DIVERSITY FELLOWSHIPS AWARDED TO PACE LAW SCHOOL STUDENTS

Fellowships funded by the NYC Bar Association highlight diversity on Pace Law campus

WHITE PLAINS, NY, April 20, 2010 – Two Pace Law School students have been awarded New York City Bar Association Diversity Fellowships, which places qualified diversity applicants in paid summer positions with outstanding law firms and corporate law departments..  This year’s recipients are Moustafa Badreldin, who has been placed at the law firm of Davis & Gilbert LLP, and Kaon Lai, who has been placed at The Prudential Insurance Company of America.

The Fellowships are open to first-year law students from historically underrepresented populations attending schools in the New York-Metro area.  Since 1991, the New York City Bar Association’s Committee on Recruitment and Retention of Lawyers has administered an annual program that has now placed over 500 students of diversity with area law firms and corporations.

“This is a unique opportunity to gain experience normally reserved for second and third year students.  The NYCBA and participating firms and corporations are to be commended for their commitment to diversity and inclusion,” says Barbara Atwell, Associate Professor of Law and Director of Pace Law School’s Diversity Initiatives.  “I am especially grateful to them for maintaining this program during these challenging economic times.”

These fellowships highlight Pace Law School’s institutional plan to enhance and expand diversity on campus.  In 2009, the law school created the Office of Diversity Initiatives, the goal of which, Professor Atwell says, “is to maintain an atmosphere of inclusion in which each member of our community feels welcome and respected.”

Some of the resulting Diversity Initiatives include: instituting a section on diversity in both first year and upper level orientation programs, creating a section on diversity on the Pace Law School website, and engaging in outreach initiatives to encourage diverse populations to consider law as a career.  In addition, Professor Atwell supports individual students and student organizations such as the Asian American Law Student Association, Black Law Student Association, among others, interested in diversity initiatives.

The law school maintains a Diversity Law Student Mentoring Program in partnership with MasterCard Worldwide, which pairs MasterCard in-house attorneys with select second- and third-year Pace Law School diversity students.  These students are given the opportunity to learn from and network with successful attorneys working in the corporate sector.

Additionally, the Office of Diversity Initiatives has participated in St. John’s Law School’s Ron Brown Summer Law Institute, a program for undergraduate college students who come from diverse backgrounds.  Similarly, the Office of Diversity Initiatives has facilitated partnerships with John Jay College, among others, designed to enhance diversity in law schools and the legal profession.  The Office is currently working to establish a program with underrepresented populations at local high schools, to introduce the prospects of legal careers to diverse students.

Founded in 1976, Pace University School of Law has over 7,000 alumni throughout the country and the world and is consistently ranked among the nation’s top programs in environmental law. It offers full- and part-time day and evening JD programs on its White Plains, NY, campus and offers the Master of Laws degree in Environmental Law, Real Estate Law and Comparative Legal Studies, and a Doctor of Laws in environmental law. The School of Law is part of Pace University, a comprehensive, independent, and diversified university with campuses in New York City and Westchester County. www.law.pace.edu

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