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International law firm Herbert Smith Freehills has joined the Reignite Academy as part of the firm's ongoing commitment to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce.  

With more than 1 in 3 women not earning due to time out caring for family members* the Reignite Academy works in partnership with legal practices to provide opportunities for lawyers who have taken a break from city careers and want to return to private practice. 

Launched in September last year, the Academy provides successful candidates with six-months paid work experience, with a view to 'reigniting' their careers. Herbert Smith Freehills and the Reignite Academy will also offer workshops and training, ensuring candidates enjoy a smooth transition back into the workplace.  

As part of Herbert Smith Freehills' commitment to recruiting from a diverse talent pool, opportunities will be open to candidates whether their career break was due to caring commitments or the decision to pursue an alternative career path, 

Commenting on the partnership, Ian Cox, Regional Managing Partner UK, US & EMEA, said:

"We are committed to gender diversity and the attraction, promotion and retention of women across all levels of the firm, and we are delighted that, through our work with The Reignite Academy, we will continue to ensure that we attract a diverse pool of candidates."

The partnership with Herbert Smith Freehills signifies the start of a new cohort of recruitment, involving eight other firms.  It follows a successful programme in January 2019 which led to 10 lawyers being placed within City law firms.  The successful candidates were all women who ranged in experience from one year PQE to over twenty and covered disciplines including corporate, banking and finance, regulatory, tax, commercial, employment and real estate.

Lisa Unwin, co-founder and CEO of Reignite, says:  “These people had chosen to become lawyers; they loved working in the law; they left for various reasons, often to do with the demands of juggling career and family.  As lives move on and they look to the future, many are eager to return to a challenging, fulfilling career.

For further information for either candidates or employers, please contact [email protected]

* Figures show number of women not earning between April 2017 and November 2018, according to Money Guru, March 2019