ISBA YLD Diversity Committee is seeking lawyer-mentors to connect with
diverse law students in Iowa, as part of its Varietas Diversity
Mentoring Program, in order to continue to build and strengthen the
diversity of the legal profession.
Varietas, which means
diversity in Latin, is a mentorship program between law students at
Drake University and the University of Iowa and local attorneys and
judges with the goal of diversifying Iowa’s legal community. Varietas
will target students and mentors from groups that are underrepresented
in the legal profession who are committed to diversifying Iowa’s legal
community. The program will allow students to select their mentors from a
pool of volunteers based on factors important to the student–mentee.
The YLD Diversity Committee will host at least one event at each
university for the mentors and mentees to meet and network with other
lawyers in Iowa who are also committed to diversity in the legal
profession. The committee will incorporate professional development
activities and workshops into event programs that will focus on how to
improve diversity in the legal profession and give law students the
opportunity to meet mentors. The programs will provide lawyers with
continuing legal education credit.
The purpose of Varietas is to
forge strong ties between law students from underrepresented groups in
the legal profession and Iowa employers in order to create career
opportunities for law students. Ultimately, the Committee hopes the
relationships formed between the mentors and mentees will encourage
underrepresented law students to seek employment opportunities in Iowa,
which will broaden the diversity of the Iowa Bar. The program will also
provide attorney–mentors the opportunity to receive education and
training on the importance of having a diverse Bar, and encourage law
schools to prioritize diversity in the legal profession by assisting the
committee in developing a series of professional development workshops
for lawyers and law students from underrepresented groups, such as
"crash courses” on how to survive and thrive at work, developing
resumes, and interview coaching.
The Varietas program is also a
part of the American Bar Association’s Next Steps Diversity Challenge,
which aims to increase diversity in the pipeline to the legal
profession. Those with questions or interest in participating as a
mentor to a law student as part of the YLD’s Varietas program are
invited to contact Maggie White at firstname.lastname@example.org.