In 2001, Tom Sager, then general counsel of DuPont, wanted to do something to address the lack of diversity in the legal profession. He approached the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) and challenged them to design an initiative that would encourage young high school students of color to pursue legal sector careers. ACC reached out to Street Law, known for creating law-related education programs for young people, and the Legal Diversity Pipeline Program was born.
The Legal Diversity Pipeline Program exposes young people from diverse communities to everyday law and legal careers. With the goal of encouraging more young people of color to consider a legal career, the program uses volunteer legal professionals to deliver lessons about the law, engage the students in interactive simulations, and serve as role models and advisors.
In 2001, the McDonald’s Law Department came on board as the first Legal Diversity Pipeline Program pilot site. Today, more than 70 corporate law departments, ACC chapters, and law firms participate. Last year approximately 1,800 legal community volunteers taught more than 5,000 diverse high school students about law and pathways to careers in the legal profession through this program.
A common theme of the Pipeline Program sites is the steadfast commitment they have to the program’s mission and the young people it serves. Street Law is excited to spotlight the following 12 corporations that have been active in the program for 10 years or more. Thank you for your service!
McDonald’s (Oak Brook, IL)
Began in 2001
The program’s longest-running site, McDonald’s served as the pilot site for the Legal Diversity Pipeline Program when it first began.
Today, their program is still going strong. Volunteers from the law department lead a year-long program for students from Proviso East and Proviso West High Schools. It has multiple components including classroom visits, a Legal Careers Conference held at Hamburger University, and job shadowing days for the most interested students.
Since 2005, law department leaders have volunteered to serve on the Host Committee for Street Law’s annual Awards Dinner.
The Coca-Cola Company (Atlanta, GA)
Began in 2002
Each spring semester, a team of volunteers from the Coca-Cola law department visits students from Benjamin Mays High School to teach about law. Volunteers from the Atlanta office of King & Spalding and students from Emory Law School participate alongside the Coca-Cola volunteers.
In 2007, the Coca-Cola Company was presented with Street Law’s 2007 Corporate Legal Diversity Pipeline Award.
Since 2007, law department leaders have volunteered to serve on the Host Committee for Street Law’s annual Awards Dinner.
Elizabeth Finn Johnson, retired senior counsel from the law department, has served on the Street Law Board of Directors since 2008.
Merck & Co., Inc. (Rahway, NJ)
The New Jersey program site began in 2005, and Merck soon expanded the program to include a site in Pennsylvania.
Today, Merck law department volunteers teach practical law lessons to students in Rahway, NJ, and Norristown, PA.
In 2011, the success of the Pipeline Program inspired Merck to expand its work to vulnerable local youth and to include Merck employees from the law department and beyond. With the support of the Merck Foundation, Street Law designed an employee volunteer program called Making Positive Choices. This initiative brings Street Law’s empowering, law-related education lessons to vulnerable youths in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. As of May 2017, approximately 300 employees have reached 3,625 youth through Merck's Positive Choices program.
ACC Chicago Chapter (Chicago, IL and Elgin, IL)
Both sites began in 2006
The ACC Chicago Chapter operates two program sites in the Chicagoland area. Each spring, the Elgin program teaches students from Bartlett, Elgin High, South Elgin, Larkin, and Streamwood High Schools, and the Chicago program works with students from Wells, Hirsch, and Mather High Schools and the Farragut Career Academy.
The ACC Chicago Chapter received Street Law’s 2016 Excellence in Service Award.
Jenifer Robbins, a leader of the ACC Chicago Chapter, has served on Street Law’s Board of Directors since 2011.
Allstate (Chicago, IL)
Allstate’s Chicago program began in 2006. Since then, the company has added more than a dozen program sites. Active sites include Dallas, Detroit, Hartford, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Jersey, New Orleans, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Tampa, and Washington, DC.
In 2011, Allstate received Street Law’s Excellence in Service Award.
Susie Lees, Allstate’s executive vice president and general counsel, is a longtime member of the Host Committee for Street Law’s annual Awards Dinner.
Marriott Vacations Worldwide (Orlando, FL)
Began in 2006
Each spring semester, law department volunteers from Marriott Vacations Worldwide teach students from Oak Ridge High School. They also added an internship component to the program for the most interested students.
In 2008, Marriott Vacation Club (along with Marriott International, Inc.) received Street Law’s Corporate Legal Diversity Pipeline Award.
James H. Hunter, Marriott Vacations Worldwide’s executive vice president and general counsel, has served on the Host Committee for Street Law’s annual Awards Dinner since 2007.
Southern California Edison (Rosemead, CA)
Began in 2006
Each spring semester, volunteers from the Southern California Edison legal team lead a program for students from Arroyo, Rosemead, and South El Monte High Schools.
CA Technologies (Islandia, NY)
Began in 2007
Each spring, volunteers from the CA Technologies law department teach students from Central Islip High School about a variety of legal topics and pathways to careers in the legal profession.
Discovery Communications (Silver Spring, MD)
Began in 2007
In the spring semester, lawyers and legal professionals from the law department at Discovery Communications teach Springbrook High School students about everyday legal concepts.
Since 2008, law department leaders have volunteered to serve on the Host Committee for Street Law’s annual Awards Dinner.
Savalle Sims, Discovery’s executive vice president and general counsel, joined Street Law’s Board of Directors in 2017.
Macy’s (Cincinnati, OH; New York, NY; St. Louis, MO; and San Francisco, CA)
Began all four sites in 2007
Macy’s law department volunteers teach students from Withrow University High School (Cincinnati, OH); Brooklyn Tech; Northwest Academy of Law (St. Louis); and Balboa High School (San Francisco).
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (Atlanta, GA)
Began in 2007
Each fall, the team at Turner teaches students from South Atlanta High School.
In 2009, Turner Broadcasting System received Street Law’s Corporate Legal Diversity Pipeline Award.
The company also developed a video to promote the Legal Diversity Pipeline Program.
Regine N. Zuber, Turner’s senior v.p., associate general counsel, & chief compliance officer, served on the Street Law Board of Directors from 2013–2017. Regine has also served on the Host Committee for Street Law’s annual Awards Dinner since 2008.
Wyndham Vacation Ownership & Wyndham Worldwide (Orlando, FL)
Began in 2007
Each spring, a group of volunteers from the Wyndham law department teaches students at Boone High School.