Hogan Lovells and Herbies launch scheme to employ mums
03 June 2016
and Herbert Smith Freehills
have launched a scheme in the UK and Australia to attract women who took career breaks to have children back to work.
The firms have teamed up with OnRamp, a US organisation, to indentify female lawyers seeking to return to private practice. Intended to tackle the leaky pipeline of law in which females comprise more than half the lawyers entering the profession but less than 24% of partners, the "Fellowships
" will provide women with one-year paid positions.
Hogan Lovells helped pilot the OnRamp scheme in the US in 2014, and now both firms are bringing it to the UK, and Herbies is also introducing it in Australia. Successful applicants, who must be at least 3PQE and returning after a break of at least two years, will undertake fee-earning work. But they will also be given an advisor within the firm, an external career counsellor and training from experts in negotiations, oral advocacy, and project management.
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Fellows will not necessarily be permanently employed at HogLove or Herbies (though OnRamp has said that if a relevant position is available, they can interview for it). They may go elsewhere, and the goal of the scheme is instead to produce a "high performer who returns to the workforce with upgraded skills and experience, additional contacts, an excellent reference
" and, probably the hardest impulse to revive, "a renewed ambition to service clients"
Hogan Lovells UK Managing Partner Susan Bright said "we know first-hand the perspective and value these returning women add to our population and the profession
," while Sue Gilchrist, Herbies Regional Managing Partner of Asia & Australia, said it was "vitally important that we continue to find ways to access the untapped pool of female talent for roles within the firm