The FCBA is excited to announce the official launch of its inaugural Diversity Pipeline Program. This is your chance to have a meaningful role in developing high caliber diverse lawyers and future members of the FCBA!
*The FCBA Diversity Pipeline Student Online Application is now available! Please apply at https://webportalapp.com/sp/fcba-diversity-pipeline-program. Applications will be accepted from Monday, January 4th to Friday, January 15th.
*The FCBA announces the first 19 anchor organizations – See the press release here.
Law Firms: Davis Wright Tremaine LLP; Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP; Hogan Lovells; Kellogg Hansen Todd Figel & Frederick PLLC; Kelley Drye & Warren LLP; Lerman Senter PLLC; Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky, and Popeo, P.C.; Wilkinson Barker Knauer, LLP; Wiley Rein LLP; and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
Companies: AT&T Services, Inc.; Charter Communications; Comcast NBCUniversal; T-Mobile; and Verizon
Trade Associations: ACA Connects; CTIA; NCTA – the Internet & Television Association; and USTelecom – The Broadband Association
DIVERSITY IN TECHNOLOGY, MEDIA & TELECOMMUNICATIONS LAW
Diversity in the American legal profession has been a concern for decades. Minority groups continue to be grossly underrepresented in legal organizations, particularly among the leadership ranks of law firms, legal departments of major U.S. companies, and the federal government. The Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA) believes it is imperative that the legal profession, specifically the tech bar, reflects the full spectrum of talent, perspectives, and experiences represented in the broader populace.
WHAT IS THE DIVERSITY PIPELINE PROGRAM?
The FCBA is launching the Diversity Pipeline Program to attract, develop, and support diverse law students who are interested in pursuing legal careers in technology, media, and telecommunications (TMT) law and policy. The Pipeline Program is an employment program with a legal skills development component that will facilitate access to paid summer 2021 legal internship opportunities for 1st year law students from historically underrepresented and disadvantaged groups.
Through the Pipeline Program:
• Diverse 1st Year Law Students who demonstrate a sincere interest in TMT law and policy will receive substantive legal skills training and mentorship, FCBA network access, and qualify for a paid internship opportunity with participating employer-organizations specialized in TMT law and policy.
• Diversity Pipeline Employer-Organizations, including law firms, companies, think-tanks, advocacy organizations, and government agencies will be connected to trained and highly motivated diverse 1st year law students with a keen interest in TMT law and policy.
• Diversity Pipeline U.S. Accredited Law School Partners will team up with the FCBA on substantive TMT related curricula and receive access to the FCBA network for career panels and other opportunities for their diverse 1st year students.
The Diversity Pipeline Program Committee is excited to announce that application materials are available. The application process will run from January 4 to January 15, 2021. Interview sessions will occur in late January and mid-February, and formal matches will be announced by early March.
Employers-Organizations: The Diversity Pipeline Program is currently seeking employer-organizations to offer summer 2021 internship opportunities for highly motivated diverse 1L law students with a keen interest in TMT law and policy. For more information, interested organizations are encouraged to contact Avonne Bell (ABell@ctia.org) and Clete Johnson (CJohnson@wbklaw.com).
First-Year Diverse Law Students: Students interested in the Diversity Pipeline Program are encouraged to apply.
Click here to watch Program Launch Event held on November 16, 2020, featuring remarks from Michael K. Powell, President & CEO, NCTA, the Internet & Television Assoc. and Former Chairman, FCC; Kathleen Grillo, Senior Vice President, Verizon; Natalie Roisman, Partner, Wilkinson Barker Knauer & President, FCBA; Megan Stull, Counsel, Google & President-Elect; FCBA; Lisa Fowlkes and Kiara Ortiz, FCBA Members; and Diversity Pipeline Committee Co-Chairs.
