The law firm of Sidley Austin LLP announced via a press release this week that it has formed an agreement with Practicing Attorneys for Law Students, Inc. (PALS) to become its first sponsor for its brand new Summer Fellowship Program. The program was created to help students of color obtain work with distinguished civil rights organizations.
Those organizations include the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., and LatinoJustice PRLDEF (formerly the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund).
The sponsorship from Sidley will offer financial support for the fellow from PALS who works with LatinoJustice for the summer of 2013.
“Without support from firms like Sidley, law students with an interest in a civil rights career might not be in a financial position to explore this field,” Maria D. Melendez said. Melendez is a partner at Sidley and is on the Board of Directors for LatinoJustice PRLDEF. “I am proud that Sidley supports creative and important initiatives like PALS Summer Fellowship Program and is committed to helping make this possible.”
The Sidley Chief Diversity Officer, Sally L. Olson, said, “Sidley has always been a pioneer in creating opportunities for lawyers from different backgrounds. Through programs like our award-winning Sidley Prelaw Scholars Initiative, the Firm helps economically disadvantaged minority college students prepare for the LSAT and apply to law school. When PALS approached us with the opportunity to partner with its Summer Fellowship Program, we saw an immediate synergy between that project and the Firm’s deep commitment to achieving greater diversity for the legal profession as a whole. It is a privilege to support PALS in making civil rights career opportunities available to a broad group of minority law students.”