If You Could Have A Blank Canvas, How Would You Set Up Fall Associate Training For Your Area? (Responses)
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TimestampYour Name [Anonymous if fine]What Training Techniques/Processes/Requirements Would You Put In Place?
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8/20/2013 5:03:01Adam Ziegler(1) "Real" simulations, with immediate, direct, high impact feedback from supervising lawyers. For litigators, this might include drafting a small-bore motion (like a protective order motion), a discovery meet-and-confer, taking a minor deposition, a substantive legal brief, a client meeting. Impose time limits. Reward for out-performance.

(2) Basic, practical tech training, both "how to" and "best practices." Excel, Word [e.g. redlining], Dropbox/Box, PPT, Outlook. Reward for out-performance.

(3) Business development, marketing and networking. Off-line and online activities. Set specific goals, measure and report, and reward for out-performance.

(4) Creative, collaborative problem-solving. Give small teams of associates a tiny budget and very short window of time, and require them to identify a discrete problem relevant to practice area, build a prototype solution and pitch it to the entire group. Reward for and implementation of best work.
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8/20/2013 10:08:27SteveI have one word that would help more than any other: "Mandatory"

Actually, now that I think about it, two words, "Mandatory" and "Graded" (applied to both the Associate, and the Partner responsible for that Associate.)

The biggest pitfall of training is the dreaded "I can't go because Partner X has given me an assignment." If there is no reprecussions from skipping training, or forcing Associates to pick between training and actually working on something that counts as billable time, then training will always come in second. By putting some accountability on both the Associate and the Partner, the firm shows that training is important and that everyone is expected to do whatever is needed to make sure that the newbies learn the ropes of the way work is performed at the firm.
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8/20/2013 16:20:25Anonymous1. Make training mandatory.
2. Remind partners/mentors/supervisoring attorneys that training is for the benefit of the new associate and is mandatory.
3. Have real life scenarios in training sessions.
4. Implement quizzes during training (especially for library & IT.)
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8/21/2013 11:38:48AnonymousI would do two things:
2) Provide a 45-60 minute individual training orientation to the new associate on the print and electronic resources that are of general applicability, and also specific to their practice. Give them an opportunity to ask questions about the resources. I would also use this time to provide helpful knowledge and insight as to how the firm is organized and operates.
3) Provide a once-yearly, 1.5 hour universal session to all new associates to showcase and optimize the firm resources available to them. The session would demonstrate why the resources are relevant to their law practice, and provide instruction as to how to access and search them. The underlying theme of the session would be to transition the associates from law school theory to real world practice.
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8/22/2013 9:29:41anonymousI can't wait to see what others say! I just wanted to drop a line and suggest that training (at least at big law) should also include laterals. I was a five-year government lawyer went I went to big law. I was given a day of training on the office computer system. I had no idea how to use a copier that required a user ID and matter number. (I was told to have someone else make the copies). I also had no idea how to bill or even how to drum up assignments. (Certainly those were necessary skills). Not that any of it really mattered. I didn't have a performance review until year 5. But then again, big law hired me as a "staff attorney" or third-class citizen.
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8/22/2013 11:11:17AnonymousOur concept of the ideal fall associate training program, including library orientation, would start with a multi-disciplinary group (MDG) composed of representatives from various departments responsible for providing information to new hires. This group, working with the departments, would select and centralize resources (handouts, handbooks, recordings, etc.) and make them available to the fall associates in an online environment (e.g., SharePoint). SharePoint would also provide a place where the MDG could share information with each other (e.g., associate names, practice groups, start dates).

A timeline and deadlines (e.g., calendared appointment reminders) would keep associates on track in reviewing resources, tests would be incorporated into the process and some review would be mandatory. The MDG would schedule live sessions or in-person meetings. Fall associates could review resources as needed after completing orientation.

In the library, brief audio and/or video presentations providing just-in-time information would be accessible via a mobile platform for ease of access. We would link appropriate resource use to associate evaluations.

Attendance and successful test completion would be automatically tracked online and metrics would be compared against benchmarks (in the case of the library, use and cost benchmarks) to determine success.

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8/25/2013 17:41:44AnonQUESTION: How does one find libraries who are simply looking for someone to take away their Federal Reporter and Supp volumes when they upgrade or move? Is there a specific blog or posting spot for that?

Many thanks.
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