The PDLG Fellows Program (formerly known as the PDLG Summer 1L Program) offers diverse first year law students a route to summer employment at outstanding law firms and legal departments. It also provides the PDLG Fellows with a series of seminars and programs designed to enhance their skills and increase their knowledge of the Philadelphia legal community.
ELIGIBILITY AND APPLICATION
The PDLG Fellows Program is open to any first-year law student who has overcome substantial obstacles in the pursuit of a legal career or comes from a disadvantaged background or one that is underrepresented in the profession. All candidates need to have a genuine interest in establishing a legal career in the Philadelphia area.
Additional criteria include academic record; leadership; oral and written communication, research, analytical and organizational skills; sensitivity to professional ethical concerns; maturity, judgment, and integrity; commitment to the practice of law, commitment to hard work; demonstrated interest in the type of work practiced by the employers in the program; the ability to instill confidence in others; the ability to diagnose and plan solutions to problems; initiative; professionalism; relevant work experience; extracurricular activities and interests and other indicia of the potential for success.
Since the goal of PDLG is to increase the diversity of those practicing law in the Philadelphia area, in order to be eligible to participate in the Fellows Program, a student must have the citizenship or residency status to practice law here long term without needing go through additional immigration proceedings.
Part time, evening and joint degree students are eligible to participate in the Fellows Program, it they: (i) will have completed the equivalent of at least one year of law school but less than two years by May of the year they apply and will graduate two years later; and (ii) have no time obligations that might interfere with a full-time commitment to the summer employer.
The application includes: (i) a completed application form; (ii) a current resume; (iii) student versions of transcripts of undergraduate and first semester law school grades; (iv) two personal recommendations (at least one an academic reference from law school); (v) a brief statement explaining how the student meets the PDLG criteria; (vi) a writing sample from law school; and (vii) such other information as the PDLG requests or is relevant.
Participating Law Firms
Archer & Greiner, P.C.
Ballard Spahr LLP
Blank Rome LLP
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, PC
Cozen O’Connor, PC
Dilworth Paxson LLP
DLAPiper LLP (USA)
Drinker, Biddle & Reath, LLP
Duane, Morris & Heckscher LLP
Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC
Fox Rothschild LLP
Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox, LLP
Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads, LLP
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell and Hippel, LLP
Pepper Hamilton, LLP
Reed Smith LLP
Saul Ewing LLP
Schnader, Harrison, Segal & Lewis LLP
Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, LLP
White and Williams, LLP
Participating Law Departments
Independence Blue Cross
Lincoln Financial Group
The Vanguard Group
Certain of the law schools participating in the PDLG Fellows Program review applications and do the initial screening of applicants for the Program. The law school committee will select a predesignated number of candidates all of whom will be interviewed by the PDLG. The law school will evaluate applicants based on the criteria listed in the section on eligibility and based on its familiarity with the applicant and the applicant’s work. At these schools, the applications will be submitted to the person designated by the Career Services Office. No applications from those schools should be sent to the PDLG directly by the applicant – they will only be returned to the school.
Some law schools prefer that the initial screening be performed by the PDLG Committee. The PDLG Committee will review the applications from those schools and select those to interview based on the criteria listed in the section on eligibility. Those applications will be submitted to the PDLG Fellows Program Committee by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Each part of the application (form, resume, list of activities and honors, personal statement, legal memo, law school transcript, other transcript(s)) should be a separate attachment to the email. If some parts (such as an undergraduate transcript) must be sent directly, they should be sent to PDLG Fellows Program Committee c/o Lois Kimbol, Esquire, Dechert LLP, CIRA Centre, 2929 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-2808.
If you are interested in applying but you attend a law school that is not in the Philadelphia area or does not participate in the PDLG Fellows Program, please contact Lois Kimbol at email@example.com to confirm your eligibility before preparing your application.
PDLG COMMITTEE REVIEWS AND DECISIONS
Representatives of the participating PDLG law firms and legal departments (the “PDLG Committee”) will conduct interviews of the selected candidates in February of each year. The interviews will be similar to on-campus interviews, although somewhat longer. The interviewers will have been given full copies of their interviewees’ application packages. Those interviews are scheduled on a Saturday in mid-February. Students will be notified of their selection and of the time and place of the interview by email earlier that week – if application materials are missing, students will be told when they must be received. If a student is told by the school committee that the student was chosen by it, or if the application went directly to the PDLG, and PDLG has not been in touch by the middle of the week before interviews, the student should contact PDLG by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the conclusion of the day of interviews, the PDLG Committee will select those candidates who, in its judgment, based on the application, interview and any other relevant information, are the most qualified, are most likely to succeed as summer associates, and have a genuine interest in establishing a legal career in Philadelphia. Each selected candidate will then be randomly assigned to an employer for an interview fr a specific job. Of course, no candidate will be assigned to an employer where there would be a conflict of interest. The interviewing employer will be provided with a full copy of its candidates’ application packages and any other information developed as part of the PDLG process.
By the Monday after the interview day, all students will be notified by PDLG whether they have been selected for an employer interview and given a preliminary employer assignment. However, until the student is contacted by the employer, the assignment is only tentative – sometimes PDLG has to change assignments because of unforeseen circumstances. Where changes must be made, they are made as randomly as possible and as soon as possible.
In general, each employer will interview two to three candidates (depending on the number of candidates available) by early March and will make an offer to at least one. There is no assurance that someone from each law school will be hired and, based simply on the numbers, not all those who are interviewed by employers will be offered jobs.
Employers will contact their candidates to schedule interviews within a week after being notified of the candidates assigned to them and will make decisions within a few days of the conclusion of their interviews. Employers understand that students have classes and other academic obligations and need to schedule around them and we ask candidates to understand that interviews can involve as many as five practicing attorneys who also have complicated schedules, making flexibility in scheduling vital on both sides. It is also very important that interviews and decisions be made promptly so as not to disadvantage other applicants who are also waiting for decisions. A student who will not be available for an interview during the interview period specified in the application must say so in the application so we can try to make special arrangements – telephone or video interviews, for example. Otherwise, if a student is not reasonably available for interviewing during that period for reasons other than emergencies, the student may lose the opportunity to be considered during this first round.
The NALP Principles and Standards for Law Placement and Recruitment Activities provide that all offers to law students should remain open for at least two weeks after the date made. However, because the continued success of the PDLG Fellows Program depends on filling all available slots, and because often there are other students waiting for initial offerees to make decisions to accept or decline their offers, we strongly encourage all those students to whom offers are made to respond as soon as possible, preferably within a week of receiving the offer.
Participating PDLG law firms have also agreed that if they make an offer outside the PDLG Fellows Program to a student who is matched with another participating PDLG employer for interviewing, the firm will keep the student’s offer open until the PDLG process is complete for that student.
Students selected for summer employment will receive a letter from the employer confirming the selection and the details of employment. The final decisions will not be made by the PDLG – in fact, the PDLG will not have advance information about employment decisions.
From time to time and for various reasons, there are positions that open up after the primary round of employer interviews and decisions. If that happens, some applicants may be offered another interview opportunity. Each year we have had several positions filled through this process, but it is not required that a student participate.
Each year, application materials for some students not offered jobs with PDLG employers are provided to the Montgomery Bar Association Diversity Committee for consideration under their Summer 1L Programs for diverse law students. Many participants in those Programs are chosen from PDLG applicants. On the PDLG application form there is an opportunity to choose whether to take advantage of this opportunity.
If hired by a PDLG organization, PDLG Fellows will receive the same salary other first-year summer associates/clerks/interns (if any) are paid by the organization. Salaries and length of summer employment will differ significantly among the firms and organizations. Each participating employer has committed to fully involve any student hired through the PDLG Fellows Program in its summer associate/clerkship/internship program (if it has such a program), provide the Fellow with a mentor and provide appropriate and continuing feedback and training. The PDLG representative of the employer or his or her designee will serve as an additional mentor. Historically, PDLG has paired each Fellow who is not working at a law firm with one of our member law firms so that all Fellows will have the opportunity to be involved in some law firm summer training and social events.
