Saul Ewing LLP teams up with client Exelon Corporation to teach diverse high school students about the legal profession
Saul Ewing LLP and energy provider Exelon Corporation teamed up on July 11, 2014 to teach 48 diverse high school students how environmental law affects their lives and how they can shape the field if they enter the legal profession.
Led by Michelle N. Lipkowitz, a partner in Saul Ewing’s Commercial Litigation Practice and chair of the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee, and Divesh Gupta, assistant general counsel for Exelon, approximately 20 attorneys with deep experience in energy, environmental and utility matters from the two businesses developed and conducted the Environmental Law Day Program for the Summer Legal Institute.
The Institute is run by Chicago-based Just the Beginning – A Pipeline Organization, which brings together high school students who are from low-income communities and/or have diverse backgrounds that are underrepresented in the legal profession to learn about careers as lawyers and judges during a week-long program, this one located in Washington, D.C.
The program reflects both Saul Ewing’s and Exelon’s commitment to diversity and inclusion in their workplaces and provided an opportunity for encouraging diverse individuals to pursue positions as in-house counsel for companies and attorneys in private practice.
“Similar to Exelon, Saul Ewing strives to attract and retain employees who not only best serve our clients, but also represent the communities where the firm operates,” Lipkowitz said. “Working side by side with Exelon’s in-house attorneys to develop and conduct this program was a meaningful way for Saul Ewing to experience first-hand how our client not only treats diversity and inclusion as a business imperative but also as a core value and moral obligation.”
The Environmental Law Day Program took place at Exelon’s offices in Baltimore, where after lunch with Exelon and Saul Ewing attorneys, the students took a tour of Exelon that included a visit to the trading floor where energy commodities like crude oil and electricity are bought and sold 24 hours a day. The students also participated in three breakout sessions, including one about how environmental laws and regulations affect the Chesapeake Bay region, where the majority of the participants live.
The Environmental Law Day was the culmination of the students’ week-long programming in Washington, D.C., which ended with a graduation ceremony for the participants and their families, sponsored by Exelon and Saul Ewing.
Other participating attorneys from Saul Ewing drew on their experience as members of the firm’s Energy, Environment and Utilities Practice to contribute to the program, including Partner Randall M. Lutz and Associate Robin D. Leone, both of whom taught sessions, and Partners F. William DuBois and J. Joseph “Max” Curran, III, who is vice chair of the practice.
“Saul Ewing is excited to have had the opportunity to work with Exelon to help diversify the pool of qualified attorneys,” Lipkowitz said.