After Successful First Year, WCL Lawyer Re-entry Program to Accept Second Class This Fall


WASHINGTON, DC, August 6, 2009 –The American University Washington College of Law (WCL) Lawyer Re-entry Program is accepting its second class this October.  The program prepares lawyers to re-enter the profession after time away by helping them explore career options, update their knowledge and job search skills, and learn how to reestablish their professional networks.

“Our Lawyer Re-entry Program directly addresses the barriers lawyers face when re-entering the profession after an absence,” said Claudio Grossman, dean of American University Washington College of Law. “The program provides a gateway for lawyers to reclaim their legal careers and may be of particular interest to women lawyers—one-half of law school graduates—whose participation in the legal profession is vital.”

In addition to the formal curriculum which runs over six days, participants then take part in a two hour one-on-one coaching session with Mercurio to help motivate and sustain their re-entry efforts. 

“The faculty and career professionals who designed the program are outstanding, and appreciate the work/life challenges many lawyers face,” said Linda Mercurio, the program’s executive director and professional coach.  “The participants really have a chance to bond and form a network of support for one another that helps make the program a success.”

Amy Beckett is a full-time associate at Passman & Kaplan, PC, in downtown DC, and was a participant in last year's program.  

“My stated goal last fall was to be one of the program’s ‘success stories,” said Beckett “I couldn’t have done it without the program’s practical pointers, skills-building, and confidence boost.”

WCL faculty, together with experts in the field of career and professional development, lead and facilitate the program.  Participating faculty include Jamie Abrams, WCL legal rhetoric instructor who was honored by the DC Women's Bar Association last year for her work in reports on the status of women in the legal profession. 

The Program is co-sponsored by the Women's Bar Association of DC, the National Association of Women Lawyers, and the DC Volunteer Lawyers Project.

Washington College of Law Founders’ Vision

American University Washington College of Law is an institution with a unique history. It was founded more than 100 years ago by two pioneering women—Ellen Spencer Mussey and Emma Gillett—at a time when women were generally excluded from the legal profession. The founders fostered a tradition of providing opportunities for women and their extraordinary foresight and perseverance formed the foundation of Washington College of Law.

“The Lawyer Re-Entry Program carries on our founders’ mission,” said Grossman. “As a testament to their ideals and tenacity we hope to continue to develop programs aimed at the success of women lawyers for years to come.”

For more information about the program, including a full list of class topics and registration and tuition information, please visit our web site or email

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