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Our Commitment to Diversity
Careers > Law Students and Graduates > 1L Diversity Programs


1L Diversity Programs

Each year, we sponsor several opportunities for 1L law students related to our firm’s commitment to civil rights, diversity, inclusivity, and equal opportunity. These fellowship programs reflect our commitment and are also a great way for law students to make significant legal service contributions while gaining substantial legal experience.

Our current programs are highlighted below.

K&L Gates is an equal opportunity employer that does not exclude anyone from consideration for this program based on race, gender, or any other protected class. Preferences or quotas based on protected class are strictly prohibited.

K&L Gates created the Power of Partnership Program in 2018 to offer outstanding learning experiences for law students while also increasing engagement with our clients. This program offers selected 1L students the unique opportunity to work for part of the summer in a K&L Gates office as a summer associate and part of the summer in-house with the legal team of a corporate client of the firm.

In 2023, we hosted Power of Partnership 1Ls in many of our offices and partnered with clients across a variety of industries, including financial services, technology, higher education, pharmaceuticals, and health care.

In addition to a paid 1L summer associate position, our Power of Partnership Program participant will be eligible to earn an academic bonus of up to US$25,000.

Applications will be open on our careers page in beginning on 1 November of each year. We will begin to review applications on a rolling basis after 1 December, and the application period will close on 31 January.

K&L Gates and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law (Pitt Law) have collaborated in the establishment of the K&L Gates Diversity Fellowship. The fellowship provides a full-tuition scholarship to an entering student at Pitt Law for all three years of law school, as well as a paid summer associate position at K&L Gates in the student’s first summer of law school. The K&L Gates Diversity Fellowship, which began with the Fall 2016 entering class, is the first of its kind at Pitt Law; the first such partnership in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania between a law firm and a law school; and one of the very few such partnerships in the entire country. All accepted students at Pitt Law will be invited to apply. All prospective students who apply to Pitt Law will be invited to apply for the Fellowship following admission, and those Fellowship applicants who submit a response to Question 3 under Section 12 (Optional Information) of the Pitt Law application will be given priority consideration for the Fellowship.

Our Seattle office is also a sponsor of the Gregoire Fellows Program, a program through the University of Washington and Seattle University that recognizes students for their academic and professional achievements, unique perspectives and experiences, and leadership potential to diversify the legal profession in Washington.

Each fellow selected in partnership with the university receives a paid summer associate position and a US$20,000 stipend.

The Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) 1L Scholars Program is designed to strengthen the legal pipeline by expanding the number of opportunities for first-year law students. It provides 1L students with valuable professional experiences while introducing them to the value of relationships and building networks with LCLD member organizations. 

We will select our LCLD 1L Scholar from the 1Ls we hire for our 2025 Summer Associate Program. In addition to a paid 1L summer position, the selected LCLD Scholar will be afforded the opportunity to participate in the LCLD 1L Scholars Mentor Program and attend the LCLD 1L Scholars Summit with other 1L Scholars from around the United States. To be considered for the LCLD 1L Scholars Program, please apply to one of our open 1L positions on our website and indicate your interest in the LCLD 1L Scholars Program in your cover letter or personal statement.

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