Law Reentry School: New Directions

If you’re in the greater New York area , I hope you’re doing well after Sandy and have your power back.  I also encourage you and all your lawyer and ex-lawyer friends to check out the New Directions Program at Pace University, which is having a number of Open Houses in New York City and White Plains this month.

New Directions is one of the programs highlighted in my forthcoming book, Life After Law (Bibliomotion, September 2013).  It’s a 5 1/2 month career reentry program for lawyers who are re-entering the job market.  The program includes an externship so that graduates emerge with a useful and up to date entry on their CV.

As the New Directions website explains, this may be just the thing for you if you answer yes to any of the following:

  • Are you an attorney who has taken a leave from practice or never practiced?
  • Have you been pursuing a second career but would like to return to the legal field?
  • Would you like to return to the practice of law, or an alternative legal career, but you’re not sure how or where to begin?
  • Would you like to bring your legal skills up to speed, learn and practice on-line legal research, develop a resume, refresh your interviewing skills?
  • Would you like to obtain a current practical legal experience and, as a result, develop a current writing sample, references, and networking contacts?

In Life After Law, I profile Amy Gewirtz, the Director, a former practicing attorney who created the program in 2007 because she saw a tremendous need for it.  Her role as Director suits her well in part because she has always enjoyed the counseling aspect of law practice.    I also profile Carroll Welch, an alumna of New Directions who is now its Associate Director.  Carroll provides career counseling for New Directions participants and knows firsthand what it’s like to re-enter the field after several years away.  Amy and Carroll are both powerhouses, and their skills and dedication make me think this program must be an amazing experience.  Deb Pagnotta, whom I’ve profiled on this blog, was the Director of New Directions for its first two years.

Given the high rate of career dissatisfaction among lawyers, and the numbers of lawyers who leave their jobs for some period of time – maybe to be home with their kids – and are not sure whether or how to come back into it, it amazes me that there are not more programs across the country for lawyers and ex-lawyers who are struggling with career change.  Why aren’t there more programs like this?


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2 responses to “Law Reentry School: New Directions

  1. Leila Kanani

    What a great program! I think one reason there are not more programs like this is because I don’t think people realize that is actually is a problem once you take a break to go back. I think some people think going back into practice after being out for a while is going to be easy, they don’t realize what that hiatus does and how it looks to future employers. Thanks for posting about this Liz!

  2. I wholeheartedly attest to the passion, knowledge and heart that both Amy and Carroll bring to the New Directions program. Bravo to you both and to Liz too for your perceptive and focused coverage of life after law (yes there is!)