Lawyers Council for Civil and Economic Rights

Diversity for the Latin America Legal Profession

TotalLAW Prep Mentorship Program

The Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice is partnering with TalentoTotal in the TotalLAW Prep Program, a collaborative effort engaging law firms, bar associations, law schools, and pro bono clearinghouses to increase diversity and inclusion in the legal profession across the Americas. The TotalLaw Prep Program is designed to create a broad and ethnically diverse leadership pipeline of highly talented Afro-Descendant and Indigenous (ADI) lawyers.

The TotalLaw Prep Program will select candidates among ADI law school students or recent graduates from countries in Latin America including Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama and Perú, starting with up to six candidates in the first year and increasing each year up to 24. The program will provide candidates with 18 months of personalized guidance and support, focused on considering and applying for an LLM program in the United States or Europe and afterwards working in an international law firm’s international associate program.

Each candidate will be paired with two mentors: a lawyer in the candidate’s home country who earned an LLM at a top-tier program; and a U.S. lawyer who practices in Latin America. The mentors’ law firms will help with the coaching, mentorship, and career development. Each month, the candidates will complete a module assignment, guiding them through a process of introspection, while developing short- and long-term goals. After each module assignment, the Fellows will have one-hour coaches calls, to review the assignments and track the Fellows’ progress. Coaches calls will cover topics like LLM program selection, seeking letters of recommendation, LSAT and bar exam preparation, personal statement development, and other factors to help develop the Fellow’s narratives before and during the application process.

Candidates completing the program, with an LLM and possibly an international associate year, will be primed for leadership roles in their home countries and will join a lifelong network of professionals committed to helping each other and improving diversity and inclusion in Latin America. TalentoTotal provides a robust leadership and talent pipeline for major corporations, law firms, and other organizations through a rigorous professional development program that provides the skill sets necessary for success in global leadership and executive management.

Meet the 2020 selected candidates here


The Vance Center, from time to time and subject to availability of funding, may provide grant awards to candidates to subsidize required living expenses and support their success in the program.  Eligibility is limited to those who face a particular economic disadvantage, including lack of funds or physical or cultural challenges.  All awards are subject to the City Bar Fund’s Conflicts of Interest policy.