Diversity Fellowship Program

kaye scholer

The Diversity Fellowship Program provides first-year law students who have encountered barriers on their path to a legal career, which may include membership in a group that has been historically and/or presently underrepresented in the profession, the chance to spend a summer in one of New York’s leading law firms and corporate/government law departments.

City Bar Diversity Fellowship Program

The New York City Bar Association Committee on Recruitment and Retention of Lawyers has been the proud sponsor of the City Bar’s Diversity Fellowship Program since 1991. Since then, more than 600 diverse and talented first year law students from eleven New York City area law schools have been given a rare and valuable opportunity to jump start their careers in the law by spending their 1L summer in a law firm or corporate/ government legal department. Program alumni have achieved success at all levels of the professions including as law firm partners, general counsels, assistant district attorneys, assistant attorney generals, entrepreneurs, and executive directors. Countless program alumni have begun their careers with their Fellowship employers.

The selection criteria for Program Fellows are demanding. As a result, we identify students who have proven themselves, even as 1Ls, capable of flourishing in the challenging settings that are today’s government offices, law firms and corporations. After completing a legal writing requirement, preparing a personal statement and being interviewed by a faculty-dominated screening committee at their respective schools, the candidates selected by their schools are then interviewed again by a panel of attorneys and other school representatives under the aegis of the Committee. Like the preliminary process at their schools, this interviewing panel also reviews the candidate’s undergraduate and law school transcripts, resume, personal statement and legal writing sample. Only those who pass this final hurdle are assigned to a participating employer.

We invite any legal employer who is interested in learning more about the Program to contact the Co-Chairs of the Committee, Jon English and Steve Ni at jon.english@morganlewis.com and sni@kramerlevin.com.


Alumni Spotlights

Daryl Gibbs

Michael Henry

What Fellowship Employers Say:
“The City Bar Fellowship Program is a terrific resource for firms committed to enhancing their diversity recruitment efforts.”
— Marco V. Masotti, Partner, Chair of Diversity Committee
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

“The City Bar Minority Fellowship Program, which Kelley Drye & Warren LLP has participated in for many years, opens the door for students and law firms alike. The program has not only helped Kelley Drye’s firm-wide diversity initiatives, but has provided us with talented law students who have grown into extremely successful, dedicated attorneys. The City Bar does an exceptional job matching students with firms, and we look forward to our continued participation in the program.”
— Gregory M. McKenzie, Hiring Partner
Kelley Drye & Warren LLP

“For the past decade Kaye Scholer has had the good fortune to participate in the City Bar’s Minority Fellowship Program. For Kaye Scholer this program has been a great success. Diversity is important to our Firm, and the Fellowship Program – along with a number of other diversity initiatives – has given us the opportunity to become a far more diverse environment than we were a decade ago. We are proud of our commitment to diversity and partnership with the City Bar in this endeavor. We very much look forward to continuing our support and participation in this program.”
— Barry Willner, Managing Partner
Kaye Scholer LLP

“The Fellowship Program opens the door, but the excellence and efforts of its students is what keeps them on the path of success.”
— Jack P. Jackson, Partner
Proskauer Rose LLP