Commercial law firm Addleshaw Goddard is launching its successful Returner Programme in Scotland, in partnership with Standard Life Aberdeen, to help those who have taken extended career breaks, back into the legal profession.
Now open for entries, the programme helps participants, a high proportion of which are women, update skills, reconnect with a professional network, learn how to discuss an extended career break with confidence in interviews, as well as gain practical experience in the firm’s Edinburgh office.
Up to five placements are available to those with commercial legal experience in the private sector, with successful applicants placed in teams relevant to their skills for a hands-on experience. Participants will also be placed with a ‘buddy’ at a similar or more senior level for support throughout and following the programme.
Alison Newton, partner at Addleshaw Goddard, said: “Those returning to the legal profession after a career break, particularly women, are more likely to find it harder to secure senior-level positions, even if they have a wealth of experience. It is therefore important to show those returning to the legal profession how to best highlight their experience regardless of taking a career break, to help them pursue their career aspirations.
“In collaboration with Standard Life Aberdeen, we have created a programme that helps participants to build their networks, hone existing skills and update their CVs with current work experience to take them to the next step in their careers. It can seem daunting returning to a fast-paced profession such as law, but this programme provides a supportive environment and stepping stone to make the transition a little easier.”
Melissa Johnson, participant of last year’s programme and now consultant at Addleshaw Goddard, said: “Before securing a place on the programme I had taken tentative steps to return to the profession, but it was the Returner Programme that taught me to discuss my existing skills and extended career break with confidence and also helped me to update my working knowledge.
“Following the programme, I returned to work with Addleshaw Goddard on a part-time basis and am pleased to be back in the profession after a few years’ break. There is definitely an untapped resource of talent who have taken a career break at the peak of their careers and need a little guidance to return to the profession.”
Rushad Abadan, General Group Counsel at Standard Life Aberdeen, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the Addleshaw Goddard Returner Programme by offering in-house work experience at Standard Life Aberdeen. It’s important that we help talented professionals who have taken a career break with the transition back to work. Returner programmes, as we have seen at our company, can be instrumental in equipping individuals with the confidence to return to work and continue their professional careers.”