Vault Guide to the Top 100 Law Firms, 2018 Edition.pdf

More recently the firm drew on its financial services

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More recently, the firm drew on its financial services and restructuring prowess when it played a central role in dealing with the subprime and financial implosions in 2007 and 2008. Throughout the crisis, S&C maintained its compensation levels for associates and did not engage in a program of layoffs, defer incoming associate classes, or shorten its summer program. S&C seized upon the transactional wreckage of 2008 to build its reputation as, in the words of The American Lawyer , “the go-to firm for the financial services industry.” After the storm cleared, its global reach served the firm well as it continued to build on its trans-Atlantic finance, restructuring, and M&A work. The Best at Doing…Everything S&C is known for its “generalist approach” to both professional development and client service. In contrast to the rotation systems found at many firms, S&C associates are exposed to a broad range of matters across subgroups, industries, and geographic location (a substantial number of S&C’s clients are non-U.S. commercial enterprises and government entities). Associate development partners in each group ensure that junior lawyers and summer associates receive a balanced level of work as well as a mix of assignments that is customized to each individual’s interests and goals. This generalist training is a large part of why clients turn to S&C with their most complex problems—the firm’s lawyers bring a broader perspective to cutting-edge legal issues than would more narrowly-trained practitioners. At the same time, the gen- eralist approach prepares associates for success in any career objective they pursue, whether that be an S&C partner who can nimbly adapt his or her practice in response to changes in the market, a general counsel who is able to advise on a broad range of transactions and disputes, a government lawyer with experience in all types and stages of litigation, or a leadership position in one of the many industries in which the firm has expertise. Because of its comprehensive and holistic approach to training, the vast majority of the firm’s lawyers begin their legal careers with S&C—either directly out of law school or after clerkships or government service—with a very limited number of lateral hires. And while discussing associates’ aspirations outside of partner- ship might still be taboo at some firms, S&C’s innovative Office of Career and Alumni Services and Career Development Plan encourage associates to take charge of their careers and pursue their individual career goals—whether they include becoming an S&C partner or putting S&C’s training to use as a founda- tion for their next move forward. Open communication between junior and senior lawyers is emphasized: each associate is paired with a partner advisor who works with the associate to develop, review, and revise his or her goals, and all associates have access to confidential career counseling from their first day at the firm. (The firm has also had an upward reviews pro-
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  • Fall '16
  • Hugard

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