Fund Established to Support Law Student Exchange Program Between Lyon and Philadelphia

Contact:  Laura Powers
Director of Marketing & Development
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Fund Established to Support Law Student Exchange Program
Between Lyon and Philadelphia

Internship program advances diversity in the legal profession

PHILADELPHIA, PA – April 24, 2018 – The Philadelphia Bar Foundation and the International Law Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association (“ILC”) have established a fund to provide stipends to students participating in the Lyon-Philadelphia Bar Association Internship Exchange Program.

In 1997, the Philadelphia Bar Association launched a law student exchange program with the Bar of Lyon, France. Every year, several French law students visit Philadelphia to undertake six-month internships with law firms, businesses or judges, and often engage in pro bono and/or public interest activities while in Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Bar Association has also sent interns, now usually rising second-year law students, to Lyon during the summers. Approximately 80 interns have participated in this program.

This new fund will provide financial support for the exchange program. In addition, the ILC will arrange for the interns returning to Philadelphia to share their observations in a panel discussion on how the Lyon Bar addresses issues related to access to justice, and the ways in which it supports legal aid for people struggling with poverty, abuse, and discrimination. 
The two Bar Associations commemorated the 20th anniversary of the program at a three-day conference held in April of 2017 in Philadelphia. During the conference, seed money was raised to launch this new fund called the Philadelphia Bar Association International Law Committee Lyon Internship Fund, or the ILLI Fund. Contributions to the ILLI Fund are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

“This unique internship exchange program furthers the understanding of essential cultural aspects involved in the delivery of civil legal aid. The Bar Foundation is proud to be a partner in establishing this fund that supports the development of meaningful relationships between the cities of Lyon and Philadelphia,” says Jessica Hilburn-Holmes, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Bar Foundation.

“We are thrilled that we now have a way to support these dynamic young professionals, and we hope the existence of the fund will only attract additional contributions to grow this support,” says Michael Scullin, Counsel to McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, LLP, founder and co-director of the Lyon-Philadelphia Bar Association Internship Exchange Program. 

The Philadelphia Bar Foundation is dedicated to promoting access to justice for all people in the community, particularly those struggling with poverty, abuse, and discrimination. We accomplish this mission by providing grants and technical assistance in support of quality legal services, addressing unmet legal needs and providing education on matters in the public interest. Through our various programs, services and partnerships, we remove barriers to justice, engage the community to support legal aid, and build system-wide capacity.