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Women in the Law

New OnRamp program offers $125K fellowships to 10 lawyers returning to workforce

Posted Mar 20, 2014 5:45 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Four law firms will be offering one-year paid fellowships this year to lawyers who want to return to the workforce.

The OnRamp fellowships are among several programs that are designed to help highly educated professionals return to jobs after time off to care for parents or children, the New York Times reports. Among the financial firms offering return-to-work programs are Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan and Credit Suisse, the story says.

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The law firms participating in the OnRamp fellowship program are Cooley, Baker Botts, Sidley Austin and Hogan Lovells, according to the fellowship website. Thirteen additional firms have also inquired about the program, the website says, and there will likely be a second program beginning this fall. Crain’s New York Business and the Am Law Daily (sub. req.) also published stories about the program.

More than 170 women applied for 10 spots in the program. Applicants had to pay $250 for an initial assessment, but the 10 people chosen for the fellowships will receive an annual salary of $125,000, plus benefits, Crain’s New York Business says.

Several applicants had completed a Pace Law School program to help attorneys return to the profession, the Times says. Students in the Pace program pay $7,000 for more than two months in the classroom where they polish their legal skills.

Caren Ulrich Stacy, a legal-human-resources executive, created the OnRamp fellowships. "I got tired of seeing women with really good resumés who we recruited out of school, but when they took a break to raise children, they couldn't get back in," Stacy told Crain’s New York Business. "If they were so good after school, they should still be highly recruited."

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