What’s New: As part of its commitment to build a more equitable world, Intel will donate $5 million over the next five years to North Carolina Central University (NCCU), a historically Black college and university (HBCU), to create a new tech law and policy center. Steven R. Rodgers, Intel’s general counsel, will join the law school’s board of visitors to help direct additional resources and support for the law school. Allon Stabinsky, Intel’s senior vice president and chief deputy general counsel, and Rhonda Foxx, Intel’s leader of social equity policies and engagements, will join the center’s advisory board to help shape its certificate program and curriculum development and drive further Intel engagements.
“As a company and industry, we need to do better to ensure legal and policy jobs are available to all communities, because talent is everywhere but opportunity is not. At the beginning of this year, we began to hold our legal counsel accountable to the Intel Rule, which states we will not retain or use outside law firms in the U.S. that are below average on diversity. And now, through this partnership, we will hold ourselves accountable for extending the talent pipeline. Our investment in NCCU is only the beginning, and we will continue our efforts to provide more equitable access to tech, legal and policy careers.”
– Steven R. Rodgers, Intel’s general counsel
How It Helps: Intel will provide legal and strategic expertise, faculty training, summer internships and Intel mentors to both students and faculty members. Students will engage directly with Intel executives who will serve as guest lecturers and provide practical legal experiences, networking and mentorship. Intel’s goal is to prepare the next generation of corporate attorneys by giving them exposure to corporate law on day one of their law school journey. Two first-year law students from NCCU will also participate in a summer associate program with Intel.
Why It’s Important: The new center will give more access to diverse professionals in legal and policy fields. It will address discriminatory laws and public policies that create structural and systemic inequities. According to the American Bar Association, about 5% of lawyers in the U.S. are Black. Additionally, 80% of Black judges and 50% of Black lawyers come from HBCUs, making these schools critical to diversifying legal and policy professions and ensuring greater opportunity to underrepresented demographics.
Historically, HBCUs have trailed other institutions in federal funding and corporate engagement. There are over 100 HBCUs across the nation, and NCCU is one of only six with a law school. Extending tech opportunities to HCBU law schools on the East Coast and in southern states is key to enhancing educational and economic equity. North Carolina is home to the most HBCUs, and NCCU, based in Durham, N.C., is close to the Research Triangle Park, making it a prime university for this engagement.