Orrick Signs on as Founding Member of Reignite Academy


Orrick is one of six London law firms signed up as founding members of the Reignite Academy, which will provide opportunities for experienced lawyers to return to the profession after a career hiatus.

The Reignite Academy will provide former lawyers who have been out of the workplace with six-month paid internships and one-on-one coaching. The hope is that at the end of the six months, candidates will move to a permanent contract. The program will also be open to people who have not had complete career breaks but who left their legal careers to take a different path.

“The rate at which talented women drop out of law is one of the biggest challenges we face as a profession,” said Orrick partner Nell Scott, who leads our Diversity & Inclusion initiative in London. “We know from women’s feedback that the difficulty of balancing work and family life is one of the biggest reasons. The Reignite Academy is taking a practical and incredibly thoughtful approach to address this problem directly – by giving women the full support they need to return to work successfully and giving law firms a path to recruit from and integrate this incredible senior talent pool.”

The Reignite Academy was founded by three female-led organizations:  XX Advantage, where founder Melinda Wallman has established a well-respected network for female lawyers; Inclusivity Partners, set up by Stephanie Dillon, who has run returner programs in other sectors; and She’s Back, founded by Lisa Unwin, which supports women who are ready to reclaim their careers.

The program will begin accepting applications in September, with the aim that candidates will begin work in January 2019.

For more information on how to participate in the program as a candidate or employer, please contact [email protected] or visit the Reignite Academy website