Diversity Fellowship & Recruitment Programs

Lathrop GPM continues to implement a variety of strategies and initiatives to recruit a diverse group of summer associates and attorneys. Successful efforts layer law school connections and support, networking, community outreach and financial support with accountability to the Firm’s legal recruiting team, Culture, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and executive leadership. 

1L Diversity Opportunity Program

Lathrop GPM offers a 1L Diversity Opportunity Program designed to attract and retain historically underrepresented groups in the legal field, including people of color, those with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ+ community. The stipend, up to $20,000, is awarded to one first-year law student each year and distributed in annual payments, providing the student returns to the firm as a 2L summer associate, then receives and accepts an employment offer from the firm following law school graduation.

To be eligible for the 1L Diversity Opportunity Program, candidates must receive and accept an offer from the firm for one of its 1L Diversity Summer Associate Program positions. First-year law student candidates must be in good standing at an ABA-accredited law school, demonstrate a record of academic and professional achievement, and contribute meaningfully to diversity and inclusion through their involvement in law school or other community efforts and initiatives.

"We know that there are challenges related to representation and opportunity within the legal industry," said Vanessa Vaughn West, Lathrop GPM’s Chief Culture, Diversity & Engagement Officer. "We wanted to create another opportunity that shows 'we value you, we recognize you, and we want to support you in your pursuit of a legal career."

We are not currently accepting applications. This year’s recipient has been identified. Questions can be directed to Vanessa Vaughn West, Chief Culture, Diversity & Engagement Officer, at

Minnesota Urban Debate League Fellowship

Since 2010, Lathrop GPM has proudly sponsored the Minnesota Urban Debate League’s Summer Fellowship, during which high school students observe attorneys in action to get a snapshot of what it is like to be a lawyer. In addition to assisting with various tasks around the firm, the summer fellow attends a debate camp funded through the Lathrop GPM-sponsored fellowship. The firm has continued its involvement each year, and had served as a catalyst for the program’s growth throughout the Twin Cities.  

The Minnesota Urban Debate League serves young people in Minneapolis and St. Paul through academic competitive debate. The League has been hailed as “the diversity program that works” in building the future pipeline of leaders in the legal field.

Cristo Rey Program 

Lathrop GPM has partnered with the Cristo Rey Network, which provides a faith-based, college preparatory education to economically disadvantaged young people in urban communities. Students attend school four days each week, then work in a corporate office on the fifth day to help pay for their education. Lathrop GPM continues to host students through this initiative, helping them learn basic job skills that are critical to future success.

Additional Partners 

  • ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship 
  • Midwest Black Law Student Association 
  • Local and National Diverse Bar Associations 
  • Law Schools and Diverse Student Organizations 
  • Diverse Professional Organizations 

For Diversity Fellowship & Recruitment Programs inquiries, please contact:

Jaclyn Steiner
Legal Talent Manager