Return & Rise in Law: Online Career Break Return Course Launching Friday 15th December 2023

Online Career Break Return Course - coaching for lawyers


Returner Significance

Returners are an important group in the retention challenge in the legal profession, given we know 52% of new entrants to the legal profession are women, whilst at senior levels that figure reduces considerably: Women make up only 30% of law firm partners; 19% equity partners; 21% of circuit judges and 16% of King’s Counsel at the Bar.

We can conclude from this that either leadership is unattractive to women or, more likely, they leave before they get chance to apply.

Broad Returner Reach

Of course, it’s important to acknowledge, at outset, that the career break challenge is not simply an issue for maternity returners, albeit unsurprisingly they are in the vast majority. Not only do career break returners include working parents, both mothers AND fathers, but also those returning after periods of elder care, seconded or sabbatical placements and also those returning after time out due to their own health challenges.

Maternity Returners

From recent reports, though, we know of the vast majority of returners who are women,

  • 98% of maternity returners want to return to work after becoming mothers yet 85% of them leave fulltime work within 3 years of having children.
  • 19% leave the workforce altogether, most citing lack of flexibility at work or unaffordable childcare as their reason for doing so.
  • Of the 24% who attempted to return to pre-children full time hours, 57% leave within 2 years: 36% of those saying full time work was unsustainable.
  • There are 32% fewer women in mid-management roles after having children – the exodus of mid-ranking female managers contribute to the lack of senior female leaders in business.
  • It takes 10+ yrs for mothers’ careers to recover and get back to the same level of seniority or higher after having children.

Attrition Impact

Clearly this is an important issue, not just for women, but also organisations, given the heavy investment costs of hiring, training and developing female talent only to see them leave mid- career.

Other reports highlight the cost to businesses:

  • One study predicting that every time a business replaces a salaried employee, it costs 6 to 9 months’ salary on average. i.e For a female manager making £50,000 per annum, that’s a minimum £25,000 in recruiting and training expenses;
  • Another suggesting it can be even more – as much as twice the annual salary – especially for a high-earner or executive-level employee,

not to mention the untold cost of brand damage due to high attrition rates.

It’s good business sense, then, to prioritise turning the tide on attrition, both for the individual and for businesses.

Return and Rise in Law Online Course

That’s why Return & Rise in Law’s been created, a 10 week, online  course to successfully navigate participants/ returners through career break, right the way from leave announcement through return, and to career progression beyond, by providing a 4 part, 15 strategy plan to

  1. Return with confidence and
  2. Achieve career progression

as well as offering, as bonus content, a refresher course specifically designed for new working parents.

Transformational Promise

The Return & Rise in Law transformational promise is that organisational investment will deliver:

  • Increased retention


  • Confident employees who feel valued


  • Motivated people, encouraged to progress/ elevate careers


Return and Rise in Law Online Community

There’ll be some on the course who’ve already given career breaks some consideration and perhaps wondered whether taking one might:

  • knock confidence or
  • negatively impact career progression.

Highlighting these feelings demonstrates how common-place those concerns are – and helps to provide support to returners knowing that having had those thoughts/ feelings brings them within a group of people who have had similar, shared experiences.

The Return and Rise in Law private online Community group has also been made available, then, to provide ongoing assistance to participants throughout the entirety of the 18 month career break journey they embark upon through the course.

Returner Strategies

The journey introduces returners to 15 strategies (with an emphasis on coaching exercises, tools and resources), to deploy for a confident and successful return, and which support career progression at a time that’s right for them.

They are:

  1. Expect the unexpected
  2. Prepare for your career break
  3. Embrace Change
  4. Effectively manage your imminent return
  5. Adopt the right mindset
  6. Change your state
  7. Develop Confidence to return
  8. Own your time
  9. Identify your non-negotiables
  10. Learn to say no
  11. Know your value
  12. Identify your goals
  13. Progress when you are ready
  14. Define Success
  15. Work on Business Development and Networking

Return and Rise in Law Transitional Stages

Return and Rise in Law comprehensively accompanies returners through 4 transitional stages:

  • From announcing their intention to take a career break, preparing for a career break
  • Then getting ready to return after a career break
  • Returning with confidence
  • Right through to promotion after their return, career progression beyond a career break

Success, your way

The emphasis for returners remains throughout a confident return and success on their own terms.

To register an interest, without obligation, please visit:

Nikki Alderson Biography

Nikki Alderson, specialist coach, speaker, author, and former Criminal Barrister:

  • supports legal organisations retain female talent; and
  • empowers female lawyers to achieve career ambitions.

Nikki specialises in:

  • Women leadership;
  • Enhanced career break returner support; and
  • Workplace resilience, confidence and wellness.

She is the author of Amazon No.1 Bestseller Raising the Bar: empowering female lawyers through coaching, (, nominee for 2019 Inspirational Women Awards, and finalist in 2020 Women in Law Awards and 2019 International Coaching Awards.