Melange Gavin at DLA 2019 flipped

Diversity Leadership Academies


Our award-winning Diversity Leadership Academy develops and empowers the next generation of lawyers and leaders. Attendees learn strategies for success in law school and beyond, gain insight into practicing at a global law firm, and become part of a nationwide community of Latham lawyers and peers who share a commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal profession.

Program Details

Professional Development and Training

The Diversity Leadership Academy is a substantive professional development and training program providing first-year law students with the information and skills needed to successfully navigate the law firm interview and hiring process, and transition from law student to practicing attorney. Students will participate in interactive seminars on a variety of topics, including resume writing, interview skills, diversity, equity and inclusion, pro bono, and effective communication. Sessions will be led by Latham lawyers, many of whom serve in leadership positions at the firm (including members of our Executive, Recruiting, and Diversity Leadership Committees), as well as external speakers who are subject matter experts in their fields.

Networking and Building Community

Participants will join an exclusive cohort of Diversity Leadership Academy attendees, providing an invaluable opportunity to network and build relationships with like-minded peers from the top law schools in the US.

The Diversity Leadership Academy also offers a unique opportunity to develop professional connections with our lawyers and firm leaders through interactive seminars, discussion groups, and social activities. These connections are particularly valuable for students interested in meeting Latham lawyers who are involved in our recruiting process, and for learning more about Latham and Big Law in general.


Each participant will be assigned to a mentoring pod with other Diversity Leadership Academy attendees and led by a Latham lawyer mentor. The Latham Lawyer mentor will serve as a resource for professional development and career advice throughout the remainder of the participant’s law school career.  In addition, the mentoring pod will serve as a source of community and empowerment during the Diversity Leadership Academy and beyond.

Selection Criteria

The application process is open to all first-year law students (class of 2026), regardless of race, color, religion, citizenship, national origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, military service, disability, or any other characteristic or condition protected by applicable law.

Latham’s Recruiting Committee will evaluate all applications, considering the following factors:

  • Demonstrated commitment to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in their communities and/or in the legal profession
  • Academic and leadership achievements
  • Obstacles or challenges (financial or otherwise) encountered in advancing career objectives
  • Life experiences that have shaped values (including a commitment to DEI) and professional goals
  • A desire to practice at a global law firm

Application Requirements

A complete application package must include the following items:

  • Completed online application
  • Resume
  • Unofficial or official 1L law school transcript
    • If your first semester grades are not available by the application deadline, you may submit your application online and separately email your transcript once your grades become available. Once it is available, please email your unofficial transcript to Finalists will be required to submit official transcripts as they progress through the selection process.
    • We strongly encourage submitting your application with your final transcript to expedite the review process. 
  • Personal statement (500 to 1,000 words) addressing one or more of the following:
    • Your resilience and tenacity in pursuing your professional goals
    • How you will contribute to Latham’s inclusive culture and diverse community
    • Experiences that have shaped your commitment to DEI and belonging in your community and the legal profession

Dates and Deadlines

Applications for our 2024 1L Diversity Scholars Program & Diversity Leadership Academy are not yet open. Sign up to be notified when 2024 applications open.

Highlights From the 2023 Diversity Leadership Academy