Alicia Florrick in “The Good Wife” may have been able to jump back into the work force after quitting law for motherhood, but in the real world, re-entering law after a long hiatus is a challenge.
This is why Pace Law School created a program called New Directions. It helps women and men with law degrees get back into the profession after a long absence, and it helps those who took jobs in other fields find a career in law. It also trains practicing attorneys to take on other areas of law.
Since holding its first session of 13 men and women in 2007, New Directions has grown and improved. According to the law school, there are now more workshops and more externship sponsors. Two sessions are held each year; one in Westchester, the other in New York City. More than 100 lawyers have participated. Here are two testimonials, given to the law school:
“After I spent over a decade raising a family and being an active community member, it was New Directions that gave me the confidence and helped me obtain the credentials to return to fulfilling employment as an attorney. Essentially the training and contacts provided by New Directions gave me access to a volunteer position which in turn allowed me to develop experience and additional personal contacts without which I could not have competed successfully for my current job. Notably, I learned of the availability of my current position from a posting put up by New Directions for its graduates on Linked In!”
—Beth Propper, Westchester County
“I knew I wanted to restart my career, but after having spent 9 years at home raising my children, I felt I no longer had the resources and confidence to do so. New Directions provided me with important skills, contacts and experiences, without which I would not have had the confidence to pursue my current position at a law firm. Also, through my externship I discovered a new area of law that I have incorporated into my practice. I highly recommend New Directions!”
—Debra Stewart, Westchester County
New Directions staff, alumni and other supporters will celebrate the program’s fifth anniversary on June 29 at the Judicial Institute on the Pace Law School Campus in White Plains. Apparently it has more than 100 reasons to celebrate its success.