Ballard Spahr LLP and PNC Bank are partnering for the second year for their 1L Diversity Fellowship Program in Baltimore, which gives law students from diverse backgrounds the chance to work in a law firm and with corporate in-house counsel after completing their first year of law school.
The fellows will be employed by Ballard Spahr as a summer associate this year as part of a paid program that includes a $5,000 scholarship. PNC will host students in the legal department of its Baltimore office for three weeks as part of the fellowship, the companies announced in a statement Wednesday.
“Ballard Spahr places high importance on diversity and inclusion. We’ve found that lawyers with different backgrounds and varied viewpoints bring great insight to the table as we work to create the best solutions for our clients,” said Raymond G. Truitt, Ballard Spahr’s managing partner of finance and operations and a member of the firm’s diversity and inclusion council, in a statement.
“The fellowship provides an invaluable experience to the students that we hope will better prepare them for career success,” added Lisa Stauffer, senior counsel at PNC and vice chair of the legal department’s Diversity & Inclusion Council, in a statement.
The Ballard Spahr/PNC Bank Fellowship is one of many Ballard Spahr programs to promote diversity and inclusion at the firm and in the legal profession.
The firm brought back its “Art of the Pitch” program for second year to help junior partners and mid-level associates practice pitching the legal services to potential clients. The program was designed in response to studies that show women and minorities have fewer chances to pitch, said Virginia Essandoh, the Ballard Spahr’s chief diversity officer.