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Diversity Pipeline Internship Program

In 2007, Farella Braun + Martel launched an innovative Diversity Pipeline Internship Program to provide high school students from diverse and/or disadvantaged backgrounds with a unique opportunity to learn about the legal profession, prepare for higher education and develop practical life skills.

Pipeline interns who participate in the program take part in a well developed and carefully balanced schedule. They gain rare insight and valuable work experience by assisting various administrative departments within Farella Braun + Martel. Their work responsibilities are supplemented by a curriculum and mentoring program created by our Pipeline Program Subcommittee. The curriculum is comprised of weekly seminars that focus on three important areas: (1) the practice of law, taught through a combination of attorney presentations on cases and practice areas, and exercises created to teach interns case building, issue spotting and legal analysis; (2) the college application process, guidance ranging from academic requirements and personal statements to financial aid; and (3) resume and interview workshops. Throughout the program, attorneys and staff members mentor the interns, and these relationships continue after the interns return to school in the fall, particularly during the college application process.

Highlights of the program include:

  • A mock trial program in which the interns, with assistance from attorney coaches, work together to fully brief and argue a discrete legal issue
  • A College Panel in which attorneys, law school students, and undergraduate students share their college experiences with the interns
  • A College Night where community groups, private scholarship organizations, and university representatives walk the interns and their parents through an overview of college requirements, financial aid, and scholarships
  • Field trips to local courthouses, with a behind the scenes visit with a judge and staff attorneys

We partner with the Association of Corporate Counsel’s San Francisco Bay Area Chapter to host a Speed Mentoring Reception, where current and past interns engage in one-on-one conversations with in-house attorneys from local companies. Field trips to companies provide the interns with a more complete picture of the roles and responsibilities of an in-house lawyer. These programs include informative presentations, featuring several members of the legal departments who describe their practices and discuss their individual career paths.

Through the Diversity Pipeline Internship Program, high school students develop practical skills and strategies to assist them in pursuing higher education, as well as the confidence to consider, and think themselves capable of, going to law school and becoming a lawyer. We take pride in the results of our program, as our Pipeline interns enter college or begin the college application process. Students from our first internship classes have graduated from college, and a few are preparing to take the LSAT exam.

The application period for the 2019 Diversity Pipeline Internship Program is not open. Questions? Please reach out to Maggie Owyang at .

Comments from past Pipeline interns include:

“Overall, the Diversity Pipeline Internship here at FB+M was beyond amazing. From going to Google, to the 9th District Courthouse, to other law firms, every moment was interesting. This is one of the internships that I look forward waking up early in the morning to. Meeting the attorneys here at FB+M was really the highlight of the program. I loved how my opinion actually mattered and that the people here care about me. This program is truly a blessing and a wonderful opportunity for youth to get a head start in the legal field. I would definitely recommend this program to others, whether they have any interest to law or not, I'm sure they would enjoy this program.”

"All the classes and presentations were very useful. I was able to learn about college and different types of laws. Everything was great.”

“I learned how to write a good resume and personal statement.”

“The program gave me precious opportunities to understand and be exposed to the law field. It's always exciting for me to hear the different cases and interesting stories."

“I over-achieved my goals because I made a lot of friendships and I know that I have many people who can help me.”

"I loved mock trial. I learned more than I could have hoped to learn."

"I gained different skills such as multi-tasking, organizing, filing and communicating with other people."

“Overall, the program is very successful in introducing us to law and making it fun to learn various topics.”

Farella Braun + Martel "open sourced" its Pipeline Program curriculum, and is pleased to offer our Diversity Pipeline Internship Program content to companies and law firms interested in taking on a pipeline project. Our success will be as a unified force working together. We currently work with several Bay Area law firms and corporate legal departments and the Bar Association of San Francisco. We would enjoy sharing with you our content in its entirety or working together on a joint program.