Bond Launches The M. Catherine Richardson Clerkship Program

October 24, 2016

(Syracuse, NY): The law firm of Bond, Schoeneck and King announced today The M. Catherine Richardson Clerkship Program, a new firm-wide clerkship program for law students hailing from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds. The M. Catherine Richardson Clerkship Program will offer paid summer clerkship positions to 1L students (during the summer between the students’ first and second years of law school) in various offices of the firm, including Syracuse, Buffalo, Albany and Rochester. Students selected for The M. Catherine Richardson Clerkship will participate in the same assignments and events as students in the firm’s traditional 2L summer associate program.

The Program is named after retired Bond member M. Catherine Richardson, who has been a true pioneer and champion of diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. Commenting on the new Clerkship Program, Catherine said, “I am delighted to lend my name in furtherance of Bond’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. Throughout my career, I have always believed in the importance of strengthening diversity in the profession.”

A graduate of Syracuse University College of Law (J.D., magna cum laude), Catherine practiced her entire legal career as a lawyer at Bond and, in 1986, became the first woman elected to the firm’s membership. She was also the first female President of the Onondaga County Bar Association (1987) and the second female President of the New York State Bar Association (1996-1997). Her extraordinary commitment to the profession also includes service as President of the New York Bar Foundation (2009-2012); Chair of the Foundation Fellows (2005-2008); member of the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association (2003-2006); and current board member and past President of the ABA Retirement Fund. She currently serves as Chair of the Board of SRC, Inc. and Co-Chair of Consensus CNY. In January 2016, Catherine received the New York Bar Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her service and leadership.

In announcing the new Program, Kevin Bernstein, Chairman of the firm’s management committee, said, “It is truly a great honor for us to be able to name our Clerkship Program after a trailblazer like Catherine Richardson. There was very little diversity in the legal profession as a whole at the time Catherine graduated from law school and joined the firm. Through her tremendous efforts and highly successful career, Catherine helped pave the way for countless other women and LGBT attorneys that followed in her footsteps.” Kevin went on to say, “Our value as a law firm lies in problem-solving for our clients. A group of people with different sets of experiences and perspectives only adds to that value. Whether in terms of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or otherwise, diversity in our attorney team is important to us, to our clients, and to our communities.”

The M. Catherine Richardson Clerkship Program represents a significant and important expansion of Bond’s 1L summer clerkship program, which was based primarily in its Syracuse office. The firm’s Diversity and Professional Development Leader, Clifford Tsan, explained: “Expanding the clerkship program is an exciting and important step forward in the Firm’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, allowing us to broaden our reach and engage in greater involvement with more law schools and students in all of the locations where we practice and live.”

Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC is a law firm with 270 lawyers serving individuals, companies and public sector entities in a broad range of practice areas. Bond has nine offices in New York State and offices in Naples, Florida and Overland Park, Kansas.