Summer Clerkship Program

Summer Clerkship Program the ACBA’s Premier Pipeline for Future Diverse Attorneys

Launched in 2005 and entering its nineteenth consecutive year, the ACBA’s Summer Clerkship Program is its premier diversity pipeline initiative.

The Program is open to first year law students who identify as persons of color, disabled (as defined by the ADA) or as LGBTQ+. Students must attend one of our local law schools (University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Thomas R. Kline School of Law at Duquesne University, West Virginia University School of Law and either of Penn State University’s law schools) or be a local resident attending law school elsewhere.

Students apply to the program at the conclusion of their first semester and interview with Pittsburgh area law firms, corporate legal departments, government legal departments, non-profit organizations, court systems, legal aid, public defenders and district attorneys’ offices. Following a mutual matching process, students embark on a meaningful legal summer work experience.

Each year’s students are treated as a cohort with supports and supplemental learning and enrichment opportunities provided by the ACBA.

Through the program the ACBA seeks to attract and identify high-potential diverse law students who may become candidates for future employment in Pittsburgh and to integrate them into the legal community, thereby adding to the diversity of the Pittsburgh legal community and the region as a whole over time. Since 2005, the ACBA has placed over 320 diverse first-year law students in summer clerkship positions in Pittsburgh.

Program Objectives

  • Increase opportunities for diverse law students
  • Foster the development of practical legal skills
  • Immerse students in one legal organization’s culture while exposing them to others
  • Promote student-attorney relationships and networking opportunities
  • Enhance diversity, equity and inclusion in the Pittsburgh legal community
  • Increase the marketability and competitiveness of diverse students for second-year clerkships and post-graduation employment

2023 Participating Employers

Updated March 29, 2023

  • Allegheny County Civil Division – 5th Judicial District
  • Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office
  • Allegheny County Office of the Public Defender
  • Arconic Corporation
  • ATI Inc.
  • Babst Calland
  • BNY Mellon
  • Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC
  • Caroselli Beachler & Coleman, LLC
  • Crown Castle USA, Inc.
  • DiBella Weinheimer
  • Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote, P.C.
  • Dicks Sporting Goods
  • Disability Rights PA
  • Duquesne Light Company
  • Edgar Snyder & Associates
  • Fifth Judicial District Court Admin.
  • Fisher Phillips
  • GNC Holdings, LLC
  • Highmark Health
  • Jackson Kelly PLLC
  • Kazmarek Mowrey Cloud Laseter LLP
  • Leech Tishman Fuscaldo & Lampl
  • Littler Mendelson, P.C.
  • Matis Baum O’Connor, P.C.
  • Metz Lewis Brodman Must O’Keefe LLC
  • Meyer, Unkovic & Scott LLP
  • Neighborhood Legal Services
  • Osterhout Berger Disability Law
  • Pittsburgh Penguins
  • PPG Industries, Inc.
  • Rothman Gordon, P.C.
  • Sitko Bruno, LLC
  • Steptoe & Johnson PLLC
  • Strassburger McKenna Gutnick & Gefsky
  • Tucker Arensberg, P.C.
  • United States Steel Corporation
  • UPMC
  • Wabtec Corporation
  • Western Pennsylvania District Bankruptcy Court
  • Whiteford, Taylor & Preston
  • Zimmer Kunz, PLLC

Law Student Feedback 

“It works in a fair way to help students who would otherwise not have the same opportunities when it comes to summer employment.”    

“It can be very daunting to launch oneself into a potentially new city with little to no experience in one’s practice area of interest. This program provides all the help a 1L may need to get started with and follow through their professional ambitions.”

Participating Employer Feedback

The best part of the program is the opportunity to provide a meaningful experience for someone new to the law and shape their view of how they can have a successful and meaningful career practicing in Pittsburgh.

“It’s important to improve the diversity of the legal profession. The program gives under-represented groups opportunities that they might not otherwise have.”

“It is an excellent program and the clerks we have had here have been more successful than the clerks we have hired outside of the program.”

Contact for more information.