to improve the standard of education in rural schools by providing opportunities for rural teachers to learn creative teaching methods and gain exposure to high standard education theories and techniques.

China
Promoting careers in law

Promoting careers in law

DLA Piper provides paid internships to support the University of Western Australia's Indigenous Advanced Diploma, an alternative route into the practice of law.

Australia
Broadening horizons

Broadening horizons

Together with a key client and a community service partner, our Melbourne office delivered a workshop to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls in middle school broaden their horizons and provide them with exposure to the steps required to enter further education or apply for jobs.

Australia

Though the specific reasons for a lack of diversity in the legal profession vary from country to country within Europe, some commonalities do exist, such as the link between minority ethnic groups and migrants to decreased levels of education and socioeconomic status. In the UK, law is one of the most socially exclusive professions, with the majority of employees in the sector attending independent schools and coming from affluent family backgrounds. This issue is magnified by the level of social segregation found in UK schools. In addition, following a reduction in financial support from the government for careers advice provision in 2012, more than eight out of 10 schools in England have significantly reduced their careers advice programs.

In the Middle East, shifting employment reliance away from public sector work is a significant issue within many countries, where many young Arabs are seen to perceive careers within the public sector as preferable to the private sector in terms of wages, security, and hours. As a result, Arabs are significantly under-represented in the legal sector, and with one in four young Arabs jobless (one in three Arab women), there is a need to encourage and support Arab youths to pursue careers in the legal profession.

Inspiring the future

Inspiring the future

We have recently joined many other UK businesses to support Inspiring the Future, a charity aimed at connecting state school students with representatives from the world of work.

Partnering to promote diversity

Partnering to promote diversity

We recently partnered with the European Law Students Association International to promote diversity in the legal profession through Break Into Law projects across Europe.

Promoting careers in law

Promoting careers in law

Volunteers who participated in our Work Experience Program for non-privileged students reported increased pride in being a member of our firm (96 percent) and a greater feeling of commitment (95 percent) as a result of their engagement.

Promoting careers in law

Promoting careers in law

Our UK year-long apprenticeship scheme has fulfilled roles within our finance, knowledge management, and HR departments, as well as leading to full-time employment within our firm.

Promoting careers in law

Promoting careers in law

For the past seven years, the winner of our Italian International Law Thesis Competition has received a paid internship offering hands-on experience in our firm, as well as the potential to enter a full-time trainee role.

Supporting scholarship

Supporting scholarship

For the past six years, our All-Ukraine Scholarship Competition has provided an opportunity for any Ukrainian law school student to win either an internship at DLA Piper or a monetary scholarship. Our year-long apprenticeship scheme has fulfilled roles within our finance, knowledge management, and HR departments, as well as leading to full time employment within our firm.

Europe
Promoting careers in law

Promoting careers in law

We offer paid legal internships and business administration apprenticeships aimed at providing talented young people with opportunities to gain hands-on experience and training, regardless of their background and economic status.

Europe
Providing opportunities

Providing opportunities

To help support young Arab law students to succeed and have access to international law, we run work experience programs in our Abu Dhabi and Dubai offices. Students are given the chance to see first-hand what it is like to work in a leading global business law firm, while developing their skills and engaging with our employees from a wide variety of backgrounds and roles.

Middle East
Mooting competition

Mooting competition

Only Arabic law is taught in UAE universities, yet gaining access to experience in international law is integral to the success of UAE law students understanding the wider legal sector and securing jobs within international firms. DLA Piper has been helping bridge this gap in the curriculum by supporting teams from UAE University Law School to compete in international mooting competitions through sponsorship, and training.

Middle East
Eliminating barriers

Eliminating barriers

We are one of only a handful of international law firms with a license to hire women in Saudi Arabia. Our women lawyers regularly present at women’s universities to inspire women to consider legal careers. We provide internships to female law students from the Prince Sultan University in Saudi Arabia.

Middle East