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Twenty law firms participate in pilot programme for those looking to return to the legal profession from a career break.
Lawyers who have taken a career break are being offered support to return to their profession through a pilot Law Returners programme run by the organisation Women Returners.
It is working with the Government, the Law Society and leading employers in Manchester and Leeds to support women and men back into the legal sector following extended career breaks. If successful, the pilot will be extended to other regions on a commercial basis.
The Law Returners programme, funded by the Government Equalities Office Returners Fund, launches this week offering paid professional ‘returnship’ placements.
To mark the launch, Women Returners is hosting two free morning events – on 14 November in Manchester and on 15 November in Leeds – which aim to provide motivation, support and information on the programme as well as an opportunity to network informally with potential employers.
Twenty law firms have signed up to participate in the programme. The companies range from local independents to multinationals and include Forbes Solicitors, Pinsent Masons, Robinson Ralph, rradar, DAC Beachcroft and DWF.
Successful candidates for Law Returners will benefit from a paid six-month professional placement, starting in February 2019. They will receive Career Returners Coaching from Women Returners, an internal mentor, technical support and mentoring from the Law Society and a ready-made peer support group. Women Returners says they will be able to refresh their skills, experience and networks and will have a strong likelihood of ongoing employment at the end of the programme.
Participating employers will be provided with consulting guidance from Women Returners in order to help them better understand and meet the needs of the returners, together with promotional, line manager and returner support.
Julianne Miles, Managing Director of Women Returners said: “Following the rapid growth of returner programmes in sectors such as financial services, telecoms and construction, we are excited to be extending a concept with proven success into the law sector. We are also delighted to pilot the programme in the North of England, where returnships are much less established. The interest in the programme is high, as can be seen by the involvement of 20 law firms in this pilot programme.
“It can be very daunting trying to get back into work after a long career break. Many people who are highly skilled, well-qualified and with considerable business experience struggle to find the right opportunities.”
The closing date for applications in 25th November.