The three Richmond Law students who found summer 2017 positions in the Association of Corporate Counsel National Capital Region Corporate Scholars Program have one thing in common: They’re looking for variety. Camila Conte, L’18, for example, who’s pursing her two-year J.D., has “a limited amount of time to get experience,” she explained. So she’s putting her summer to good use in an in-house position at Markel Corporation that exposes her to fields across the board, from contracts to tax law.

The Corporate Scholars Program is a competitive and diversity-based program that matches students with in-house counsel positions – and a generous stipend. Only 12 or fewer candidates are selected each year. “These in-house internships allow our students to work on a variety of practical, business issues; start to understand what clients want from their lawyers; and learn about a career path they ordinarily would not experience this early in their careers,” said Janet Hutchinson, associate dean for career development. “Though it is changing a little, most in-house lawyers come to the role from another setting. So, the Corporate Scholars Program is a great way for a student to get a preview of working in-house.”

“House counsel is always something that appealed to me,” said Conte. “I’m trying to learn as much as I can in different aspects of law.”

Conte learned about the program from the Career Development Office, which hosts on-campus interviews for the Corporate Scholars program, as well as an information session with past participants to help candidates prepare for the interview.

“The CDO did an excellent job of understanding what each student’s interest is,” said Shannon Kapadia, L’18. For her, the “ability to become fully immersed in a company’s business and legal issues” was a big draw to exploring the role of corporate counsel – and she landed a placement at New Market Corporation. Kapadia was also looking for an opportunity to combine her study in law with her interest and experience in business. “My father’s been a business owner in the Richmond area for the past 25 years,” said Kapadia, who also minored in business as an undergraduate student at the University of Richmond. “Why not marry those two interests in law and business?”

Sara Tandy, L’19, thought the program would be a good fit for her interest in employment law and her background in human resources, as well as diversity and inclusion. Through the program, she was matched with a position at Apex Systems, a staffing company where she’ll be exposed to work in human resources, contracts, benefits, and state regulations.

“With the in-house role, you … learn to be more of a generalist,” said Tandy, who also identified one of program’s biggest draws: the ability “to have the corporation be your client, and to understand and get to know all the aspects of one client.” 

Pictured above: The 2017 class of ACC Corporate Scholars, including Richmond Law students Camila Conte (back row, far right); Shannon Kapadia (front row, second from right); and Sara Tandy (back row, second from right).