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The 2018 Louis Stokes Scholar Internship: A Paid Summer Legal Experience

Written by Angela Finding

The Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s Louis Stokes Scholars Program is an amazing opportunity for college students – or high school students who will be enrolled in college in 2018 – who are interested in a career in law.  Through the Program, they will experience different facets of the practice of law “up close and personal” through paid summer internships and mentoring by Cleveland area attorneys.  The Stokes Scholars Program provides practical, real-world experience for students while helping them explore careers within the legal field.  Additionally, students who intern will develop new skills, make great connections, and become excited about the field of law.

Successful applicants – who will be known as Stokes Scholars – will be matched for an eight-week, 20 hour per week paid summer internship with one of several Cleveland area law firms, corporations, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court, Cleveland Municipal Court, or with an area legal nonprofit such as The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland or the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association. Each Stokes Scholar will be assigned an attorney mentor – a Stokes Scholars Mentor – who will guide the Stokes Scholar through their internship and provide ongoing career counseling.

2018 Internships will begin the week of June 4 and end on July 27, 2018.  

Participation is limited to students who are graduates or will be graduates of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District or the East Cleveland Metropolitan School District, and are currently enrolled in college (or if a May or June 2018 high school graduate, will be enrolled in a college or university in the Fall of 2018). Those graduating from high school in 2018 must have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA to be eligible.  There is no college GPA requirement for submission of an application for those in college, although GPA may be a factor in selection.  Students are required to adhere to specific attendance requirements for employment and other Intern activities that are conditions of participation in the Stokes Scholars Program. Mandatory time commitments will include part-time employment during traditional business hours, weekly Law School Admission Test Bootcamp Sessions, and some activities in the evenings and on weekends.

Applications are available through Mary Groth of the CMBA ( or the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s website at or through College Now Greater Cleveland.  Applications for the 2018 Program will be accepted starting on November 1, 2018.  Application review and interviews, if granted, as well as acceptance, will occur on a rolling basis as applications are received.  The final deadline for applications is March 30, 2018. Final decisions as to acceptance for all remaining internships in the Program, will be announced in April 2018.  In light of the Program’s adoption of a rolling admission policy, prospective applicants are encouraged to submit their applications as soon as possible.  

The Stokes Scholars Program is named after Louis Stokes (1925-2015), who was a distinguished Congressman, attorney (who retired from the law firm now known as Squire Patton & Boggs LLP), and CMBA member and as a Congressman, he represented the Cleveland area for over three decades (1968 – 1999), being the first African-American elected to Congress from Ohio.  He and his late brother Carl – the first African-American elected mayor of a major city – rose to the heights of political power from humble beginnings as residents of Cleveland’s Outhwaite public housing projects.  A graduate of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, he was the recipient of numerous awards for his public and community service as well as for the practice of law.

This opportunity is brought to you by the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association and the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation.

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