Accelerate: Strengthening the Pipeline in the Legal Profession

Accelerate Career Start is the Center for Women in Law’s program aimed at improving the retention of first-year lawyers and strengthening the pipeline to partnership and leadership positions as lawyers embark on their careers.

That’s especially important during a time when women are entering the legal profession in equal numbers as their male counterparts but leave the profession at higher rates than men. 

Accelerate Career Start is the only program of its kind designed to focus on the first-year experience, which often determines the career trajectories of lawyers and can support young lawyers as they gain their footing and map their futures. 

“Accelerate Career Start believes that a strong foundation during the first few years in practice will have a lasting impact on legal careers,” said Valerie Esparza, Deputy Director of the Center for Women in Law, who helped reshape the Accelerate program one year ago. 

Accelerate is now a multi-year program. In the first year, new lawyers will learn critical skills and network through plenary sessions addressing such topics as best practices for starting a legal career, the business of law, and productive communications. In the second and third years of the program, participants will explore career opportunities and challenges with small cohorts facilitated by senior lawyers, including partners and general counsel.  

“Accelerate Career Start provides an opportunity for young associates to practice skills that accelerate the transition from law student to a lawyer while developing strong and diverse networks outside the law firm,” said Veronica Vargas Stidvent, Executive Director of the Center for Women in Law. 

Participants and sponsoring law firms benefit from robust programming that reaches young lawyers where they are and extends opportunities to better connect with other young lawyers, mentors, and experts in various legal fields. 

To learn more about the current year program, how you, your law firm or other legal profession business can sponsor this initiative, visit the Center for Women in Law’s Accelerate: Career Start page or contact Valerie Esparza directly.