I remember working with associates in my old law firm and helping them decide what they wanted to accomplish in their work and careers and helping them prepare a plan with written goals.
I had great intentions and enthusiasm, and so did the majority of associates. But, over time I discovered that my large law firm was, perhaps inadvertently, contributing to our associates not following through.
Here is what I concluded happened. Maybe it is happening in your firm.
- The firm leaders don’t make clear that the firm values the associates setting goals;
- The partners don’t set their own goals;
- The firm seems to only value billable hours;
- There are no benchmarks identifying what associates are learning;
- Associates are made to feel they are not doing what they should when they do non-billable activities outside the office;
- Associates are not encouraged to participate in attorney development programs;
- Associates are not given meaningful feedback;
- Associates who set goals are put down when they share their goals with the partners for whom they work;
- Partners do not share credit with associates when they help with an article or presentation;
- Mentoring in the firm is just talk and not meaningful.