Paragon Legal, UC Hastings College of the Law, and Bay Area technology companies Affirm and Dropbox have teamed up to create an innovative program to bolster talent and diversity within in-house legal departments.
In the inaugural year of the Paragon Legal Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) Career Connect program, Paragon will place recent UC Hastings graduates at Affirm and Dropbox in commercial roles that will give them exposure to both legal and business aspects of being an in-house lawyer.
Paragon has an innovative model in the legal industry, supplying attorneys on an interim or on-demand basis to in-house legal departments. The Career Connect program represents an exciting partnership between a legal services innovator and cutting-edge companies, which allows recent graduates to work on high-level, impactful projects.
Candidates for the program provided statements about why Paragon’s DE&I mission and goals resonated with them, and they discussed how they would bring their unique perspectives to in-house legal teams, as part of the selection process.
“From the founding of Paragon, diversity, equity and inclusion have been at the heart of our culture,” said Paragon CEO Trista Engel. “Our hope is that this program will help advance a new generation of strong talent in the legal industry.”
“Your first job out of law school can have a profound impact on your career. Paragon and UC Hastings recognize the importance of a meaningful legal experience for young lawyers upon graduation, especially underrepresented students and those committed to diversity” said Fairuz Abdullah, Director of Employer Relations at UC Hastings. “Paragon has created an exciting opportunity for our students to have entry-level in-house legal experiences which are usually inaccessible for recent graduates. We are thrilled to be part of this momentous partnership and look forward to collaborating to select the next class of future attorneys.”
Program participants were interviewed and selected during the past year, and they begin their engagements in September.
Paragon is a premier legal services firm providing interim in-house counsel to businesses with growing legal services needs as well as Fortune 500 corporate legal departments in a wide range of industries.
Paragon’s unique model provides legal professionals with meaningful work outside of the traditional path, while also supporting its clients in everything from backfilling maternity leaves and hiring gaps to just general overflow work — all in a cost-effective and flexible manner.