Squire Patton Boggs has joined DiversityLab’s OnRamp 200 Fellowship initiative, a new collective legal profession goal to bring 200 women lawyers who have taken extended career hiatuses back into the legal profession by 2025.
“We are proud to participate in OnRamp 200, an innovative project that addresses head on the career challenges facing women and makes our talent pool richer and more diverse,” said Michele Connell, Squire’s incoming Global Managing Partner who spearheaded the firm’s involvement with the initiative. “Women are underrepresented in senior positions in firms in part because women lawyers leave the profession before they reach leadership levels. This is a critical issue facing the profession, particularly after the pandemic, and one on which our internal programs and vision are wholly aligned with the aims of OnRamp 200.”
The goal of the OnRamp Fellowship is to replenish the talent pipeline in leading legal organizations with experienced lawyers who want to return to practice and have the desire to advance into leadership roles but face unique challenges due to the extended gaps in their résumés.
According to NALP and NAWL data, 50 percent of law firm associates are women, but only make up 21 percent of equity partners—a mere 5 percent increase over 15 years—and 20 percent of managing partners. Moreover, according to the ABA and other data sources, women currently serve in one-quarter of general counsel roles in Fortune 500 companies.
OnRamp Fellowship matches experienced lawyers returning to the workforce with firms and legal departments for one-year, paid Fellowships. Applicants for the OnRamp Fellowship are rigorously screened and matched with organizations based on the success traits that are essential for advancement into leadership. Fellows receive career development support through training by specialists in negotiations, project management, business development, and leadership as well as one-one-on coaching.