Bilzin Sumberg Strives for Diversity in the Legal Profession by Focusing on the Next Generation

Press Release
March 1, 2011

On Tuesday, March 8th, Bilzin Sumberg will host approximately 50 Coral Gables High School students during a full-day legal education conference in connection with the Third Annual NALP/Street Law Legal Diversity Pipeline Program, a multi-week initiative which focuses on minority high school students with the goal of encouraging them to pursue a career in the law.

The Pipeline Program, which is a joint partnership between the National Association for Law Placement, Inc. (NALP) and Street Law, Inc., partners selected law firms with nearby, diverse high school law classes in an effort to provide engagement and education between aspiring law students and real-world legal professionals.

As one of only six law firms in the country, and the only firm in Florida, selected to participate in the Diversity Pipeline Program, Bilzin Sumberg is proud to support this effort for a second year in a row.

"We are honored and delighted to once again have been selected to participate in the Pipeline Program," said Marshall R. Pasternack, a Partner in the Corporate & Securities Group and Chair of the firm's Diversity and Culture committees. "Our participation in the program is indicative of our commitment to diversity and our willingness to seek new and innovative means of achieving that objective. The approximately 20 attorneys and paralegals involved in our efforts are thrilled by the opportunity to create a spark in these high school students."

During the multi-week Diversity Pipeline program, Bilzin Sumberg staff have taught Coral Gables High School juniors and seniors enrolled in law classes about contract disputes, the First Amendment aspects of "cyber-bullying," and real estate negotiations. Bilzin Sumberg professionals will also offer one-on-one mentorship and career advice to students with an interest in pursuing the legal profession post-high school graduation.

The conference will reinforce lessons learned during the multi-week program and include a career fair for students to explore the wide array of jobs and practice areas in the field of law; interactive workshops, and a first-hand glimpse into the behind-the-scenes functions that are necessary for a law firm to operate.

The Diversity Pipeline Program serves an important component in the movement to increase representation of women and minorities in the legal industry. By providing students the opportunity to participate in real-world legal situations and learn about the law from local legal professionals, the program opens young people to the possibility of a legal career and provides resources to pursue that path.

Bilzin Sumberg's participation in the Legal Diversity Pipeline Program is one of many pro-bono and charitable projects under the firms community outreach program Bilzin Sumberg Cares. Bilzin Sumberg Cares is a volunteer employee-based community program and the first and only of its kind in the South Florida legal community. Springing from the firm's desire for the "Bilzin Sumberg Community" to positively impact the community in which Bilzin Sumberg employees live and work, the program has created the opportunity for attorneys and staff to work hand-in-hand to help shape the local community.

Bilzin Sumberg

Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP is a full-service, commercial law firm. The firm has extensive experience in the areas of commercial finance, corporate and securities law, environmental law, International law, land use and government relations, litigation, real estate, restructuring and bankruptcy, tax and wealth transfer. For more information, please visit www.bilzin.com.

About NALP

The National Association for Law Placement (NALP) is a nonprofit member association dedicated to continuously improving career counseling and planning, recruitment and retention, and the professional development of law students, lawyers, and its members. Founded in 1971, NALPs membership includes every ABA-accredited law school and over 1,000 employer organizations, ranging from law firms to government agencies and public interest offices. For more information, please visit www.nalp.org.

About Street Law

Street Law, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that has been educating the public about law and democracy for more than 35 years. Street Law writes the best-selling high school law text, Street Law: A Course in Practical Law, and has created a variety of programs that utilize the organizations expertise in curriculum writing, professional development, customized technical support, and interactive educational methods. For more information, please visit www.streetlaw.org.

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