Attorney Development

Providing ongoing attorney development is a priority at Haynes Boone. The firm’s mission to develop our lawyers is rooted in the recognition by our partners that the development, retention, and advancement of our lawyers will determine the future success of the firm. 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 lawyers need at the various stages of their careers.

We recognize the need for an increased focus on lawyer development for our lateral lawyers, regardless of what level of seniority you may have attained 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 lawyers, 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 lawyer 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 lawyer 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 lawyers 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 the New Partner Toolkit, which provides helpful guidance to new entry-level partners as they navigate this new phase of their careers.

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As you move through your career, you will participate in a variety of programs that will equip you for the new challenges that you will be facing as your practice develops. For example, our mid-level associates receive specialized training on managing and motivating teams, since our 4th and 5th years are moving into supervisory roles. In addition, we convene workshops for our senior-level associates focusing on partnership readiness, including training on business development and opportunities for cross-office networking.
In addition to the firm-wide training, a very important part of your development 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 lawyers or a contract drafting session for transactional lawyers, or programs that discuss a current development related to your practice.
Informal, ongoing feedback that you receive from the lawyers with whom you are working is critical to an lawyer's growth and development. Not only do we provide training for senior lawyers on how to give effective feedback, but we also provide training for our junior associates on how to seek out feedback and apply it to their practice.
When you arrive at the firm, you will be assigned a partner in your practice group who will oversee your development as a lawyer 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. 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 depend for guidance and support.
A significant piece of your ongoing professional development will be your work assignments. It is only through these work assignments that you will be able to develop into a well-rounded lawyer who is capable of handling more complex matters as you progress through your career. Section and department leaders and partner supervisors work together to source assignments for you that will enable you to “step up” as you become more senior and handle matters and tasks of increasing complexity.
In addition to the informal feedback that you receive on an ongoing basis, you will receive two reviews each year that are key guides to your development at the firm. The lawyers with whom you have worked will provide comments on the work that you have done, as well as suggest developmentally-appropriate goals. These comments are compiled and shared directly with you, at an in-person meeting that your supervising partner attends, along with an Attorney Development team member. These conversations focus on “going forward” guidance. In other words, what should be happening over the next six 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.

The completion of your annual associate development plan provides you with an opportunity to identify substantive areas in which you would like to be involved, where you would like to strengthen your skillset, and other opportunities in which you would like to be engaged during the coming year. Working in conjunction with your partner supervisor and associate mentor, you can create an individual plan that provides a great road map for your career for the months and years ahead.
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