Weekend Wrap: Firm launches career re-entry platform down under

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Making news this week, a major law firm has partnered with an online platform to help female lawyers return to workforce, a leading commercial law firm hosted an auction to support a community legal centre and a high-profile criminal lawyer has been bought to task over false allegations.

Global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills has partnered with US platform OnRamp Fellowship to help women re-enter the workface after a career break.  This partnership marks the platform’s launch in Australia. 
OnRamp works by placing female lawyers into one-year, paid  fellowship placements which include continued online education.
“It is vitally important that we continue to find ways to access the untapped pool of female talent for roles within the firm, which complement our existing strategies to promote diversity and inclusion across the firm,” said HSF regional managing partner, Asia & Australia Sue Gilchrist.
Women with three years’ experience, who have had a two year or more career break, are eligible to apply for a fellowship position.

Gilbert + Tobin hosted the second annual art auction to raise money for the Environmental Defenders Office, ascommunity legal centres prepare to face more funding cuts.
The auction, hosted at the firm’s Barangaroo office, included a collection of more than 50 works from Indigenous artists across the NT.
Last year, the office faced imminent closure after it was stripped of funding, but painting donations saved the centre, the art fetching over $60,000 at an inaugural auction.

Finally, prominent Brisbane lawyer Michael Bosscher has been found guilty of “unsatisfactory professional conduct” after he tendered a report in 2012 at an inquiry which contained false allegations about chief justice Catherine Holmes.
His legal team defended his decision to tender the document, arguing it was already publicly available and was up to the commissioner or his team to redact the allegations or issue a non-publication order, prior to it appearing on the inquiry website.
However, NSW Judge Clifton Hoeben said the defamatory material was likely to diminish public confidence in the administration of justice. In his verdict, he said tendering the document was “a failure to exercise the forensic judgement called for by the circumstances”.