1L Diversity Clerkship Program

Program Overview

The HCBA 1L Diversity Clerkship Program first began in the fall of 2005 under the direction of the Minnesota State Bar Association. The program places first-year law students from marginalized and underrepresented backgrounds with Minnesota legal employers for a full-time, paid summer associate experience. Ultimately, the program hopes to find its participants becoming future partners and leaders in Minnesota’s legal community. For 21-22 year, the RCBA Diversity Committee has partnered with the HCBA Diversity and Inclusion Committee to support these efforts. 

The 2021 summer was the program’s fifteenth year, and more than 40 students applied and 14 students were placed. Hundreds of law students from underrepresented backgrounds have been served by the program since its inception.

How It Works

  1. Each 1L law student, who provides a complete application and who self-identifies from an underrepresented and/or marginalized identity, will be interviewed by members of the HCBA Diversity and Inclusion Committee and other volunteer attorneys during the second week of January.  
  2. A limited number of students (based on the number of participating employers) will be chosen for a second round of interviews in early February. Those students chosen for the second round of interviews are guaranteed summer employment; however, they will still need to interview with participating employers during a multi-day zoom interview process. In the past all students have interviewed all participating employers, but due to an incredible high employer participation rate this year, each student will be interviewing with 10 randomized employers from the poll of 20.
  3. The employers and students will then rank their choices from first to last.  
  4. HCBA 1L Diversity Clerkship Subcommittee will then generate a blind match of employer and students, which will determine the employment matches for the clerkship program. *Note: This means students may get anywhere from their first to last ranked choice. Students should take this into consideration for applying. We hope students are excited and open about the opportunity to work in a variety of firm/organization areas. 
  5. 1L students will coordinate with their employer match of start date and will start their clerkships in Summer.   

For additional information, please contact Erikka Ryan, Director of Equity, Inclusion, and Foundations at eryan@mnbars.org 


  • October 4th, 2021: Employer Registration Opens
  • October 29th, 2021: Employer Registration Closes
  • November 15th, 2021: Student Application Opens 
  • December 19th, 2021: Student Application Closes
  • January 17th-28th, 2022: 2021: First Round Interviews
  • February 21st-25th, 2022: Second Round Interviews with Employers
  • March 4th, 2022: Matching Preferences Due
  • Week of March 14th, 2022: Student-Employer Match Reveals
  • April 2022: Summer Orientation

2022 Employers

Follow the links below to learn more about each clerkship. 

2021 Employers

  • Bowman & Brooke
  • Brandt Criminal Defense 
  • Chesnut Cambronne PA 
  • Cousineau, Waldhauser &Kieselbach PA 
  • DeWitt Law Firm 
  • General Mills & Littler 
  • Hennepin County Attorney’s Office 
  • Hennepin County Public Defender’s Office 
  • Hennepin County District Court 
  • Henson & Efron PA 
  • Messerli & Kramer 
  • MN Attorney General’s Office
  • Schaefer Halleen 
  • US Bankruptcy Court 
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