Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey LLP has not let COVID-19 slow its efforts to build a diverse pipeline of law school-bound college students in Connecticut. Instead, in July and August, Carmody partnered with Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity to host LCD participant Angela Evans, a rising senior at Southern Connecticut State University, for an in-office summer internship for which she earned college credit towards her Political Science degree.
Carmody partners Amanda Nugent and Tom Sansone, both of whom are part of the firm’s Diversity Equity & Inclusion Team, developed a curriculum for Ms. Evans’s five week-long internship with the goal of exposing her to as many aspects of the practice as possible. Ms. Evans met with partners in the Firm’s real estate, litigation, immigration, ADR, employment, cyber security and data privacy and criminal practices, and performed substantive legal research and writing in her areas of interest, which included immigration law and criminal law. Ms. Evans also received instruction from a number of the firm’s partners on topics like legal ethics, the sources of law, and the Connecticut Practice Book, and received information and advice about preparing for a career in law, applying to law school, the LSAT and Bar exams, and about the numerous paths available to law school graduates, like clerkships, private practice and public service careers.
“Mentorship has always been a key feature of Carmody’s inclusive culture, so it was a natural fit for us to extend that to include college students with an interest in the law”, said firm partner and program developer Amanda Nugent. “Our firm has a long history of promoting women in the law, and we are committed to carrying that forward to create greater access and opportunity for all other underrepresented identities.”
“It’s important that our firm put meaningful action behind the idea that all members of the legal community have a moral imperative to address the inequalities caused by centuries of structural racism that have plagued our society. This one small step is merely the first of many that we must take to cause positive and impactful change in our profession,” added Carmody partner and program developer, Tom Sansone.
Ms. Evans, who completed her internship on August 20, reports that she plans to attend law school in Connecticut after taking a year off to work, hopefully with a New Haven-based non-profit organization. She states that her summer experience has convinced her to stay in Connecticut for law school, rather than leaving to attend an out-of-state school as she’d previously planned to do.
While Carmody was forced to cancel many of its other summer plans due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it remained committed to maintaining those plans that support the Firm’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion goals. Carmody’s only summer associate this year was Elle Cotzomi, its annual 1L summer diversity scholar, who split her summer working in Carmody’s Waterbury office and in program partner Eversource’s in-house legal department.
Carmody will continue its law school pipeline development efforts this fall, when it will host a student of color from Wesleyan University for a 10-week internship in its New Haven office.
For more information on Carmody’s internship programs or its diversity, equity and inclusion initiative, please contact managing partner Rick Street, who leads these initiatives.