Addleshaw Goddard is pleased to announce that it has offered work placements to lawyers who have completed The Law Society’s Women Lawyers Division Returner Course and are looking to re-enter the profession, having taken a career break.

The Returner Course is designed to give participants who have been out of the profession (for a variety of reasons) some insight into the current legal market and to review their career options, as well as equip them with the tools and skills that they require to enable them to return to the profession. It is open to both men and women, but a large proportion of the delegates are female.

Addleshaw Goddard is offering individuals who have completed the course the opportunity to join the firm for a two week placement in order to assist them in re-engaging with life in a commercial law firm, develop a network, update their skills and re-build their confidence.

The pilot commenced on the 11th May 2015 when two individuals joined the firm, one for a placement in Corporate, and the other in Litigation. The individuals will be provided with ongoing support during and after their time at the firm. If the placements are a success, the scheme will be repeated.

Monica Burch, Senior Partner at Addleshaw Goddard commented: "This initiative underpins our commitment to enabling women to succeed in the workplace, as well as extending the talent pool which we can draw from. It is a great way for lawyers to re-enter the corporate world and build their network and their confidence. We believe that we are the first law firm to be undertaking a programme of this kind. We continue to strive to make ours an organisation where women can flourish and have recently achieved our aim of having a 25% female partnership. We know we can still do better and are in the process of resetting our target to coincide with our firm strategy which runs to 2019".

Cornelia Schäffer, a real estate managing associate at Addleshaw Goddard who originally conceived the idea and committee member of the Women Lawyers Division said: "The Returner Course is a really helpful re-introduction to the current legal profession for those interested in coming back to Law. Having attended the last two programmes, I was struck by how many committed and impressive women I met – a real untapped pool of talent. Our initiative at AG goes one step further – we give delegates the opportunity to embed themselves back into a law firm environment and familiarise themselves with corporate life, which is half the battle when returning to the profession after a break".

Mary Ann Wright, Chair of the Women Lawyers Division of The Law Society said: "We are delighted to support the Addleshaw Goddard programme. By offering much needed work placements to Returners the firm has shown real innovation and leadership. The WLD very much hope that other firms will now follow the example set by Addleshaw Goddard and make more such placements available thereby encouraging and enabling talent to return to the profession".

For more information on the Women Lawyers Division of The Law Society click here