New associates are interviewed prior to beginning work to determine their professional interests and, through this process, we fashion an individualized orientation to the Firm. Some associates choose to rotate through two of the Firm's departments during their first year, while others are assigned permanently to a department upon their arrival. Permanent assignment of new associates to departments is primarily based upon the associate's preference, but with due consideration of the Firm's needs.
We offer various in-house training programs in addition to encouraging associates to take advantage of continuing legal education seminars and programs offered by bar associations and other organizations. Our in-house training programs range from informal departmental lunch meetings for discussion of current matters and recent legal developments to more formal "how to" sessions which provide basic instruction regarding practical aspects of the legal practice.
We have an Associate Development Committee comprised of members and associates with varying levels of experience. The primary goal of the Associate Development Committee is to facilitate communication within the Firm and to formalize in-house training for all associates. We also have a mentoring program for new associates.
Associates are formally reviewed semi-annually in connection with the determination of appropriate raises and bonuses based on performance and merit. Attorneys with whom an associate has worked during the preceding year contribute to the associate's evaluation. Members and senior associates also are encouraged to informally review the work of newer associates (or otherwise provide constructive "feedback") during the course of each assignment.
All associates are encouraged to become active in professional, political and community affairs. Many associates have become involved in bar association activities, teaching, authoring articles for professional or lay publications, pro bono representation and other matters of individual interest.