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Professional Development

We understand that success is not only about knowing the law. It is also about how well attorneys communicate that knowledge, how they come to understand their clients‘ legal and business needs, and how successful they are at building trusted relationships.

To that end, we have made a significant investment in the creation of a unique program designed to support our associates in their development as successful lawyers and professionals. In addition to a strong mentoring system, we offer a training curriculum that focuses on business and social communications, networking and business development, time and stress management, presentation delivery, and business etiquette. We want our future partners to be successful and confident in all facets of their lives - professional, social and personal.

We also provide a full range of continuing legal education programs for all of our lawyers. For example, in the area of litigation, we provide new lawyers with weekly training and orientation sessions on courtroom and trial procedures in the first few months of joining the litigation department and continue with regular monthly and quarterly learning events tailored to the particular skill set of the experience level of the lawyer. We also have individualized training with the use of professional trial academies and mock trial training programs. The corporate practice consists of a wide variety of practice areas which also provide new attorneys with tailored instructional programs.

  • New Associate On-Boarding: program includes a mix of professional skills trainings and networking activities, each specifically designed to give our new associates the tools they need to succeed in their first years at the Firm.
  • New Associate Integration: extension of the Firm’s onboarding process that provides associates (entry-level or lateral) with ongoing touchpoints during the first 90 days of their arrival at the Firm.
  • Affinity Groups: groups that serve as a resource to support the Firm’s commitment to diversity by creating and fostering an environment of inclusivity.
  • Thompson Coburn Mentoring Program: this mentoring program, sponsored by the Firm’s Total Commitment Women’s Initiative, pairs a (volunteer) partner mentor with an associate mentee for a one-year mentoring relationship. The associate and partner work together throughout the year by meeting (at least) once a month to discuss topics of importance to the associate. New mentor/mentee pairings begin annually each September.
  • Associate-to-Associate Mentoring Program (New Associates): the Associate-to-Associate Mentor Program is geared toward integrating new (and lateral) associates as quickly as possible into the Firm. Associate mentors provide insight into firm operations, discuss appropriate interactions with support staff, and provide practical suggestions for working with partners and more senior associates. This program is a one-year mentoring relationship.
  • Diversity Mentoring Program: the Diversity Mentoring Program, sponsored by the Firm's Diversity Committee, is focused on retaining diverse associates by actively promoting diverse associates’ professional growth and career development, providing concrete support and facilitating real-time feedback, building networks, and creating a more inclusive Firm culture. Program mentees are assigned both a partner sponsor mentor to cultivate professional relationships and business development opportunities and an informal partner mentor to offer career advice. This program is a two-year mentoring relationship.
  • Associate & Counsel Skills Guidelines: A framework of the substantive legal skills associates and counsel should acquire through their career at Thompson Coburn.
  • Junior Associate Training Program: series of training programs that focus on the basics of being a junior associate at the Firm.
  • Targeted Business Development Programs: cohort-based programming that focuses on business development and professional upskilling.
  • New Partner Orientation: 1-day training program for attorneys that have been recently promoted to partnership and lateral partners that have recently joined the Firm.
  • Women’s Leadership Academy: cohort-based program for junior women partners to collaborate with Firm leadership to work on firmwide strategic initiatives.
  • Professional Development Committees: firmwide committees in both the Corporate and Litigation departments that develop monthly training opportunities.
  • Continuing Legal Education (CLE): in-house CLE programs, as well as firmwide subscription to West LegalEdcenter and the American Bar Association.
  • E-Learning Modules: more than 60 on-demand learning modules that cover a variety of professional, leadership, and self-management skills, as well as diversity, inclusion, and wellness opportunities.
  • Substantive Training Opportunities: legal writing workshops and NITA deposition trainings provide associates with hands-on application for continuous development.
  • One-on-One Coaching: targeted development opportunities to assist attorneys in honing necessary skills.
  • Development Dialogues: strategic analysis by the professional development team to help attorneys navigate next steps and improve performance.
  • viCLE: Firm’s CLE management system that tracks attorney CLE compliance, provides a calendar of upcoming programs, and also has a catalog for browsing prior programs.