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Professional Development

US Attorney Training
US Career Coaching
US Mentoring
US Performance Evaluation Process and Feedback

US Attorney Training
The training that occurs by working alongside partners and more experienced attorneys is invaluable and crucial to an associate’s development and growth. In addition to the opportunity to work with and learn from outstanding lawyers, the Firm offers formal training opportunities for all associates.

Training for New Associates

Mayer Brown provides a comprehensive on-boarding program for new associates through a series of national and local programs, one-on-one coaching and multi-office networking opportunities.

New Lawyer Orientation

New associates traditionally begin work in the Fall and immediately participate in New Lawyer Orientation. This multi-day program allows them to interact with colleagues from other offices, learn about firm traditions and processes and participate in training programs covering professional development as well as general legal topics for new associates. NLO lays the groundwork for training and development initiatives throughout our lawyers' careers at Mayer Brown.

First Year Fast Track

All new associates participate in our First Year Fast Track program during their first several months at the firm and attend programs including:

  • The Hidden Key to Success: Working With Secretaries, Paralegals & Support Staff
  • Hours & Expectations/Timekeeping & Expenses
  • Professionalism 101
  • Taking Charge: Managing Workloads and Senior Attorneys
  • Ethical Hot Points for New Associates
  • Resources for Transactional and Litigation Attorneys
  • Commitment to Community: Pro Bono Opportunities
  • Legal Writing: First, the Basics
  • The Perfect Protégé: How to Leverage a Mentoring Relationship
  • Organizing Time & Space
  • Outlook/Blackberry & Desksite Tips
  • Clients 101
  • Maximizing Feedback
  • The Total Lawyer: Associate Competencies

Legal Training

  • New associates in transactional practices participate in a series of New Lawyer Programs on basic, practical topics intended to get them up and running by teaching skills that they will need during their first six months at the firm.
  • New associates in litigation practices participate in a Nuts & Bolts series on fundamental topics such as document production, discovery requests and responses and outlining depositions.

Training Beyond the First Year

Highlights of our training initiatives for transactional lawyers include:

  • Programs geared toward associates with varying levels of experience, ranging from Level I programs that are primarily instructional as to terminology and substantive law to Level III programs that cover current developments and unique issues of general interest in a particular area
  • Training curricula specific to each practice group and monthly practice group meetings with educational topics
  • Writing programs specific to transactional practices such as Advanced Contract Drafting

Highlights of our training initiatives for litigation lawyers include:

  • Monthly practice group meetings with educational topics
  • Interactive workshop-style programs through which associates learn and practice critical skills. Such programs include Oral Advocacy, Depositions, Expert Witness Depositions, Internal Investigations and Evidentiary Privileges
  • Joint programs with clients that provide important networking opportunities for mid-level and senior associates
  • Writing programs specific to litigation practices, including an advanced writing skills series that includes feedback on individual writing samples

Highlights of our professional development, skills and ethics training initiatives include:

  • Programs taught by Mayer Brown attorneys as well as external consultants on important professional development topics such as delegation and feedback, business development, leadership and matter management, management of ones’ career and communication skills
  • Programs on ethics topics throughout the year, including both general topics and issues specific to particular practice groups
  • Programs for associates and partners on topics related to diversity and inclusion using renowned external consultants

The firm hosts 150 to 200 in-house programs annually, many of which are accredited for Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits. We make use of videoconference and WebEx, and we post recordings of our internal programs online to share training across offices and cultivate our intellectual capital. In addition to our internal offerings, we have subscriptions with Practising Law Institute (PLI) and West LegalEdCenter that allow our attorneys to participate in unlimited external programs at no charge.

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US Career Coaching
Mayer Brown supports the career development of its lawyers through a dedicated career coach who works with lawyers in all US offices. Jennifer Rakstad, the firm’s full-time Career Development Advisor (US) and a certified career coach, works one-on-one with lawyers on all aspects of their career and professional development. Jennifer works closely with our new associates on their transition to the firm and provides coaching and assistance to attorneys on a variety of issues, including drafting career and business plans, strategizing about career goals, transitioning to/from leave, time management and effective communication. Jennifer also leads our Mid-Level Career Development Initiative where she works with mid-level associates to strategize about career goals and draft career plans, and she leads our program for senior associates focused on putting them in the best position possible as they approach partnership.

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US Mentoring
The transition from law school to the practice of law can be challenging, and a formal mentoring program can provide valuable guidance to new associates as they integrate into the firm and its culture. At Mayer Brown, we recognize that mentoring takes on many forms, whether through a formal program, social interaction with colleagues or naturally through a working relationship. To ensure new associates are able to navigate the firm, Mayer Brown’s mentoring initiative provides:

  • A formal mentoring program where new associates are paired with a partner and a senior associate
  • A mentoring budget to facilitate social interaction between mentors and mentees
  • A free market system that provides additional opportunities to form relationships with partners and senior lawyers
  • Mentoring coordinators in each office who act as local resources
  • Mentoring skills training for mentors and mentees
  • Accountability and incentives for mentoring

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US Performance Evaluation and Feedback
Performance and development feedback is a crucial piece in the growth and progress of any lawyer. At Mayer Brown, associates are reviewed annually by partners and counsel for whom they have done substantial work. Annual reviews are based on a set of clearly defined competencies which encompass the individual skills and behaviors that tend to correlate with strong individual performance. It is these competencies that guide Mayer Brown’s training and professional development programming and include skills such as:

  • Matter management
  • Communication and analytical skills
  • Practice knowledge and skills
  • Management of self and others
  • Client relationships
  • Business and practice development
  • Firm and personal leadership

Associates also complete a self evaluation and receive an oral review conducted by two partners who provide feedback on their performance as well as development objectives for the coming year. Through the performance review process, associates receive a clear message on their standing within their practice group and, if applicable, specific messages and objectives on progression to partnership.

Training and development does not end with promotion to partner. Mayer Brown hosts programs for newly promoted partners on topics that will be important as they transition into their new roles such as billing and collections, new matter intake, and risk management. Newly promoted partners also participate in a business development program with follow-up consulting sessions in order to refine their business development plans and activities.

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