PDLG FELLOWS PROGRAM EVENTS
All PDLG Fellows participate in two required programs before work begins. The first is a writing program which will include a seminar (available by audio or video-conference for those too far from Philadelphia to participate in person) in late March (either March 17 or 24 in 2018) combined with one-on-one writing mentoring to be completed before starting work. The second is an orientation session held by the PDLG on a Friday in May, after exams end at all participating schools but before summer jobs begin. This year it is tentatively scheduled for May 19. This orientation program is designed to acquaint the participants with the general expectations of the employers, the nature of the work and the legal environment in which it gets done. It is essential that all students arrange to participate in both programs. Long distance participation is possible in some situations.
The PDLG hosts 3 to 4 lunch seminars during the summer. All Fellows are requested to participate unless a job related activity conflicts with the seminar. There is also an evening reception at which the Fellows can meet alumni of hte Fellows Program as well as lawyers in PDLG member firms and legal departments.
In the past, the PDLG orientation session and summer seminars included topics such as key things to know about working at a firm, law firm finance, writing and assignment skills, working for or within a corporate law department, dealing with difficult situations, interviewing techniques (for law firms and other legal jobs) and how to make use of the summer experience in career planning. There are sessions on law firm and judicial clerk hiring programs and practices. In addition, there is a session on networking – how to make the most of formal and informal networking opportunities. This program is held in advance of the summer reception so that the lessons learned can be used at the reception.
2L SUMMER SCREENING INTERVIEWS
Historically, those hired through the PDLG Fellows Program have been able to choose screening interviews for summer 2L jobs with a set number of law firms that hired through the Fellows Program that year. Similar in form to on campus interviews, the PDLG screening interviews have been held as part of a firm’s on campus interviewing or at the law firm. There are no 2L jobs available just for PDLG Fellows and no PDLG participating firm is required to hire for the 2L summer – screening interviews are merely a way for PDLG Fellows to get a chance to meet with the firms and demonstrate what they have accomplished and why they would be valuable 2L summer associates. The firm decisions are based on an overall review of the candidate’s qualifications and the firm’s hiring plans.
PDLG FELLOWS PROGRAM CALENDAR
October 30 – November 10 PDLG Fellows Program Presentations to 1Ls
December 1 – Earliest date to submit application
January 18 – Applications due to screening committees (School or PDLG)
February 1 – Interview decisions made by PDLG or given to PDLG by schools
February 5 – Notice of selection given to students; interview details emailed to applicants
February 10 – Interview day by PDLG Committee; selection of candidates and assignment to employer
February 12- Notice to employers of candidates to interview; notice to candidates of PDLG interview results
February 13 – February 28 – Employer Interviews
March 2 – Target date to notify successful applicants
This schedule assumes that all necessary information – including first semester grades – is available by decision dates and that mutually convenient employer interviews can be scheduled during the noted time period.
|Name||Law School||Email address||1L Employer|
|Amin, Nariman||Villanovaemail@example.com||State Farm|
|Cabrera, Rebecca (Becca)||Villanovafirstname.lastname@example.org||Vanguard|
|Dao, John||UVAemail@example.com||GSK (IP)|
|Gabat, Jean Camille||Pennfirstname.lastname@example.org||DLA Piper|
|Hajavi, Yalda||Villanovaemail@example.com||Duane Morris|
|Kamath, Naina||Wash U.||nkamath@wustl. Edu||Drinker|
|Kweon, Yeh Dahm (Christine)||GWfirstname.lastname@example.org||Schnader|
|Moran, Antonia (Toni)||Pittemail@example.com||ARAMARK|
|Neal, MacKinzie||Pennfirstname.lastname@example.org||Reed Smith|
|Nguyen, Linh H.||Templeemail@example.com||Vanguard|
|Rafiq, Amal||Templefirstname.lastname@example.org||Saul Ewing|
|Rasay, Shayne J.J.D.||Templeemail@example.com||GSK (IP)|
|Rodrigues, Christopher||Villanovafirstname.lastname@example.org||Manko Gold|
|Sengoba, Joseph||Templeemail@example.com||Blank Rome|