Job fair connects diverse students to jobs

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To help a diverse group of 2L students find summer employment in central Indiana, and to help Indianapolis-area employers connect with diverse, qualified students looking for summer associate positions, the Indianapolis Bar Association hosted its third diversity job fair at a downtown Indianapolis hotel Aug. 19 - 20. Plans for the 2011 fair haven’t been solidified, but organizers say they are in the process of looking at what has worked the last few years.

While this isn’t the first or only fair of its kind in the Midwest – a similar fair takes place in Chicago – the purpose is to attract a more diverse group of candidates to Indianapolis. All employers participating in the job fair are required to offer jobs in central Indiana, said Caren Chopp, pro bono coordinator for the IBA.

The fair is open to all 2L law students seeking summer associate jobs in central Indiana between their second and third year of law school. Candidates can be from any law school, and not all of them were from the Indianapolis law school.

In 2010, 20 employers participated, while 19 participated in 2009, and 17 participated in 2008. Organizers have said that there are already employers asking to participate in 2011.

Employers at the 2010 fair included some of the largest firms in Indianapolis, as well as a few medium-size firms, corporate legal departments, the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office, Marion County Public Defender Agency, the Indiana Attorney General’s Office, and the Office of Corporation Counsel for the City of Indianapolis.

The number of students participating has increased each year as well. In 2010, 78 participated; in 2009, 68 students participated; and in 2008, the event drew 55 students.

Last year, about a dozen law students ultimately accepted offers for summer employment after meeting employers at the fair and participating in an interview. As of November, 31 job offers had been accepted, and Chopp said she expected about a dozen students would secure employment for summer 2011.

As for why the IBA has been hosting these diversity job fairs, Chopp said, there isn’t an official statement, but in an e-mail response, she quoted the IBA’s diversity statement: “‘Diversity in the Indianapolis Bar Association and among the Indianapolis legal profession is important to filling our mission’ and we ‘declare that diversity is a core value of the IBA, and that the IBA shall promote and encourage diversity among its leadership, its membership, and the entire legal community.’”

The IBA also hosts this fair as a way to help employers in the Indianapolis legal community to recruit qualified employees.

“We want to find students who are interested in practicing specifically in central Indiana,” she said, as opposed to Chicago, New York City, Boston, Washington, D.C., or the West Coast. “Similar to other fairs, we use hotel suites for interviews and use a similar method to setting up the interviews.”

She added the job fair in Indianapolis is unique because many other fairs do not offer as many networking opportunities for the students, where the IBA fair has a reception and a lunch for students and employers. Other fairs often separate the students and employers. The IBA also offered three scholarships to 2010 participants, which others don’t, at least not yet, Chopp added.

For more information about the IBA Diversity Job Fair, visit the website,•


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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.