PDLG is made up of top Philadelphia law firms and in-house legal departments. Each year, through the PDLG Fellows Program, these organizations offer a route to summer employment to first year law students who meet PDLG’s diversity criteria. The program also offers fellows a series of seminars and programs designed to enhance their skills and increase their knowledge of the Philadelphia legal community.

What You Get



Legal mentors
(actually, two of them)


Access to the
PDLG network

Summer employment

  • PDLG Fellows will receive the same salary other first-year summer associates/clerks/interns (if any) are paid by the organization.
  • Each participating employer has committed to fully involve PDLG Fellows in its summer associate/clerkship/internship program and provide appropriate and continuous feedback and training.
  • Each Fellow who is not working at a law firm is paired with one of our member law firms to have the opportunity to be involved in some law firm summer training and social events.


Legal mentors

  • PDLG will provide each Fellow with a writing mentor to work with before the summer job starts and perhaps during the summer.
  • The PDLG board representative of the employer or their designee will be an additional mentor to the employer’s Fellows.
  • Each participating employer will provide its Fellow with at least one mentor and possibly more if that is the practice for its summer associates/clerks.


Professional training

  • A writing program that will include a seminar in late March combined with one-on-one writing mentoring, to be completed before starting work.
  • A Pre-Work Seminar, after exams end, but before summer jobs begin. This seminar is designed to sharpen skills and the professionalism of the Fellows’ work and manner and deepen their understanding of the general expectations of the employers, the nature of the work, the environment in which it gets done, and the best ways to manage their work, deal with any issues that arise and make use of feedback—all the underpinnings of aa successful summer.
  • A seminar on the mechanics of successful networking from informative but brief introductions through graceful good-byes, follow-up, and staying in touch.
  • Seminars on getting future jobs - 2L summer jobs, jobs after graduation, federal and state clerkships.


Access to the network

  • Connections with former PDLG Fellow who currently work or did their PDLG summer where the Fellows will be working.
  • Summer reception with Fellows, present and former, PDLG Board representatives, law firm hiring partners, managing partners, diversity officers, Philadelphia and affinity bar association leaders, and others.
  • Membership in the PDLG Fellows Program Alumni Association which provides substantive events, networking opportunities, and connections to alumni in Philadelphia, around the country, and around the world.

Included seminars

Programs specially designed to help you become a successful lawyer in any organization.

What You Learn

Fellows-Icons_Professional Acumen

Professional Acumen


Writing and Assignment Skills


Interviewing Techniques


Career Planning

Fellows-Icons_Legal Networking

Legal Networking

Fellows-Icons_Judicial Clerkship

Obtaining Judicial Clerkships

Fellows-Icons_Law Firm

Working in a Law Firm or Corporate Legal Department

Fellows-Icons_Difficult Situations

Dealing with Difficult Situations


The PDLG Fellows Program is open to any first-year law student who
meets our criteria.

Eligible candidates are those who have faced challenges including, but not limited to, life situations in which their opportunities were diminished significantly by factors beyond their control, such as socio-economic status, discrimination, sparse academic resources or opportunities, and/or other similar adverse circumstances on their path to a legal career.

Q: Are evening/part-time/joint degree students eligible to be PDLG Fellows?

A: Evening/part-time/joint degree students are eligible before starting as a PDLG Fellow they will have the equivalent of at least one full year of law school credits but less than the equivalent of two years of law school credits.

Q: Can I be a Fellow if I am on an F-1 visa to attend law school?

A: No, F-1 students aren’t eligible to be Fellows. Being on an F-1 visa creates significant obstacles with placement. Although you may be eligible for a temporary period of work authorization after you graduate, most employers are unable or unwilling to provide sponsorship for an H-1B visa for work after expiration of your post-completion optional practical training.  If you feel that special circumstances exist to justify an exception to this policy, please let us know.

Q: Does the Fellows Program have a grade cut off?

A: PDLG is primarily looking for students getting A’s and B’s in law school. That generally equates to a 3.0, but exceptions can be made in some situations.

Q: Is there a writing test? 

A: No, but the written materials submitted as part of the application are reviewed to see if they are clear, well thought through, easy to follow, organized, typo free and grammatically correct.

Meet Our Alumni

Application Process

Written Application • PDLG Interview • Employer Interview

PDLG Fellows Program Committee
The PDLG Fellows Program Committee (the “PDLG Committee”) will review the applications and select those to be interviewed by PDLG representatives based on the criteria in the section on eligibility and academic results. Students will be notified of their selection and of the time of the interview by email.


PDLG Interview Process

Representatives of participating PDLG law firms and legal departments (the "PDLG Committee") will conduct interviews of the selected candidates Saturday, February 10, 2024. Each candidate will have one 30-40 minute interview with two PDLG representatives.

At the conclusion of the day of interviews, the participating representatives will select those candidates who, in their judgment, are realistically likely to succeed as summer associates. Each selected candidate will then be randomly assigned to an employer for an interview for a specific job. Of course, no candidate will be assigned to an employer where there would be a conflict of interest. The interviewing employer will be provided with a full copy of its candidates' application packages and any other information developed as part of the PDLG process.

By the Monday after the interview day, all candidates will be notified by PDLG whether they have been selected for an employer interview and given a preliminary employer assignment. However, until the student is contacted by the employer, the assignment is only tentative. If and where changes must be made, they are made as soon as possible.


Employer Interviews and Offers

Within a week after being notified of the candidates assigned to them, employers will contact their candidates to schedule interviews and will hold interviews and make decisions as soon as they can. Employers understand that students have classes and other academic obligations and need to schedule around them, and ask candidates to understand that interviews can involve as many as five practicing attorneys who also have complicated schedules, making flexibility in scheduling vital on both sides. It is also very important that interviews and decisions be made promptly by employers and decisions on offers be made promptly by students so as not to disadvantage other candidates who are also waiting for decisions.

A candidate who will not be available for an interview during the interview period specified in the application must say so in the application so we can try to make special arrangements. Otherwise, if a candidate is not reasonably available for interviews during that period for reasons other than emergencies, the candidate may lose the opportunity to be considered.

We strongly encourage all those candidates to whom offers are made to respond as soon as possible, preferably within a week of receiving the offer.

Participating PDLG employers have agreed that if they make an offer to a PDLG Program candidate who is matched with another participating PDLG employer, the offer will stay open until the PDLG process is complete for that student.


Employment Offers

The usual practice is that students selected for summer employment receive a call or email from the employer with the offer and then a letter employer confirming the selection and the details of employment in accordance with the employer's usual practice. The final decisions will not be made by the PDLG, and the PDLG will not have advanced information about employment decisions.

From time to time, there are positions that open up after the primary round of employer interviews and decisions. If that happens, some applicants may be offered another interview opportunity. Most years several positions are filled through this process, but it is not guaranteed nor is it required that students participate.

A completed application form will include the following items:

  Your current resume
  Your transcripts from your undergraduate alma mater and first semester of law school
An academic reference from your law school
A writing sample during your time in law school
A brief statement explaining how you meet the criteria for this program

*Additional information may be requested