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Ctrl + Alt + Del: Restart Your Career

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by Linda Mercurio

As a professional development coach, I’m privileged to work with attorneys who are re-entering the paid professional world after an absence and those that are looking to transition or re-invent their careers. For many of us, the re-entering and re-inventing process can be overwhelming. We feel isolated and stuck and oftentimes have an inability to connect back to our professional selves. But we need not go through this alone, resources and support are available.

I have been honored to witness individuals undergo monumental professional transformations. I remember one woman in particular. She said to me emphatically “I can’t do this.” She had tears in her eyes as she explained to me, “I didn’t go to a good law school. I’m not going to be able to do this.” From this statement alone, you can see where her mindset was at the time – self-defeating. It was going to take a lot of work for her to build her self-esteem again. She needed to re-envision her career and gain practical skills in order to turn things around. And she did it! She is now working at a mid-size firm, and she has even taken on a bar leadership role. She is doing amazingly well. Just think – she’s a talent that the legal profession would have lost had she not participated in a program that gave her resources and support.

The Online Lawyer Re-entry Program at American University Washington College of Law is a unique online program that puts structure into the re-entry process. It allows individuals an opportunity to create momentum for themselves, in addition to providing training and guidance. One of the many special things about the program is that it creates a space for individuals to get to know themselves again with confidence – as professionals and attorneys. The faculty at American University Washington College of Law knows that our participants are talented and very high achieving individuals; and by the end of the program, the participants know it as well! With this guided online program, participants have the flexibility and convenience of reinventing their careers while also managing other competing interests (i.e. family commitments, current employment, etc.).

The program is made up of four key components:
• Mind-set (Self-Assessment): Values, Vision, Goals, and Skills
• Tool-set: Job Search Strategies & Tools
• Skill-set: Legal Research, Writing, and Technology
• Results: Efforts Sustained by Post-Program Individual Coaching

Through pre-recorded lectures, online interactive sessions, written assignments, and exercises, participants will reclaim their careers and find support among a cadre of talented lawyers. Following the program, participants will receive access to Westlaw and Lexis for a period of time and benefit from one-on-one coaching to sustain re-entry or re-invention efforts.

If you have recently decided to re-enter the legal profession or transition in the field – congratulations! You’ve taken a big step in your professional journey, just by making this important decision. Now it’s time to take action that will lead to success!

Linda Mercurio is Director of the Lawyer Re-Entry Program at American University Washington College of Law. She is also the founder of Transformative Impact, a leadership coaching and consulting practice.

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