We are committed to the long-term professional development of our associates. Although formal ongoing legal training and skills development are an integral part of life at Schulte, hands-on experience is the key to the success of our lawyer training. Our formal training programs provide our associates with support and skills needed to prepare them to handle early substantive responsibility and client contact and to advance at each stage of their careers.
An accredited provider of continuing legal education in New York, the firm offered 146 CLE programs last year. Nationally-recognized experts teach workshops on topics ranging from general skills like contract drafting, brief writing, negotiation and deposition skills, to business topics, and to leadership and business development. In addition, each department offers its own seminars to give the junior lawyers more specialized expertise and keep all lawyers up to speed on new developments in their practice areas.
We understand that there is no substitute for hands-on experience. Through direct exposure to all aspects of a project, including the client’s views and goals, associates can mature at a faster pace and with greater personal satisfaction than would be possible in a more rigidly structured environment.
Lawyers are encouraged to attend outside seminars sponsored by bar associations and private continuing legal education providers. The firm pays all costs incurred in connection with attendance at approved continuing legal education programs.
Mentoring is an important part of the training process at Schulte. The firm understands that effective mentoring is critical to the development and satisfaction of our associates, and that mentoring is needed at every stage of an associate’s career. Some traits are best learned through mentors. We believe mentoring should encompass a variety of issues – ranging from the sharing of a knowledge base and practice tips – to advice regarding an associate’s long-term career plans. While our culture fosters the development of organic mentoring relationships, we have a formal mentoring program that pairs junior associates with more senior associate mentors, and we host periodic events to encourage and support these relationships. We also encourage more casual, informal mentoring relationships between attorneys of all levels.
Feedback and Reviews
One of the most critical questions in many associates’ minds is “How am I doing?” To help answer this question, we provide extensive annual evaluations for all associates. The evaluation conversations are designed to provide an opportunity to discuss past performance and career development opportunities, including, where appropriate, coaching and group training. First-year and lateral associates receive an interim review within their first six months with the firm. Partners and senior associates also provide feedback on an ongoing basis during the course of an assignment.