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1L Diversity Programs

Each year, we sponsor several opportunities for diverse 1L law students. These fellowship programs reflect our commitment to public service and diversity, and they 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, or click here for a printable version. 

The Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) 1L Scholars Program is designed to strengthen the legal pipeline by expanding the number of opportunities for diverse 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. Any of our diverse 1L summer associates are eligible for selection as an LCLD 1L Scholar. In 2020, we hired 1L summer associates in our Boston, Charleston, Charlotte, Portland, Raleigh, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. offices. For More information about the 1L Scholars Program, please visit

While working at K&L Gates during the summer, the selected LCLD 1L Scholar will receive real-life experience on a broad range of projects typically seen by junior associates including research and writing assignments, accompanying our lawyers to court appearances, client meetings, and other key events. In addition, the 1L 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. 

The Scholar will be awarded a paid 1L summer associate position in one of our offices that will be hiring a 1L. The application period will begins in December, and decisions are made on a rolling basis. To be considered for our LCLD 1L Scholars Program, please apply on our website.

Our firm has created the Power of Partnership Program as a way to further the goals of increasing engagement with our clients and offering outstanding learning experiences for law students. This program offers diverse 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 2020, our Boston, Charleston, and Washington D.C. offices participated in this program, with global corporations John Hancock, Blackbaud, Inc., and Freddie Mac, respectively. We expect additional U.S. offices to participate in this program in the coming years. Please inquire with the recruitment contact in your desired office location or your school’s Career Services
Office with questions.

In 2020, for the 16th year, our Seattle office sponsored the K&L Gates 1L Diversity Fellowship for one first-year law student.

The fellowship recipient was awarded a paid 1L summer associate position in our Seattle office, plus a $10,000 academic scholarship.

The application period typically begins in December and closes in January. To be considered for our 1L Diversity Fellowship Program, please apply on our website.

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. Learn more.

K&L Gates was a founding member law firm participant when the Mecklenburg County Bar and Inclusion Committee first started the Charlotte Legal Diversity Clerkship  (CLDC) Program in 2006 and participated for the 14th consecutive year in 2020. The main goal of the program is “to improve diversity in our Bar by attracting top first-year law students with diverse backgrounds to Charlotte through corporate and law firm summer internships.” Selected students engage with the Charlotte legal community for 10 weeks during the summer, working seven weeks for a law firm and three weeks with a corporate legal department. To date, the CLDC Program has hosted 107 first-year law students from top law schools. 

For more information on the CLDC program, visit

Our Seattle office is also a sponsor of the Gregoire Fellows Program, a program through the University of Washington designed to mentor diverse law students throughout their law school career and job search. Each fellow selected in partnership with the university receives a paid summer associate position and a $20,000 stipend.

The North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA) has undertaken various initiatives to encourage and build a more diverse bar. Our firm is delighted to partner with the NCBA for its Summer Associate Program (SAP), which provides corporate legal departments and law firms in North Carolina with an inside track in recruiting some of the state’s brightest and most talented minority law students. The SAP is one of many ways that legal employers and bar associations can play a vital role in changing the face of the legal profession. 

This program is open only to first-year students who attend one of North Carolina’s law schools. For more information, please visit

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