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2018 SVUDL Legal Pipeline Challenge Dates: October 15-26

The “Why” Behind the SVUDL Legal Pipeline Challenge

The legal profession is one of the least diverse professions in the United States, and early exposure of diverse students to future legal careers may have an impact on the numbers of future generations of attorneys from diverse backgrounds. According to Brandon Brown, a partner at Kirkland and Ellis and a member of SVUDL's Legal Advisory Committee, “one of the best ways to ensure our law schools have a diverse population of exceptional candidates is to ensure that diverse high school students feel they can head in that direction. SVUDL does that by encouraging voices and empowering the disenfranchised. Programs like SVUDL represent a long-term investment for law firms and law departments to ensure there is a deep pipeline of diverse candidates to recruit every year."

To further underscore the relationship between debate and the law, nationally 54% of students participating in debate programs say that they plan to pursue careers in the legal profession.

Championing Diversity

Every year since its inception, SVUDL has amassed a coalition of leaders across the legal profession to make generous financial contributions to support SVUDL’s debate teams in partner schools and after-school programs through the Legal Pipeline Challenge (LPC).

The LPC is a meaningful opportunity for law firm partners and corporate counsel to address on a micro level some of the inequalities that exist in access to educational enrichment opportunities in Silicon Valley. By supporting SVUDL, they can help extend the skills and power of debate to talented and motivated low-income high school students, and inspire some of these students to consider future careers in the legal profession.

The 2018 Legal Pipeline Challenge will take place from October 15-26. For more information, please contact Willie Hernandez, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and SVUDL Board Chair, at

SVUDL Salutes Champions of the Legal Pipeline Challenge

Volume #1 , Week of September 17, 2018

Eric Lancaster, Partner, White & Case, Intellectual Property Practice Group


With more attorneys outside the U.S. than in the U.S., diversity is literally in the DNA of the law firm of White & Case. The firm stands by their mission to build upon the strength of the diversity of their lawyers and staff in order to create an environment where everyone is encouraged, assisted and inspired to reach their potential. White & Case believes that diverse teams deliver the best outcomes and results for the client. Their goal to be a leader to increase diversity in the legal profession globally has been recognized by many, including their fifth consecutive No. 1 ranking on The American Lawyer’s 2018 Diversity Scorecard. When White & Case Silicon Valley partner Eric Lancaster learned about SVUDL and its Legal Pipeline Challenge (LPC) from SVUDL Board Chair Willie Hernandez, he was one of the first and enthusiastic members of the legal community to step up to help, and he has galvanized tremendous support from his colleagues at the firm to support the LPC every year since its inception. Click to read more.


2017 TEAMS

Alston Bird

Bartko, Zankel, Bunzel & Miller


Davis Polk

Diversity Lab

DLA Piper


Farella Braun

Gibson Dunn



Kirkland & Ellis

Littler Mendleson

Mayer Brown

O'Melveny Myers


Pillsbury Law

Reed & Smith

Robins Kaplan

Ropes & Gray

Sidley Austin

Skadden Arps

Smith Robertson


Ventura, Rossi, Hersey & Muller


White & Case