The Judicial Intern Opportunity Program (JIOP) was named a 2014 State Bar Diversity Award Recipient for the program’s long-term, sustained accomplishments toward increasing diversity in the legal profession. The award will be presented during the 13th Annual Awards reception at the State Bar of California’s Annual Meeting in San Diego on September 13.
JIOP’s mission is to provide judicial internships for diverse law students, enhancing the qualified, skilled, and diverse practitioners into the profession. The goal is twofold: (1) to increase diversity in the courts by providing internship opportunities to those who would not otherwise have them and (2) to provide life-changing, career-advancing opportunities to vault underrepresented populations forward in the profession.
Since the program began in February 2000, more than 1,900 diverse law students have been placed with judges for internships, and nearly $3 million has been raised in contributed funds to support these efforts. JIOP places students with judges in 10 different program locations throughout the country.
The California program began in Los Angeles in 2006. JIOP expanded to include San Francisco the following year. California is one of the more popular JIOP locations. In 2014, for example, more than 200 JIOP applicants—more than 25 percent of total program applicants—were from California. Of those students, more than 175 desired a California placement. Since 2006, nearly 330 students have been placed with California judges.
Diversity in the legal profession is strengthened by JIOP students. The program receives more than 800 applications a year. Students participating in the program benefit from the internship experience and other program benefits, including interviewing skills training and mentoring support. JIOP helps students get valuable feedback and support early in their careers, and the “real world” internship experience allows them to gain the skills necessary to obtain a position following law school.
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