Monday, June 20, 2011
Although the program has been around for five years, I just learned about it today via this post at the New York Lawyer in which several attorneys who've been away from practice for a while seek advice on how to sharpen their skills. Here's a press release about the Pace Program called "New Directions."
The New Directions for Attorneys program at Pace Law School is celebrating its fifth year of helping admitted attorneys return to practice after time away. One of the first programs of its kind in the country, New Directions remains one of the only lawyer re-entry programs in existence today. Since its inception in 2007, it has provided more than 100 participants from around the Tri-State Area and beyond with substantive education, practical tools, and experience necessary to re-enter the legal profession or transition within it.
. . . .
New Directions serves both men and women who earned law degrees, in addition to those who either never practiced law or spent time away from the profession. While many New Directions participants are mothers looking to return to law practice after raising their children, others pursued a non-legal career path, such as journalism or human resources, and seek to resume a legal career.
On average, participants are seven or more years removed from law practice. Most participants come from around the Tri-State area, though some have hailed from as far as Pennsylvania, Maryland and California.
Since holding its first session of 13 men and women in 2007, New Directions has grown and improved, adding more career workshops, expanding its legal research and writing component, and significantly increasing the number of organizations that serve as externship sponsors. Two sessions are now held each year; one in Westchester, the other in New York City. The name of the program was recently changed from New Directions: Practical Skills for Returning to Law Practice to New Directions for Attorneys to reflect the growing number of participants seeking to explore an alternative legal career using their newly refreshed skills.
While the program’s original mission of helping attorneys to reclaim professional identity and confidence continues today, since the economy declined in 2008, there has been an increased number of transitioning attorneys who have participated in the program.
New Directions has been featured in the New York Times, the New York Law Journal, CNN, Law360 and U.S. News & World Report, among many others. This year, the New Directions staff received Pace University’s “Outstanding Contribution Team Award” for demonstrating commitment to the goals and values necessary to enhance the University’s learning and working environment.
More information about New Directions is available on its website. Please contact Lauren Rubenstein, manager of media relations, at (914) 422-4389, or Amy Gewirtz, director of New Directions, at (914) 422-4606, for additional information about New Directions.