Atlanta Bar Foundation Fundraiser Supports Internship, Diversity Clerkship, Grants Program

Hedgepeth Heredia attorneys supported the Atlanta Bar Foundation’s end of summer fundraising party, benefiting its key youth programs. The event featured “RUMOURS: A Fleetwood Mac Tribute” under an air conditioned tent at Park Tavern on August 23.

The fundraiser supported Atlanta Bar youth development programs, including the Summer Law Internship Program (SLIP) and the Minority and Diversity Clerkship Program. It also provides funds for pro bono service providers through the Atlanta Bar Foundation Grants Program.

Hedgepeth Heredia Managing Partner Hannibal Heredia said, “It’s vital to instill in students a passion for the law at the high school level, to encourage them to seek out careers in our profession. We also must have a diverse legal community, and these Atlanta Bar Foundation programs help make that a reality.”

Summer Law Internship Program

Since 1993, the ABA has sponsored its Summer Law Internship Program (SLIP) for high school students. Students from Atlanta-area high schools receive paid six-week internships with area law firms, corporate legal departments, public interest groups, and courts.

For many Interns, this is the first job they have ever had. In 2018, SLIP had 49 Interns from a record 36 schools. Over 730 paid internships have now been made available during the 26 years of the program. The ABA designed SLIP to achieve three goals: (1) to provide a valuable work experience; (2) to further the student’s understanding of the law; and (3) to provide a mentor relationship for the students.

Minority and Diversity Clerkship Program

Since 1985, the Atlanta Bar Association has sponsored the Minority Clerkship Program (recently expanded as the Minority and Diversity Clerkship Program) with the assistance and cooperation of Atlanta law firms and the law schools at Emory University, University of Georgia, Georgia State University, John Marshall, and Mercer University.

The objectives of the program are:

  • To increase the number of students of diverse backgrounds practicing in Atlanta law firms by facilitating their placement in law firm clerkships
  • To supplement the students’ clerkship experience with support functions including skills development and formal and informal networking sessions
  • To assist Atlanta law firms in their efforts to identify and attract outstanding students of diverse backgrounds to clerkships

Clerkships are provided for six to ten weeks during the summer (depending on the employer’s preferences), and students receive the salary paid to other first-year students at the offices where they work. This program was the first of its kind in the country and has become an inspiration for the development of similar programs by other bar associations.

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