As a new lawyer, you may think you have to compromise when looking for the best possible features of any given law firm—extensive training; exciting, sophisticated work; talented people; the support staff and resources of a large firm, and a work-life balance. At Robinson+Cole, you can have them all.
Incoming associates are matched with senior- and junior-level mentors who commit themselves to provide guidance and insight into the practice of law and the firm culture of Robinson+Cole. Mentors are there as a resource to discuss everything from substantive work related questions to where the best places are for an afternoon coffee break.
Our associate professional development program is designed to facilitate the transition from law student, law clerk or junior attorney to a practicing lawyer at Robinson+Cole. Training is provided on both a firm wide scale and a practice-specific basis. Our professional development program starts with Orientation during a lawyer's first week with the firm. Orientation includes: comprehensive systems training, an introduction to the practice groups, and a presentation focused on what to expect as a new associate at Robinson+Cole.
Throughout the year, we conduct monthly seminars including topics such as pro bono work, client relations skills, and practice administration as well as a luncheon discussion series called "Food for Thought" that addresses various hot topics in the law that are of interest to our lawyers.
Practice-specific training programs evolve as a lawyer's career progresses. To augment the training process, each practice develops its own specific training programs, conducts internal seminars on current subjects, and invites guest speakers to address timely topics. For example, litigation associates in their first and second years participate in our Trial Training Program, which consists of a series of seminars on different aspects of trial advocacy presented by the litigation partners and counsel of the firm and culminates in mock jury trials conducted by the participants. First- and second-year associates enrolled in the Trial Training Program act as advocates and are coached by senior trial lawyers. The deliberations of the jury, consisting of summer interns and staff, are viewed by closed-circuit television, giving participants a rare look at how juries work toward a verdict. Participants make full use of the firm's technological resources and support staff during the trial. Trials take place in the mock trial room of our Hartford office.
Our professional development program also includes training at the Practicing Law Institute or various programs run by the National Institute of Trial Advocacy locally, regionally and nationally.
Robinson+Cole recognizes that an essential aspect of professional development is receiving meaningful evaluations of work product and lawyering skills. This realization led us to adopt an evaluation program that provides our attorneys with feedback on their development every six months.
The evaluation process offers constructive feedback to associates in a wide variety of important areas such as legal skills, communication skills, writing ability, relations with clients, and professionalism. Additionally, the evaluations provide a way of tracking community involvement, speaking engagements, publications, and other professional activities.