Lateral Attorney Development
Attorney Development is a priority at Haynes and Boone. The firm’s mission to develop our attorneys is rooted in the recognition by our partners that the development, retention, and advancement of our attorneys will determine the future success of the firm. In 2007 we took our commitment one step further by hiring our first Director of Attorney Development. With his more than 30 years of experience practicing law and developing attorneys, Eric Deutsch continues his passion for the training and development of attorneys. Our Attorney Development group works extensively with the partners and associates at the firm across all offices to provide the training and development that our attorneys need at the various stages of their careers.
We recognize the need for an increased focus on Attorney Development for our lateral attorneys, regardless of what level of seniority you may have when you join the firm. As one who has already some degree of legal experience, you appropriately have high expectations of the new firm that you are joining, and the firm similarly has high expectations of you. We know that you will already have developed a practice area and, just like we do for entry-level attorneys, our goal is to assist you to integrate as quickly as possible into your practice area and the firm in general. Recognizing that each lateral attorney brings with him or her a set of unique experiences and interests, we endeavor to help you reap the benefits of your experiences and your existing client and other relationships as fully as possible at Haynes and Boone. Along these lines, we meet with each new lateral attorney at the beginning of your tenure with the firm to outline how we can be of assistance to you; we also follow up with lateral attorneys at periodic intervals after your arrival at the firm to ensure that your integration is going well.
We do not limit our attorney development efforts to the associates of the firm. We have designed programs especially for partners that take into account the set of skills that partners need at their sophisticated levels of practice. Some examples of these programs include business development training and a Supervising Attorneys’ Toolkit series that provides helpful guidance to partners about how to improve their supervision, management and mentoring of associates.
The Lawyer's Toolkit
The manifestation of our commitment to Attorney Development is embodied in “The Lawyer’s Toolkit” theme that underlies each of our initiatives. To build your career as an attorney, you need many different tools, and Haynes and Boone is focused on helping attorneys at all levels of seniority get access to the tools that they need to build their careers. Below are just some of the development tools available to our attorneys.Formal Training
The firm is committed to providing you with the formal training opportunities necessary to assist you in developing the skills and knowledge you need to serve clients and grow your career. This commitment starts with an associate’s first day at the firm and continues after an associate has become a partner at the firm. Because an attorney’s practice changes as the attorney becomes more senior, it is important that the training that we provide for our attorneys is matched with their level of seniority. Therefore, our attorneys are getting the benefit of a curriculum that is tailored to where they are in their careers so that they are getting what they need and when they need it.
Some of the key building blocks of the formal training component of our Lawyer’s Toolkit include:
Informal Feedback from Supervising Attorneys
Firm-Wide Training for Mid-Level and Senior Associates
As you move through your career, you participate in a variety of programs that will equip you for the new challenges that you will be facing as your career develops. For example, our mid-level associates work with a Presentation Skills coach to improve their public speaking skills, because at this level, you will be in a position in your career where you are being called upon to make presentations for clients, for internal CLE programs, and for bar associations or other groups. As you become more senior, you receive supervisory skills training that assists you in your interactions with junior associates with whom you are working.
Section and Practice Group Training
In addition to the firm-wide training that you will receive throughout your career at the firm, a very important part of your Toolkit is the Section and Practice Group training that relates to the substantive areas in which you are engaged. These programs include sessions that focus on skill development, e.g., an expert deposition workshop for litigation attorneys or a contract drafting session for transactional attorneys, or programs that discuss a current development related to your practice.
Annual Associate Seminars/Retreats
Supplementing the periodic training programs that are conducted throughout the year are annual “class year seminars/retreats” where all associates in a certain class year across the firm get together in a single location. At these programs, you will learn information that is relevant to your stage of your career; e.g., our fifth year associates have presentations from the Admissions to Partnership Committee and from newer partners who provide their perspective on the partnership admission process. Our third year associates participate in an interactive negotiation skills workshop and receive guidance on business development skills. In addition to the informational and training value of these programs, these seminars provide you with an excellent opportunity to connect (or reconnect) with your peers across the firm to strengthen your internal network at the firm.
Although formal training is an important part of an associate’s development at the firm, an even more important component of your Toolkit is the informal ongoing feedback that you receive from the attorneys with whom you are working. Recognizing that informal feedback on your work is a significant aspect of your development, the topic of feedback is an essential component of our training programs. Not only do we provide training for senior lawyers on how to give effective feedback, but we also provide training for our associates on how to get the maximum amount of feedback from your more senior colleagues and then how to get the most out of the feedback that you have received.Partner Supervisors and Associate Mentors
Very important tools in your Lawyer’s Toolkit are your partner supervisor and associate mentor. When you arrive at the firm, you will be assigned a partner in your practice group who will oversee your development as an attorney at the firm. In addition to being involved with you in your work assignments, your partner supervisor will assist you in your integration into the firm as well as the broader legal community. Equally important to your development at the firm is your associate mentor. Your mentor has the primary focus of acclimating you to your practice and to the firm and of answering whatever questions you may have. Together, your partner supervisor and associate mentor form a key team upon which you will be able to rely to assist you with your integration into the firm.Work Assignments
The most significant tools fostering your development are the work assignments that you will be receiving during the course of your career at the firm. It is only through these work assignments that you will be able to develop into a well-rounded attorney who is capable of handling more complex matters as you progress through your career. Section Heads, Practice Group Leaders and Partner Supervisors work together to develop assignments for you that will enable you to “step up” as you become more senior and handle matters and tasks of increasing complexity.Annual Evaluation Process and Associate Development Plans
Another extremely important part of your Lawyer’s Toolkit at Haynes and Boone is the associate review/associate development plan process. In addition to the informal feedback that you are receiving on an ongoing basis from the other attorneys with whom you are working, you will receive a formal review each year that is a key guide to your development at the firm. In the weeks leading up to your review the senior attorneys (including senior associates) with whom you have worked will provide comments on the work that you have done with them. All of these comments are compiled and your section head or another partner involved with the leadership of your section or practice group will meet with you for your review. Associate reviews at Haynes and Boone focus on “going forward” guidance. In other words, in light of where you are in your career, what should be happening over the next 6 to 12 months to enable you to keep moving forward in your career? In furtherance of this goal, the review will focus on the nature of the work assignments that you may be getting going forward as well as other things that you can be doing to enhance your career such as speaking and writing opportunities.
Closely tied in with the annual review process is the completion of your annual associate development plan. This document provides you with an opportunity to help shape your career because you have the chance to identify substantive areas in which you would like to be involved and other opportunities in which you would like to be engaged during the coming year. The development plan also provides you with the opportunity to identify areas where you would like to strengthen your skill set in the coming year, so the firm can respond and provide assistance in these areas. Working in conjunction with your partner supervisor and associate mentor, you can create an individual development plan that provides a great road map for your career for the months and years ahead.
These are just a few examples of the firm’s commitment to provide you with the training and development tools you need to develop your career. For further information, please contact the firm’s Director of Attorney Development, Eric Deutsch
, at +1 214.651.5321 or firstname.lastname@example.org