Fenwick Joins OnRamp Fellowship Pilot Supporting Novel 'Returnship' Program for Women Lawyers

Mountain View, Calif. (September 24, 2014) – Fenwick & West today announced that it has joined the pilot program of the OnRamp Fellowship, an innovative program launched in January 2014 to provide women lawyers re-entering the legal profession with an opportunity to update their skills and legal contacts through one-year, paid positions with top law firms. The program aims to replenish the talent pipeline in law firms with diverse, high-performing lawyers who have the potential and the desire to advance into leadership roles.

Through the OnRamp Fellowship, Fenwick will seek to hire women with three or more years of legal experience who have taken a hiatus of two or more years from practice. The Fellowship provides an avenue through which women who chose to step away – often to care for children or manage other family responsibilities – can re-establish their legal careers while updating their skills.

“Because we aspire to be at the leading edge of diversity and retention efforts, the OnRamp Fellowship is a natural fit for Fenwick,” said managing partner Kate Fritz. “We are proud to be part of a proactive solution to bringing high-achieving women back to the profession.”

As part of the inaugural pilot program this past summer, four law firms hired nine women returning to the profession after an extended hiatus. Due to the overwhelming interest in the Fellowship, it was expanded to include a select number of top firms, including Fenwick & West, for a second pilot program with additional positions. Only 15 law firms across the country were selected to participate in this innovative talent program.

“Fenwick & West is a perfect addition to the program, given its longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion,” said Caren Ulrich Stacy, OnRamp Fellowship founder. “By participating in the first ‘Returnship’ ever launched in the legal field, they continue as a leader – and a trailblazer, forging a new pathway back for women lawyers who took a break and want to return.”

Women lawyers who are selected to participate in the Fellowship are provided with a partner advisor at Fenwick, an external career counselor, unlimited online continuing legal education through Practising Law Institute, and a variety of training from experts in negotiations, oral advocacy, social media, technology, project management and business development.

About Fenwick & West
Fenwick & West provides comprehensive legal services to ground-breaking technology and life sciences companies at every stage of their lifecycle. We craft innovative, cost-effective and practical solutions for established and emerging companies on issues ranging from venture capital, public offerings, joint ventures, M&A and strategic relationships, to intellectual property, litigation and dispute resolution, taxation, antitrust, and employment and labor law. For more than four decades, Fenwick has helped some of the world's most recognized companies become and remain market leaders.

About the OnRamp Fellowship
Created in January 2014 by lawyer recruitment, development, and diversity veteran Caren U​lrich Stacy, the OnRamp Fellowship is a re-entry platform that matches experienced women lawyers returning to the profession with law firms for one-year, paid positions. This unique experiential learning program gives returning women lawyers – many of whom have opted out of the legal field for a period of time to raise children – an opportunity to demonstrate their value in the marketplace while also broadening their experience, skills, and legal contacts. Law firms that participate in the Fellowship gain access to an untapped group of experienced, diverse lawyers who want to return to the profession but face unique challenges due to the law firms’ lockstep structure. ​​​​