“We are so please to welcome Elena. One of the most striking things about WWBA is how many women are in transition. In the last year alone, I have been approached about networking opportunities by recent grads, women new to the area, and women new to an area of practice,” said Susan Edwards Colson, WWBA’s Immediate Past President. “Several women looking for jobs noted how difficult it was for women reentering practice after a period of absence, particularly for women in their 50’s or 60’s.”
New WWBA member, Allyson Lanahan, is one of the women who spoke with Susan about reentry networking opportunities. A University of Miami Law School grad whose family responsibilities brought her to Westchester, Allyson is squarely in a period of transition in her career. “After taking time off to start a family I am reevaluating my professional options and examining how to navigate opportunities in the legal field while balancing my family responsibilities,” noted Allyson. “After joining the WWBA I realized how valuable it was to have other professionals with whom I could examine various opportunities and challenges. I hope the Women in Transition Project will offer this kind of support to other members. The project is intended to be a forum for brainstorming solutions and sharing resources.”
As part of the WWBA’s Professional Development Committee, the Women in Transition Project is intended to provide WWBA members with the informal support they need to effectively deal with professional transition phases. “We aren’t offering a formal curriculum,” commented Allyson. “We will offer a regular, dedicated time and space for networking, conversation and peer-to-peer discussions. The goal is to establish and foster partnership and collaboration among those who are new to the area, new to an area of practice, or actively job seeking.”
Many WWBA members benefited from Pace University Law School’s New Directions program, which for ten years addressed the needs of lawyers reentering practice after an absence. When the program ended earlier in 2017, it created a void and inspired the inception of the Women in Transition Project to support WWBA members starting a practice, job searching, or otherwise developing their careers.
The Women in Transition Project will meet the first Friday of every month for an informal lunch. The Project will help members make the most of their next transition by offering a space for members to share their goals, explore possibilities, and address the anxieties that often accompany change. By partnering with other WWBA committees the Project will help forge supportive connections among members. The networking and mentoring opportunities offered by the Women in Transition Project are intended to help women in transition harness the power of change to create their best professional life.