Colorado Supreme Court

Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel

Promoting Professionalism. Protecting the Public.

Women's Transition Group invites new attendees
Recently moved to Colorado? Returning to work after maternity leave? Transitioning to a new job? This group may be for you.

Spring 2016

Jessie Rember was looking for some answers when she attended her first Women’s Transition Group meeting earlier this year. Or at least someone to ask the right questions.

She’d recently reentered the practice of law after decades outside of it. She didn’t have connections in the legal community and wasn’t even sure she wanted to continue in the field. She first sought help from the Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program. While CAMP Director John Baker’s mandate is to pair new attorneys with experienced ones, he was also getting a lot of calls from women like Rember who were longtime lawyers in the midst of life transitions.

Baker and retired Weld County Judge Carol Haller had been discussing these “transitioning” women for some time. Baker was also discussing the idea of a support group with Barbara Ezyk, Executive Director of the Colorado Lawyer Assistance Program. When Deb Henson, an attorney who had recently moved to Colorado from Louisiana, joined the discussion, the idea of a lateral support group took shape. The new Women’s Transition Group was born.

Still in its infancy, the transition group is made up of established female attorneys who in one way or another are in transition.

"Maybe they moved here from another state, maybe they took some time off to have children and they’re just coming back into practice, or maybe they’re considering a job change,” said Ezyk.

The group has already paid off for Rember. After a few meetings in which Ezyk and Henson “asked the hard questions that I needed in order to make a decision,” Rember developed a clear plan for her future. She’s now about to sit for the state’s teacher licensure exam.

“I brought this quandary into the group, and with their help was able to make a decision,” she said.

There are numerous women in the same boat. Henson, for instance, moved to Denver last summer and being a solo practitioner, she found herself floundering in a new city with no social or professional contacts. AlthoughHenson had practiced in Louisiana for more than 25 years,she lacked the contacts in Colorado that help attorneys start a new law practice. She reached out to Baker to seek his help in providing her with a mentor. They both realized that Henson didn’t really need someone to show her the ropes of the profession.

“What you need,” Henson recalls Baker saying, “is connections.”

The transition group, itself, is in a bit of transition and remains open to the influence of new attendees. Its first meeting in February drew nine attendees. They’ve met twice since then. Henson envisions a group that listens to stories from the women and offers advice and direction. It’s a kind of networking group without the formal networking event feel.

Ezyk sees it simply as a way “to learn from each other the ways to have a successful career and life.” It may include sharing stories and soliciting group feedback. It could include speakers on topics of interest to the group; for example, some attendees have expressed an interest in having speakers provide information such as career counseling, financial counseling or resume building, to name a few possible topics.

James Carlson is the Information Resources Coordinator for the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel.