National Bar Association - Commercial Law Section Launches Inaugural ‘Black Lawyers Matter’ Virtual Internship Program | News Direct

National Bar Association - Commercial Law Section Launches Inaugural ‘Black Lawyers Matter’ Virtual Internship Program Applications now being accepted for the NBA-CLS’ BLM Internship Program that seeks to promote quality job opportunities to build a more inclusive legal profession

News release by National Bar Association - Commercial Law Section

facebook icon linkedin icon twitter icon pinterest icon email icon Atlanta, Georgia | July 10, 2020 10:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

The National Bar Association - Commercial Law Section (NBA-CLS) recently announced the launch of its NBA-CLS Black Lawyers Matter (BLM) Internship Program, designed to positively impact diversity in the legal profession. The BLM Program will be a virtual program that provides training, exposure, and opportunities to diverse students facing the challenge of securing quality employment, by partnering with corporate legal departments and law firms that are dedicated to taking more meaningful steps towards promoting diversity, equality, and inclusion.

This year further highlighted unprecedented challenges to the Black community including, but not limited to, quality job opportunities being delayed, revoked, or completely eliminated—and the legal industry is not exempt. Recent events in the United States towards members in the Black community have encouraged NBA-CLS to strengthen the steps taken to further our mission of increasing the diversity of outside counsel ranks and expanding the pipeline of African Americans entering the legal profession.

“As NBA-CLS focuses on closing gaps caused by the systematic racism that permeates the legal profession and our society as a whole, one immediate action that we are taking is to launch an internship program specifically for diverse students that have been disproportionately impacted by having limited access to job opportunities,” said LaTanya Langley, Chair of the NBA-CLS BLM Action Committee.

The BLM Program will match law students with corporate legal departments or law firms in practice areas, including, but not limited to Commercial, Corporate, Intellectual Property, Litigation, Employment, Regulatory, Compliance, and Governance. NBA-CLS will provide $10,000 in salary per student (and a total of $40,000) to cover a full-time assignment for 8-10 weeks. The BLM Program will begin in late July 2020 with rolling start dates and will end in September 2020 (or as otherwise agreed with the host corporation or firm).

According to the National Association for Law Placement (NALP), racial minorities remain underrepresented in the leadership ranks of legal services organizations. People of color made up about 25% of associates but accounted for less than 8% of equity partners among all firms who participated in a 2019 NALP survey. Black attorneys accounted for less than 2% of partners among the firms surveyed by NALP, while black women accounted for less than 1%.

“The first step is recognizing that the gap between the demographic makeup of the industry and that of our community reflects the presence of barriers to entry into the profession,” said Andrew Nunes, incoming NBA-CLS Chair. “To remain complacent and idle with this state of affairs, especially in light of recent events, is not only a disservice to diverse lawyers but our industry and society as a whole. As a result, we are eager to launch our BLM Internship Program to increase opportunities for racialized law students and to help cultivate an industry that is more demographically representative of the population.”

If your firm or corporation is interested in partnering with NBA-CLS by providing or sponsoring an opportunity for a student in the BLM Program, please contact LaTanya Langley at for more information.

If you are a law student and you are interested in the BLM Program, please submit your resume and cover letter no later than July 17, 2020, to

About National Bar Association - Commercial Law Section The mission of the NBA Commercial Law Section is to bring its outside counsel members together with in-house counsel who seek to increase the diversity of their outside counsel ranks and to provide networking and education forums to address the interests of NBA members practicing in the area of commercial law. The NBA Commercial Law Section is also committed to serving the community and expanding the pipeline of African Americans entering the legal profession. For more information visit

Contact Details

Andrew Nunes

+1 416-865-4510

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Law studentInternshipBlack Lives Matterdiversityequalityinclusion