By: Veta T. Richardson, Association of Corporate Counsel and Caren Ulrich Stacy, OnRamp Fellowship
At the entry level, men and women join the legal profession at the same rates, yet by the time they reach leadership roles, less than 20 percent of partners are women. Corporate legal departments suffer the same disparity. This leaky pipeline is partially due to women’s choice to set aside their careers for child-rearing. As a recruiter, Caren Ulrich Stacyrecognized that a highly motivated talent pool was not being tapped and created OnRamp Fellowship – now joined by OnRamp In-House, an initiative the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) has joined with – to reintroduce women lawyers returning to the field after an absence. Here, Stacy and Veta T. Richardson of ACC discuss the evolution the program and the depth of the need to address the root causes. Their remarks have been edited for length and style.
MCC: What is the mission behind OnRamp Fellowship?
Stacy: OnRamp Fellowship is a re-entry or “returnship” platform that offers opportunities for women lawyers interested in returning to the workforce after taking time off from their legal jobs in order to raise a family or pursue other