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Professional Development & Training

At Proskauer, our associates are our greatest assets.  We care about their development as lawyers and provide ongoing professional training, both department-specific and general skill development.  Whether it involves shadowing a senior lawyer, hearing him or her provide insight on a new aspect of the law, or honing skills with an outside consultant or professor, we invest heavily in our associates to prepare them for careers in the law.

Proskauer Institute

Proskauer Institute brings together new associates from all offices to orient them to the practice of law and the firm at the start of their careers.  It is a full immersion, multi-day training program presented in the fall of each year.

Proskauer Institute addresses the fundamentals for becoming a successful lawyer in a large law firm, including:

  • What clients and the firm expect from their lawyers
  • The role of new associates at the firm
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • The importance of pro bono
  • Effective communication
  • Managing work flow, calendar and documents
  • Firm structure and practice economics

Shadowing Program

Associates are given assignments to observe experienced lawyers at work.  These opportunities are available throughout our associates’ careers at the firm to help them gain exposure to and experience in all elements of client matters.  Shadowing may include attending a meeting with a client, participating in negotiations with opposing counsel, attending a trial or observing the closing of a transaction.  In addition, we encourage partners to “reverse shadow,” in order to offer oversight, guidance and feedback on smaller projects and matters.

Mentoring

New associates are matched up with an associate advisor when they arrive at the firm.  After they have had a chance to develop informal mentoring relationships at the firm, associates second year and above are asked to select a partner or senior counsel to serve as their mentor.  The firm provides an annual stipend to mentors, conducts mentoring training and organizes periodic events such as Take Your Mentor to Lunch Month.  The Professional Resources Department actively monitors the relationships and serves as a bridge between mentors and mentees to encourage activity.

Evaluations

In conjunction with our firmwide evaluations system, we periodically meet with partners and senior counsel to provide instruction and guidance on how better to deliver formal evaluations and ongoing feedback to associates at all levels.

Mid-Level Retreat

We hold a biennial retreat for third through sixth year associates firmwide.  Mid-level associates are asked to assume more significant roles on matters and to take on greater responsibilities.  This transition raises unique issues and requires associates to expand their respective skill sets.  The retreat provides our midlevels with a forum to discuss these issues and tools for their professional development as Proskauer lawyers.

Continuing Legal Education

We strongly encourage associates to attend training and continuing legal education courses.  We offer all associates an annual training budget to become active in bar association activities and attend outside programs.  We also present substantive skills and training programs in-house throughout the year for lawyers at all levels of practice.
Proskauer is an accredited CLE provider in California, Illinois, and New York, so our lawyers can obtain necessary CLE credits without leaving the firm.  The firm also utilizes Micron CE Manager, a learning management system, to administer and track CLE, attorney admission and other training.

DEPARTMENTAL PROGRAMS

Corporate

  • Corporate Negotiation Workshop:  A brief introduction to deal negotiations and real world “wheeling and dealing” given to summer associates by a panel of corporate lawyers of all levels, including a corporate partner.
  • Corporate M&A Workshop:  Designed to give the summer associates who are interested in transactional work an in-depth opportunity to gain hands-on experience in negotiating, drafting, analyzing and understanding the terms of an acquisition agreement.
  • Corporate BASICS Training Program:  A formal training curriculum in which lawyers at various levels create and present trainings on substantive corporate areas to the department.

Litigation

  • Nuts & Bolts/Building Blocks:  This training program for first and second year associates covers the basics of the practice and presents informal weekly lunch lectures, hosted by a senior associate, senior counsel or partner.
  • Workshops:  In conjunction with the Labor & Employment Department, the department sponsors several training programs for associates.  These include intensive three-day programs covering deposition skills and trial advocacy.
  • Writing and Business Development:  We provide an on-site writing coach, several written advocacy training programs and business development training for associates.
  • Pro Bono:  We partner with pro bono organizations (including the City of New York) to offer our associates immediate hands-on courtroom and deposition experience.
  • Teaching Law Firm Model:  Each case is considered to be a learning and training experience for junior associates, with the goal of developing litigators who are able to take charge of a matter and adopt it as their own.

Real Estate

Real Estate lawyers at Proskauer gain experience and learn to practice real estate law by working on a daily basis with senior lawyers on a broad range of transactions.  Additional professional development opportunities include:

  • Breakfast Seminar Series:  Senior lawyers introduce basic concepts of the practice to junior lawyers in monthly breakfast meetings, providing an informal setting to address basic questions and seek feedback.
  • Monthly “State of the Market” Transactions:  All lawyers in the department meet once a month to discuss major transactions and the state of the market generally.  The program usually includes a discussion led by a speaker from the firm or the outside real estate industry.

Labor & Employment

  • Incoming Associates:  In connection with the Proskauer Institute, we offer training programs designed to introduce our new associates to our practice and to give them the fundamentals necessary to handle their first assignments. Programs include Legal Research Tips, Anatomy of An Employment Litigation, and Document Review and Due Diligence Fundamentals.
  • Core Curriculum:  Mandatory for first through fourth year associates and open to lawyers at all levels, we offer a monthly series of core curriculum seminars designed to give substantive knowledge and skills across a broad array of fundamental substantive areas.
  • Continuing Legal Education at Monthly Labor Lunches:  At monthly Labor lunches, we offer more advanced training programs focused on emerging developments in the law and the many nuances our lawyers must be familiar with across jurisdictions. We also have guest speakers who present us with different perspectives on our practice, including those of the client, the plaintiff’s lawyer, the union lawyer or the mediator.
  • Pro Bono as a Training Tool:  We identify opportunities for our lawyers to work with pro bono clients to give them hands-on experience in areas including developing employment policies and handbooks, advising on employment issues and handling hearings or even trials.
  • Additional Programs:
    • The Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Practice Center conducts monthly formal and informal training sessions
    • Newark and Los Angeles hold lunch and learn programs focused on issues relevant to their particular practices
    • The Labor & Employment and Litigation Departments co-sponsor training programs for associates to develop core skills including deposition skills training and trial advocacy training