CHICAGO — Chapman and Cutler LLP has committed $75,000 to Spark Program Inc., a national nonprofit that develops programming that correlates professional mentorship, educational engagement, and future achievement with middle school students from diverse backgrounds. In collaboration with Spark Chicago, this grant commitment will fund experiential learning opportunities for middle school students in the Chicagoland area through virtual workshops and project based mentorship programs with career professionals.
“Our commitment to Spark Chicago is part of our ongoing interest in diversifying the legal profession through pipeline programs,” said Tim Mohan, Chapman’s Chief Executive Partner. “While not all of the students we support through Spark will become lawyers, our hope is that we can inspire some to see themselves as future attorneys and help them build a network of support for fulfilling that career goal.”
“I am proud of the leadership Chapman has shown by committing to the long-term,” said Charles Calloway, an associate in Chapman’s Corporate Finance Department who serves on the Spark-Chicago Executive Board and was recently elected to the National Board of Directors of Spark. “Not many law firms get involved with middle school mentorship programs, especially programs as innovative and impactful as Spark’s. With the current landscape focused on confronting systemic racism, I believe that more than ever before, we need to show students from varied backgrounds that there are careers that can have life-changing impact. I truly believe that the more we expose students from underserved communities to the possibility of a legal career, the more we build a foundation for the future.”
“Chapman has long been working to improve diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and our partnership with Spark is one of many ways we do our part to help,” said William M. Libit, Chapman’s Chief Operating Partner. “Chapman supports several college preparatory and student leadership development programs in Chicago, including Chicago Scholars and Cristo Rey. The firm has supported Spark Chicago since the program launched in Chicago in 2011 and believes in its mission and approach.”
About Chapman and Cutler
The representation of financial institutions has been central to Chapman and Cutler’s practice since its founding in 1913. Starting from a base of banking and public finance, the firm and its practice areas have grown and evolved to become a sophisticated provider of legal services to banks, corporations, insurance companies, investment funds, and other participants in the financial services sector. Today, Chapman has offices in Charlotte, Chicago, New York, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and Washington, DC, dedicated to representing financial services clients with respect to transactional, regulatory, tax, and litigation matters. For more information, visit chapman.com.
Spark Program Inc. was founded in 2004 with a mission to engage communities to provide career exploration and self-discovery opportunities that help middle school students understand, experience, and pursue what’s possible. What began with a few students and mentors in Redwood City has grown into a national movement helping students discover career options and connect their future with classroom learning through skill-building and mentoring. In addition to the Bay Area, Spark operates programs in Chicago and Philadelphia. In Chicago, Spark has grown from four partner schools and 60 students since launching 2011 to an organization partnering with eight schools and 300 students annually. For more information on Spark, visit sparkprogram.org.