SWEL Foundation
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Summer Work Experience in Law

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Opening Doors, Building Leaders

Summer Work Experience in Law (SWEL) is an eight-week program that operates from approximately mid-June through early August.  SWEL Scholars are expected to complete a full-time, paid internship (Monday - Thursday) and attend SWEL Sessions every Friday during the course of the program.  SWEL Scholars are placed in legal intership positions throughout Ohio, most commonly Cincinnati, Dayton, and Columbus.  Scholars are placed among a variety of employers in both the private and public sector.  SWEL Sessions are days designed to provide Scholars with skills and insight that are essential to making an informed decision about attending law school and entering the legal profession.  The exposure Scholars gain during their internships supplement what they learn during SWEL Sessions.

In addition to fulfilling internship and SWEL Session responsibilities, Scholars participate in the following activites throughout the summer:

  • SWEL Welcome Reception
  • SWEL Orientation Retreat
  • Annual Community Service Fundraiser
  • Annual SWEL Community Service Event
  • The James L. Johnson Law School Visits
  • Annual SWEL P&G Day
  • SWEL Appreciation Luncheon

Scholars are also strongly encouraged to attend additional events that arise during the summer for the purpose of enhancing their summer experience. 

Are you an employer, alumnus, or otherwise interested in supporting SWEL?  Please browse the navigation bar above.

Mission & Vision


To primarily help African American students make an informed decision when it comes to entering law school and the legal profession.  SWEL sets the stage for each student’s own self-discovery by exposing them to the inherent opportunities and challenges of practicing law through summer work experiences, coaching and networking.


To be the best decision-development program for African American students and others interested in the legal profession


We are in: Cincinnati, Hamilton, Dayton, and Columbus



Developed in 1988, the Summer Work Experience in Law (SWEL) program was developed as a pilot program by the Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati - Cincinnati Bar Association Round Table.  Members of the Round Table rose to the task and created what is now known as Greater Cincinnati's premier  African American pipeline program to support students from high school to law school.