Developed in 1990, BAMSCP places first year law students for summer clerkships with bay area legal employers.
The Bay Area Minority Summer Clerkship Program (the Program) is sponsored by the Santa Clara County Bar Association (SCCBA), Alameda County Bar Association (ACBA), and the Contra Costa Bar Association (CCCBA) to provide first year minority law students experience in law firms that they might not otherwise be able to access. This program is not a recruiting program, and employers and students have no expectation of further offers of employment. The program's most important objective is to increase the number of minority attorneys in the hiring pipeline, giving them a better opportunity in subsequent years to be competitive for second year clerkships and post law school employment. The SCCBA has provided ongoing administrative support for BAMSCP for over 20 years.
BAMSCP selects students for its program through an application process, which is based on writing skills and an interview. The interview is administered by a committee made up of Silicon Valley practicing private and public attorneys, as well as judges who select the best and brightest students. BAMSCP then matches students with employers based on their practice area interest. Participating employers then screen students to ensure a good fit. Placements are based on the mutual preferences of both employers and students.
The Santa Clara County Bar Association, in conjunction with Santa Clara University School of Law, founded the Program in 1990. That year, five first-year minority law students were placed in summer law clerk jobs in one of the five participating law firms. In 1993, the Program was expanded to include three bar associations, eight law schools, and 19 employers, and was renamed the Bay Area Minority Summer Clerkship Program. In 2002, the Contra Costa Bar Association (CCCBA), joined the program as a sponsor.
Given the historic under-representation of minority lawyers in large law firms, the Program seeks to provide a means for exposing minority law students to large law firms and vice versa. The objective is to establish a vehicle through which participation of minority students in large law firm clerkship programs is increased with the long-term goal of increasing minority hiring.
The specific purposes are:
- To expose minority law students to the work, requirements and culture of majority law firms.
- To help students develop skills, confidence, resume credentials and to make professional contacts for the future.
- To encourage students to consider majority law firms in their career planning.
- To introduce majority law firms to talented students who might not have been selected for the firms' traditional summer programs and to demonstrate that these students, as well as other students with similar qualifications, can successfully meet the demands of law practice. The Program is primarily an educational and introductory tool, not a recruiting program.
First year minority students from Boalt Hall, Hastings, Golden Gate, Santa Clara, Stanford, University of San Francisco, McGeorge, and Davis are invited to participate. Minority law students are those defined by the national Association for Law Placement, e.g., native Americans, Alaska Natives, Asians, Indians (sub-continent), African Americans, Other Blacks, Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, and other Hispanics. Although this is a targeted Program, students of all ethnicities are eligible to participate.
Only students who will have completed their first year of law school by the summer they are seeking employment in the Program (the "Program summer") are eligible to participate. Eligible students include part-time students who have completed one year of law school by the Program summer. It also includes students who began law school in January of the year preceding the Program summer. Students must be in good academic standing as defined by the respective law schools to participate in the Program. Students must be able to provide proof of ability to become lawfully employed in this country.