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Inaugural OnRamp Fellowship Hires Announced!

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OnRamp Fellowship Announces Inaugural Class of Nine Fellows for the 2014-15 Pilot Program 

The OnRamp Fellowship is an innovative, new program launched in January 2014 to provide women lawyers re-entering the legal profession with an opportunity to update their skills and legal contacts through one-year, paid positions with top law firms. The program aims to replenish the talent pipeline in law firms with diverse, high-performing lawyers who have the potential and the desire to advance into leadership roles.

The four major law firms piloting this new program – Baker Botts, Cooley, Hogan Lovells, and Sidley Austin – have selected nine women as part of the 2014-15 OnRamp Fellowship.

The nine OnRamp Fellows, chosen from a pool of 170 women lawyers who applied for the pilot program, completed a rigorous screening process that highlighted their impressive qualifications and experience.  During their hiatuses from practice, which ranged in length from three to twenty years, the Fellows continued to develop their skills while serving in leadership roles in organizations such as the Military Spouse JD Network, earning advanced degrees, and holding elected offices.

The participating law firms anticipated hiring at least one Fellow as part of the inaugural program this year.  But due to the high quality of the candidates, most of the firms exceeded this expectation by hiring two or more Fellows.  As a further demonstration of their continued investment in and support of the Fellowship, several of the pilot firms have already indicated an interest in offering additional Fellowship positions this fall.

“It is gratifying to see these lawyers, who excelled in their careers before taking a break from practice, return to the legal profession in a way that acknowledges their talent and experience while providing an environment in which they can re-establish their practices, explore new areas, and expand their professional networks,” said Caren Ulrich Stacy, Founder of the OnRamp Fellowship. “I have no doubt that this inaugural group of Fellows will lead the way in demonstrating the depth and breadth of this untapped pool of talent.”

The Fellows will join the pilot firms in six different practice areas across six office locations. The Fellows, listed below, will begin at the firms from mid-May through September 2014.

Baker Botts

Heather Hewitt – Corporate, Houston

Yvette Lanneaux – Corporate, New York

Cooley

Sheila Bridges – Business Litigation, San Francisco

Mary Klumpp – Trademark, Washington, D.C.

Hogan Lovells

Dana Glenn – Corporate, Washington, D.C.

Sidley Austin

Mimi Ophir – Global Finance, New York

Dora de la Rosa – Real Estate, Los Angeles

Lori Trujillo – Corporate, Tech/IP Transactions, Los Angeles

Pam Zdunek – Global Finance, Chicago

Due to the incredible interest in the pilot program from both women lawyers and law firms, a second phase of the pilot is in the planning stages with details to be announced mid-summer.

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About the Fellowship

Created in January 2014 by lawyer recruitment, development, and diversity veteran Caren Ulrich Stacy, the OnRamp Fellowship is a re-entry platform that matches experienced women lawyers returning to the profession with law firms for one-year, paid positions.  This unique experiential learning program gives returning women lawyers – many of whom have opted out of the legal field for a period of time to raise children – an opportunity to demonstrate their value in the marketplace while also broadening their experience, skills, and legal contacts.

The goal of the Fellowship is to replenish the talent pipeline in law firms with experienced women lawyers who have the potential and the desire to advance into leadership roles.  Law firms that participate in the Fellowship gain access to an untapped group of experienced, diverse lawyers who want to return to the profession but face unique challenges due to the law firms’ lockstep structure.

Four innovative law firms – Baker Botts, Cooley, Sidley, and Hogan Lovells – sign on to pilot Fellowship

More than 35 legal training experts and career counselors donate their time and expertise to the Fellowship

“Returnships” have been offered in other professions for many years