1L Pledge to Diversity Ushers in New Year, New Students

Judge Arguello imparts advice in keynote address

Last week aspiring attorneys got a rare chance to mingle with law firm leaders as part of a long-running program designed to prepare underrepresented students for careers in law.

Hogan Lovells held the 11th Annual 1L Diversity Welcome Reception Wednesday night in lower downtown Denver. The event, co-hosted by the Center for Legal Inclusiveness, welcomed first-year law students to the 1L Pledge to Diversity Program and treated them to a speech from federal judge Christine Arguello.

The 1L Pledge to Diversity Program connects local law students of diverse backgrounds with Colorado legal employers for the purpose of networking and hands-on career experience. For 2017, the program placed diverse students at paid summer internships with a record 36 employers.

“I was in your shoes not that many years ago,” CiCi Cheng, 1L Pledge executive committee co-chair, told attendees. “I was sitting in a room just like this … extremely terrified of my first experience at a big, fancy law firm office, where I’d never been in my entire life.” Cheng, who went through the 1L Pledge program herself, interned with Holland & Hart where she now works as an associate. The experience she got that first summer helped prepare her for the corporate world and the law firm environment, she said.

To read this story and other complete articles featured in the September 18, 2017 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.