Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Why Weil Is Spending $1 Million/Year For Students To Delay Law School

Following up on my previous post (link below):  ABA Journal, Weil Takes a Different Tack By Funding 'Zero L' Public Service:

Weil Legal InnovatorsWeil, Gotshal & Manges is partnering with 10 top-ranked law schools to encourage incoming students to spend a year working at public service organizations before they begin their legal education.

Reuters, Why Weil Is Spending $1 Million a Year for Students to Delay Law School:

[T]he Weil Legal Innovators Program [is] an unusual fellowship that targets students before they enter law school.

Since the program launched in 2019, the firm has paid for an average of 10 "Zero L” students a year to delay law school in order to work at select public service organizations – not as lawyers of course, but to take on substantive projects nonetheless. ...

[W]hy is Weil shelling out $1 million a year on a program for students before they even start law school? In part, it seems, because no one else is doing it. Rather than be one more firm funding post-J.D., do-good fellowships, Weil is raising its profile among students at top law schools before their legal careers even begin. ...

The funding for the program is considered a charitable contribution and is part of the firm’s philanthropic giving. ...

Weil gives the nonprofits $50,000 to pay the participants’ salaries, plus another $40,000 to cover expenses like health insurance, with any leftover funds to be pocketed as a donation.

Weil, What Do Innovators Receive For Their Participation:

  • $50,000 in compensation for the fellowship year, plus full health benefits coverage inclusive of medical, vision and dental
  • A one-time $10,000 law school scholarship awarded upon starting first year of law school at a WLI partner institution
  • All expenses paid for travel to and from New York City for WLI orientation in 2022 and closing reception in 2023 (subject to shift to virtual events due to COVID-19)
  • An opportunity to work at and learn from a leading national or international public service organization
  • Mentors from across Weil, including lawyers and professional staff at various levels
  • The opportunity to interview for the Weil Summer Associate Program
  • Professional development trainings from leading instructors in the academic, for-profit and nonprofit sectors.

Weil, Law School Partners:

  • Berkeley
  • Columbia
  • Duke
  • Georgetown
  • Harvard
  • Michigan
  • NYU
  • Penn
  • Stanford
  • Texas

Weil, Nonprofit Partners

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