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February 12, 2022

ABA strengthens diverse pipeline to the bench

A diverse group of about 80 law students from across the country spent three days talking with and learning from judges during the 2022 American Bar Association Virtual Midyear Meeting.

The ABA Judicial Clerkship Program introduced 89 law students from diverse backgrounds to 35 judges and several law clerks from state and federal courts. This year, 35 judges participated, as well as 89 students from 18 law schools and one law center.

Through formal and informal meetings, law students explored legal issues, performed legal research, prepared legal memoranda or briefs and defended their positions to their colleagues and the judges.

This is the 22nd year of the program, co-sponsored by the ABA Judicial Division and the ABA Council for Diversity in the Educational Pipeline, with support from LexisNexis. Since the program began, approximately 1,100 law students have participated. The earliest participants are now mid-career lawyers.

Today, nearly one-third of all law students (32%) are Black, Hispanic, Asian, Native American or multiracial. The mission of the ABA Council for Diversity in the Educational Pipeline is to increase diversity, equity and inclusion in the pipeline to the legal profession.

Law schools participating this year are: American Indian Law Center, University of California Irvine, University of Connecticut, Indiana University, University of Iowa, Loyola University Chicago, Michigan State University, University of North Carolina, Penn State University, Pepperdine University, University of the Pacific, Saint Louis University, South Texas College of Law Houston, Southern University, University of San Francisco and University of Tennessee.