October 19, 2011

Judicial Internship Diversity Pilot Project



Duration: 4 minutes

In early 2011, Judge Ann Williams of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals announced the creation of a Judicial Internship Diversity Pilot Project, the goal of which is to provide a number of minority, underrepresented, and economically disadvantaged law students with the opportunity to serve as judicial interns. Joining Judge Williams as sponsoring partners of the Project are the United States Judicial Resources Committee and Just the Beginning Foundation. During its launch, the Project placed almost 40 law students as judicial interns in federal judges' chambers across the country.

Soon after announcing the Project, Judge Williams contacted former Chicago Associate Joi Thomas to assist in designing and implementing a legal writing and research training session for the incoming judicial interns.  On March 29, 2011, Holland & Knight was pleased to participate in this special rigorous training session. The firm hosted the program and welcomed panel participants and law students in its Chicago and D.C. offices. Judge Williams, her law clerks, and Minority Legal Education Resources, Inc. board members Constance Wright and Marques Rice participated from the firm's Chicago office.  Project Co-Chair Judge Gerald Bruce Lee, Eastern District of Virginia, and his clerks lead portions of the panel from the D.C. office.  Holland & Knight Partner Kwamina Thomas Williford served as a special presenter during the program and a number of the firm's Chicago associates with past clerkship experience, including Rick Bixter and Chelsea Ashbrook McCarthy, as well as former Associates Bob Pickrell, Suzanne Rollier and Simon Auerbach, volunteered to grade and provide comments to the memos submitted during the writing exercise.

Holland & Knight was pleased to provide the legal skills and webinar services necessary to offer this training program live in two cities and simultaneously via a webinar, which allowed nationwide participation for more than 20 judges and 40 law school students. 

This short film, produced by TeamWorks Media, documents portions of the event with interviews with the participants and segments from the webinar.

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