expand the program’s reach. In 2015,
PSAMCP went from operating as a
committee to forming a nonprofit
corporation — Legal Employers Advancing Diversity in Washington, or
LEAD-WA — and being granted 501(c)
( 3) status. As a business entity, LEAD-WA now has a board of directors, officers, a bank account, and a website
( www.lead-wa.org). LEAD-WA also expanded its breadth to include Gonzaga
University School of Law students and
employers in Eastern Washington.
How to get involved
For employers in Washington that are
interested in supporting our diversity
initiative, LEAD-WA is an easy way
to hire a diverse 1L as a summer fellow. Our participating employers and
law schools market the opportunity at
Washington’s three law schools, gather application materials and interview
the candidates. The organization also
provides support to employers who
may lack experience hiring and supervising law students.
LEAD-WA’s goals for the 2016–17
school year include:
• Raise $10,000 to fund employment
of a LEAD-WA fellow for the summer
of 2017 by a legal services agency.
• Increase employer participants to
20, including employers from Eastern Washington.
• Outreach to middle and high school
students in ethnically and eco-
nomically diverse neighborhoods to
encourage pursuit of legal careers.
Every employer can help LEAD-WA
attain these goals and make the legal
profession’s aspirations for diversity
a reality. Please visit the LEAD-WA
website or contact a board member
to learn more about our program. The
cost to employers is minimal, but the
benefit to the students and to our
profession is priceless. NWL
the president of
(LEAD-WA). She is a corporate and
securities attorney at Gordon Thomas
Honeywell LLP in Seattle. She can be
reached at email@example.com.
Born in Japan and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Eric Gilman wanted to be a lawyer, but
he did not know any. His family’s priorities were hard work and education, but his part-time
restaurant jobs and hours of studying could not provide the legal experience he wanted. As
an undergraduate, Eric scanned documents at a Bellevue law firm, hoping to see a bit of what
lawyers really did, but this did little to further Eric’s understanding of the profession. His first
year of law school at Seattle University School of Law had its frustrations, as the good grades
did not come as easily as they once had for him. Eric says, “I was struggling to put all of the
information I was learning into context. I couldn’t see the forest for the trees.”
Eric landed a 1L summer fellowship at Gordon Thomas Honeywell through what was then the Puget Sound Area Minority
Clerkship Program (PSAMCP), and he began working on cases with the mentorship of the firm’s experienced attorneys.
“Something clicked after that. I was no longer just trying to memorize facts and legal principles. I began to think about
the law like a practicing lawyer,” Eric recalls. His 1L summer allowed him to meet judges and lawyers, which further
demystified a community of which he had not previously been a part. Eric made the Dean’s List for his final two years of
law school, which he attributes to the insights he gained during his summer position. Eric is now a partner at my law firm.