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

You get full market bonuses if you hit above average

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think we are compensated fairly.” • “You get full market bonuses if you hit above-average hours. 1,950 is the minimum to be bonus-eligible.” Quality of Work • “I spend the majority of my time on substantive legal work that is appropriate for my level, but also that challenges me to work at a higher level than my experience suggests or allows. From my first day, I was given a ton of responsibility and have been able to work on all phases of litigation, from responsive pleadings through summary judgment. Most importantly, the partners are always available to answer my questions and provide guidance so I never feel I am left without help.” • “Because the firm is smaller, we are also leaner. This means that younger associates have the opportunity to work on substantive matters almost immediately.” • “I spend most of my time doing substantive work. In my third year, I worked on several trials and took multiple depositions.” • “I mostly manage my own cases and have wide latitude in what I do. I communicate directly with clients and opposing counsel, appear in court when we have hearings, etc. I think it’s appropriate to my year level.” Training & Mentoring • “Sheppard is a ‘learn on the job’ firm. Most associates will be handed significant responsibility early in their career. Those who are good will continue to be given more and more responsibility.” • “Formal training for first year associates is crammed into the first couple months of employment. It covered a lot of topics and was very comprehensive. The mentorship program assigns each associate a partner and associate mentor. Associate mentors are key to answering any questions that may arise when you start working, and are great at giving advice for developing your career early on. Partner mentors are a great resource for answering questions to help you succeed and figuring out not only what you’re doing right but also what you can do to improve.” • “There is a formal mentoring program—I am assigned an associate and partner mentor who I meet with from time to time about general questions and firm stuff. Individual partners vary in their commitment to mentoring, but I work with some great mentors.” • “The firm does provide a good amount of formal training and informal training. There is a whole website, SMRH University that has videos that you are required to watch and also ones that are available to you on demand. In terms of mentoring and sponsoring at the firm, I wouldn’t say there is a particular formal program. That said, the associate culture is very supportive and everyone works together to help each other out. As a first year, I feel comfortable going to my colleagues for advice, no matter how ludicrous the question might seem.” Career Outlook • “Promotion to partnership is realistic. Part time and alt- ernative senior roles (e.g., special counsel) are openly sup- ported by highest levels of management.” • “I think it’s realistic to make partner at the firm but market is tightening and the track is getting longer. People tend to
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  • Fall '16
  • Hugard

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