When we welcome new associates, they have already demonstrated enormous potential in their course work, clerkships and other associated career-related pursuits and activities. At Smith Anderson, it is our goal to foster a supportive environment that allows our associates to further develop into outstanding attorneys.
From the beginning, each new associate is assigned a seasoned lawyer to mentor them through the first stage of their career. Our mentors make themselves readily accessible to their associate attorneys – offering individualized guidance about how to grow their practice and consulting on specific projects and assignments. Mentors direct associates regarding ways to expand their knowledge of substantive law and ensure they are receiving a wide depth of experiences.
Associates are taught the importance of cultivating strong and meaningful relationships with both clients and professional staff. They are also encouraged to invest their personal and professional time in giving back to the communities we serve. Additionally, we encourage our lawyers to join and actively participate in professional organizations in order to learn more about their craft and build thriving professional networks.
Associates receive formal reviews twice a year, in which firm leadership recognizes their achievements, constructively evaluates growth opportunities and encourages them to provide feedback on their experience. Each associate creates a Professional Development Plan with assistance from his or her mentor and the Director of Professional Development. These development plans set substantive law and skills goals. We believe that investing in the growth and development of the firm’s new attorneys will continue a tradition of providing superior service to clients and our community.
We also provide training opportunities for lawyers at all levels of their careers. The firm hosts approximately ten training programs per quarter. Our robust law training program includes Litigation U, Art of the Deal and Art of the Venture series. We also regularly hold client-development seminars and networking events. Additionally, we provide our new associates with training on law firm economics, as well as on risk and practice management.
We believe in developing lawyers at each stage of their careers. Our training and education initiatives provide opportunities for all lawyers to grow professionally.