Akerman Announces First OnRamp Fellow
Summary: Akerman LLP’s participation in the OnRamp Fellowship Program has led to their first announcement of an OnRamp Fellow that will be joining their firm.
The OnRamp Fellowship Program aims to reintroduce experienced female lawyers into the industry in an innovative manner. Akerman LLP has opted to participate in the program and announced the first placement this week. The top 100 U.S. law firm with clients across the Americas welcomed Sara Mandelbaum as the firm’s first OnRamp Fellow.
Mandelbaum is a former leader of the American Civil Liberties Union Women’s Rights Project and an overall experienced trial lawyer. She is best known for her role representing Shannon Faulkner, the first woman to attend an all-male Citadel Military Academy. She also defended Maryland State Trooper H. Kevin Knussman for the first-ever sex discrimination ruling in a federal Family and Medical Leave Act case.
Chair of Akerman’s Women’s Initiative Network Carol Faber said, “Akerman’s participation in the OnRamp Fellowship Program is an opportunity to help pioneer a re-entry model for experienced women lawyers and empower them to advance in their careers. The program also provides Akerman greater access to an untapped group of incredible talent and sends a powerful message to women lawyers that there are many pathways to success. Sara is a tremendous addition to our firm and we are proud to participate in this program.”
Mandelbaum will concentrate her efforts on commercial litigation, emphasizing the insurance handling, employment and commercial contract disputes. Her expertise extends to both state and federal court for employment discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, and sexual harassment issues as well as criminal and constitutional law.
Chair of Akerman’s Litigation Practice Group Lawrence Rochefort said, “Sara is an accomplished litigator whose victories have made a national impact in the areas of employment and education equality. She will be a tremendous advocate for our clients.”
Mandelbaum spent roughly ten years with the ACLU Women’s Rights Project and was with Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison where she focused on complex commercial litigation and pro bono services.
Founder of OnRamp Fellowship Caren Ulrich Stacy said, “Akerman is proving – once again – that they are a leader in both diversity and innovation by participating in the first “returnship” ever launched in the legal field. By hiring Sara, they have signaled to their clients and the legal profession as a whole that they care deeply about finding and retaining great talent and are willing to invest the time and energy needed to support these returning women as they ease back into the profession after an extended career break.”