Associates consistently report that the quality of the mentoring they receive directly affects their desire to stay with a particular firm. Yet, many firms are unable to create a robust, sustainable program. We can help you design and implement a program with a strategic matching process, training for mentors on coaching and leadership skills, training for proteges on getting the most from the relationship, periodic events, team projects, and assessments.
Giving feedback, whether in the form of appreciation, coaching, or a formal evaluation, is essential to both the associate's development and the firm's success. Yet, many supervising lawyers shy away from giving feedback, a skill that has not traditionally been taught in law school. We can provide tools, models, and training to help you to create a stronger evaluation process and a culture where timely, informal feedback is freely given.
The most effective learning occurs by combining coaching, training, and mentoring that is targeted to the associate's level. Junior associates need a road map to get their bearings in the new world of law practice. Mid-levels need guidance as they expand their roles on cases and deals. Senior associates need to hone the skills necessary to succeed as partners. We will help you create programs that target the developmental needs of each level.
We offer training, coaching, and consulting on a variety of topics - a few examples are listed below. All of our programs are customized to fit your firm’s culture and needs. Please contact us for more information.
Giving Feedback So It Will Be Heard
Using Feedback to Advance Your Career
Fundamentals of Delegation
Coaching Skills for Effective Mentoring
Strengthening Emotional Intelligence
The Associate's Role in Law Firm Profitability
The Entrepreneurial Associate
Building Your Brand Inside the Law Firm
Thriving as a Senior Associate
Reinventing Yourself as a New Partner
Establishing Yourself as a Leader in Your Firm
Up, Down, and Sideways: Managing Stakeholders Effectively
Working With Lawyers And Other Cat-Herding Skills
Business Writing for Impact and Credibility
Years ago, the question most frequently asked by associate candidates in interviews was, "How long is your partnership track?" Today, they are more likely to ask, "What is your culture like?" Today's new associates seek a collegial culture that supports informal training and mentoring and strong partner-associate relationships. They will invest their time and talent in serving your clients, but want to know that they will receive a return on that investment in the form of meaningful work experience guided by experienced mentors. We will help you to attract the best and brightest by strengthening your mentoring and coaching programs.
While structured training can provide instruction on practice area basics, communicate updates on the law, and identify best practices, the most effective learning happens through hands-on work on increasingly challenging assignments. But without effective assignment coordination, supervision, and mentoring, the benefits of work experience may be lost, or worse, poor habits can develop. Do not rely on classroom training or outside seminars to develop your associates. We will help you design an integrated talent management system that coordinates training, coaching, mentoring, and effective feedback practices.
Law students typically graduate with finely honed analytical skills, but little knowledge of how to use these skills to serve real-life clients. New associates can only learn these skills through mentoring and supervision by experienced attorneys. Yet, unless your firm demonstrates that it values associate development, experienced lawyers tend to de-prioritize training and mentoring activities. Without structure and intention, development efforts become hit or miss. We will help you to create a culture that values associate development, trains senior lawyers to be better mentors and supervisors, and delivers a return on these investments.
It is not enough to attract top associate candidates and develop them. Unless you retain them for a significant period, your investment can go down the drain. Poor supervisors can erode morale, negatively impact productivity, and ultimately, drive associates away, costing the firm hundreds of thousands of dollars in talent replacement and re-training costs. Provide training and coaching to your supervising lawyers so they can elicit their associates' best work, build strong relationships, and engender loyalty to the firm. We will show you how.
Many firms overlook the development support that mid-level and senior associates need as they approach partnership. Too often, attorneys who excelled as associates - delivering strong work product and high billable hours - flounder after reaching the partnership stage. Success as a partner requires new skills, including leadership, practice management, and business development capabilities. We will help you design a program that conveys your firm's partnership expectations and prepares your associates to meet them.
New lawyers develop most rapidly in an environment that provides meaningful work assignments, intensified mentoring, training on basic practice skills, and opportunities to observe senior lawyers in action. Without a structured program, however, first-years are often relegated to the most basic assignments, such as document review and legal research that, while billable, offer limited learning value. We will help you create a focused program that will accelerate their advancement and increase their value to the firm.
Research has proven that professionals who are engaged and 'all in' with their employers provide better client service, stay longer, and help make the firm more profitable. Engagement is heightened when associates know what is expected of them, have opportunities to learn, are encouraged in their development, and receive regular check-ins on their career progress. Find out how our lawyer consultation services can increase the associate engagement level at your firm.