WHY DIVERSE LAW STUDENTS SHOULD PURSUE CAREERS IN TECHNOLOGY, MEDIA & TELECOMMUNICATIONS LAW:
“I cannot think of another career path more dynamic, more challenging and more invigorating than this one. The tech-driven current runs swiftly through time. That is what I find makes it so exciting. Unlike so many other jobs that have you toiling on projects that never end or never have any visible impact on the world, in this profession you actually get to see the fruits of your work come into being—in our homes and offices, and in our schools and playgrounds. … The Information Age is the first great epoch that holds genuine promise for black and brown people to share in its fruits and riches. My ancestors were picking cotton in the Agricultural Age and were left out. And they were legally segregated in the Industrial Age, and again left out. The Information Age provides the first real chance to get in. While plenty of obstacles remain for minorities and women (I might add), one can see the viability of success more clearly than ever before.”
–Michael Powell, Former Chairman, FCC; CEO, NCTA – The Internet & Television Association
“The Tech Bar has real power to drive meaningful diversity, inclusion, and equity. Our Diversity Pipeline Program will be strongest when it fully leverages the scale of our association and the scope of our membership to engage law students from diverse backgrounds and to support them with curriculum and mentoring as they develop their legal and policy careers. Whether a law firm, company, non-profit, or government, every employer can play a role in ensuring the FCBA is a leader in creating a robust pipeline for diverse law students, and in continuing to foster the spirit of inclusion and the long history of mentoring that have been a foundation of the FCBA for many years.”
–Natalie Roisman, Wilkinson Barker Knauer, FCBA President
“At Verizon, we understand that our greatest strength is our people, and we need diverse backgrounds and perspectives to help us become a better company and connect more meaningfully with our customers. But championing diversity is not enough. We also need to be a force for equality so that women and people of color have a clear path for advancement, so they never have to scale down their ambitions or anchor their dreams. Diversity is also an absolute imperative in our industry so we can develop sound public policies that help usher in the fourth industrial revolution. Technology has never played a more integral role in our personal and professional lives. Verizon is excited to be part of this inaugural program to bring even more talented people into one of the most dynamic and interesting industries in the US.”
-Kathleen Grillo, Senior Vice President Public Policy & Govt Affairs, Verizon
“Everyday our field enables innovations that help people lead better and richer lives. Technology connects people from faraway geographies and disparate backgrounds, allowing them to become friends and neighbors. Devices and applications that our ancestors would have considered to be the stuff of fantasy become part of our everyday routines. Helping people not only feel connected, but actually be connected, only becomes reality when communities have representation. Working together, practitioners and professionals of all backgrounds can build policy, regulatory, and legal frameworks that allow new technologies to meaningfully bridge divides.”
-Megan Stull, Counsel, Google, FCBA President-Elect
“Given the vast and diverse opportunities provided by the communications sector and its inter-connectivity with other critical industries within our economy, people of color within the sector can make a significant difference within our society. As an employee of a communications sector organization, I can attest that people of color have the opportunity to help shape government and corporate policy, particularly when addressing challenges such as ensuring that communities of color have access to high-speed broadband—which in turn helps low-income students perform better in school, improves access to health care, and creates greater opportunities for economic inclusion. As we have seen over the last six months, this access is more crucial than ever as we live through a pandemic.”
–Lisa M. Fowlkes, FCBA Member
Now more than ever, the communications sector needs diverse voices to develop policies that are equitable for all people. Until World War II, people of color have been largely left out of the opportunities available in the technology, media, and telecommunications fields. Even in the 21st Century, people of color are more likely to live without services like high-speed broadband, which is just as important to success in our society today as clean water or housing. Diverse lawyers in the communications sector are reshaping government and industry policy to ensure that communities of color are represented in the mission to provide internet access to all Americans. Further, industry leaders in technology, media, and telecommunications law have recognized the need for its leadership to look more like the nation it serves. Pursuing a career in technology, media, and telecommunications law will provide more diverse perspectives in these industries, which will lead our technological revolution toward a more inclusive future.”
–Justin Perkins, Law School Ambassador, Howard University School of Law, FCBA Diversity Pipeline Program
DIVERSITY PIPELINE PROGRAM CO-CHAIRS: