Pace Law School Launching New Directions Program in NYC for Attorneys Seeking to Return to the Legal Profession, Change Career Focus or Sharpen Legal Skills

Open House for Registration to Program Taking Place April 28 and May 21
at Pace University Midtown Center

WHITE PLAINS, NY (April 21, 2009) – Amid record-breaking unemployment figures, a tough job market and concern about the current economic climate, Pace Law School today announced that it is launching its innovative New Directions program in New York City and will conduct two open houses, on April 28 and May 21, from noon to 2:00 p.m., at the Pace University Midtown Center in Manhattan.  The program provides refreshed practical and substantive legal skills, networking contacts, practical legal experience and more to help prepare attorneys who have taken a leave from practice, never practiced at all or are looking to take a “new direction” in their career, for reentering the legal workforce.

“Given the current economic climate, it is crucial for attorneys seeking to reenter the paid workforce, for any reason, to be armed with the best tools to help them stand out in the eyes of potential employers, especially in a city as diverse and competitive as New York, which is why we are launching here,” said program director Amy Gewirtz, Esq.  “We believe that completion of the New Directions program will not only serve to refresh those legal skills, but also significantly increase the confidence to return to the profession.”

The New York New Directions bridge program, which begins July 13 and ends on December 18, kicks off with a week-long, intensive boot camp-like curriculum, followed by ten weeks of refresher course-work and wraps up with a ten-week-long externship—all of which gives those enrolled in the program the substantive law updates, refreshed professional skills and practical experience needed to be competitive in today’s marketplace.

Additionally, those in enrolled in the program will benefit from having access to job postings for the duration of the program and for a period of time after its completion; receiving in-depth, individualized career-counseling during and after the program; and the opportunity to pursue externships not only in New York, but in Connecticut, New Jersey, and in fact, wherever the participant is admitted to practice.  In 2008, participants from as far away as Philadelphia enrolled in the program.

The program, which made its debut in 2007 at Pace Law School in White Plains and is run in collaboration with the Westchester Women’s Bar Association, will have more than tripled the number of participants with the completion of its most recent session—pushing the number of those who will have graduated by the end of the current session to 58 attorneys.  A key component of the program’s effectiveness is the individualized attention and personal counseling it provides, so to preserve that emphasis, size of the sessions are limited.

“We are delighted to announce the formation of a New Directions Honorary Advisory Board, which will be in place in time for our next session,” added Gewirtz.  “The Board will be comprised of top leaders in the area of reentry into the legal profession, including: Debbie Epstein Henry, Esq., Founder and President of Flextime Lawyers, Inc.; Lauren Wachtler, Esq., Chair of the New York State Bar Association Committee for Lawyers in Transition; Dawn Arnold, Esq., current President of the Westchester Women’s Bar Association; New Directions graduates; and other leaders in the legal profession. With their guidance, we look forward to enhancing our already successful program.”

Financial assistance for the program has been available for residents of Westchester County, through the Workforce Investment Act administered by the New York State Department of Labor. The New Directions staff is currently exploring the availability of this assistance in other counties and states. Attorneys interested in enrolling or learning more should attend one of the upcoming open house sessions on April 28 and May 21.  Each session will feature past program graduates on-hand to recount their experiences and answer any questions.  For more detailed information, the public can contact Amy Gewirtz, New Directions director, at (914) 422-4606 or agewirtz@law.pace.edu.  The public can also register for the mailing list and get more detailed information from the program’s Web site at www.law.pace.edu/newdirections.

Founded in 1976, Pace University School of Law has nearly 6,700 alumni throughout the country and the world. It offers full- and part-time day and evening JD programs on its White Plains, NY, campus. The School also offers the Master of Laws in Environmental Law, Real Estate Law and in Comparative Legal Studies and an SJD in Environmental Law. The School of Law is part of a comprehensive, independent and diversified University with campuses in New York City and Westchester County. www.law.pace.edu

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