MoFo News Item

Helping Women Lawyers Rejoin the Workforce

Morrison & Foerster to Partner With OnRamp Fellowship Program

24 Sep 2015

Morrison & Foerster is one of 25 firms partnering with the OnRamp Fellowship Program in 2015. A “returnship” program, OnRamp helps women lawyers return to work after taking time off from their careers.

Re-entry can be challenging for women who have taken a break from legal practice. “The law isn’t static,” MoFo partner Mika Reiner Mayer, co-founder of the firm’s Venture IP Group and co-chair of the Women’s Strategy Committee, told The American Lawyer. “If you've taken a lot of time off, the law isn’t likely to be where you left it—you have to get back up to speed.”

OnRamp provides one-year fellowships at participating firms, offering a stipend, benefits, and the chance to get reacquainted with the legal world. When that year ends, participants may have the opportunity to transition to full-time work directly with firms. The program, which focuses on both transaction and litigation work, has placed applicants at firms based in Boston, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. OnRamp has also seen a growing interest in placements in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Silicon Valley.

OnRamp launched last year, but is already seeing success. Seven of the eight women who participated in the first wave of OnRamp received job offers and have transitioned to full-time employment. Another 25 women have been placed into fellowship roles, and 10 more are in the interview process.

According to OnRamp founder Caren Ulrich Stacy, the program demonstrates that “law firms are more innovative than everyone says they are.”

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