If you are in a large firm, how’s your attorney development program working? I was the partner in charge at my old firm and I tried to convince our lawyers that if our program was the best it would help in recruiting, retention of lawyers and client development.

If you want to increase the odds of getting the lawyers in your firm behind your Attorney Development program, articulate what the purpose of the program is, what the firm is trying to accomplish and what is expected of the lawyers.

That is what I tried to do at Jenkens & Gilchrist.

Diverse team

Jenkens & Gilchrist Attorney Development Program

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. Chinese Proverb

In the book Aligning the Stars, the authors, Jay W. Lorsch and Thomas J. Tierney point out that: “Starmaking” is more important to a firm’s long-term success than “rainmaking.” Talent is the only source of a firm’s competitive advantage.

The purpose of the Jenkens & Gilchrist Attorney Development Program is to enable our attorneys to better serve our clients, to increase our realization and to provide opportunities for greater achievement and career satisfaction.

Jenkens & Gilchrist seeks to have an attorney development program recognized as preeminent by our clients, our lawyers and law students.

Core Values

  • Our attorneys will take responsibility for their career development and satisfaction.
  • Each attorney, associate, shareholder and of counsel must contribute in some way.
  • Supervising lawyers will give clear direction, answer questions, pay attention to quality and provide real time constructive and supportive feedback.
  • Teamwork is encouraged at all levels.
  • Each attorney and staff member will be shown respect. Respect engenders respect.
  • We will endeavor to provide consistent, real and specific direction on career advancement.
  • CLE will be used as a means of acquiring skills necessary to better serve our clients and enable our attorneys to grow.
  • We will demand a lot from our lawyers. They will work hard, meet high standards of excellence, and over time and with our guidance and support, learn to be outstanding lawyers, trusted advisors and mentors for a new generation of outstanding young lawyers.
  • Each associate in our firm has a unique background, unique skills and unique dreams, but they also share things in common. They all want to learn and become better lawyers. They want to perform interesting work. They want to feel like they matter, know where they stand and whether they are on track, and they want to feel respected by senior lawyers and peers.
  • Most of our associates know more about the “science of law” and less about the “art of lawyering” than they will ever know in their career.When it comes to the future, many young lawyers are confused. They feel like they are on a trip to an undefined and constantly moving destination (making shareholder). They are uncertain of the time expected for their arrival, feel they have been given no map to get there, and no compass to let them know where they are.They feel they have no coach or sponsor. Our job as senior lawyers is to teach them the art of lawyering and help them clear up the confusion. This requires us to get to know them, to understand what makes them unique and to encourage them to achieve success as they define it.
  • Our work with our clients is not any different and just was we get good vibes from helping our clients achieve their business objective, we get the same feeling helping our young lawyers achieve their career goals.

You will have more fun and success helping other people achieve their goals than you will trying to reach your own goals.  Dale Carnegie