The firm also expands billable hours-eligible criteria, allows lawyers to ramp up after leaves, and gives more secondment opportunities
Reed Smith has launched a comprehensive program for junior lawyers, which includes real-time feedback via an online and mobile application.
The firm also expands its billable hours-eligible criteria, allows lawyers to ramp up after leaves, and gives more secondment opportunities around the world.
Reed Smith’s new Associate Life program enables every lawyer with whom an associate works to give “continuous detailed feedback.” However, the firm has not ditched the annual review process.
Rather, the new scheme supplements the firm’s annual appraisals and includes “agreed-upon goals, options to regularly request and/or provide constructive feedback, and the ability to routinely schedule check-in meetings.”
Reed Smith is also integrating its new billable-hours credit policy into Associate Life, expanding the kind of work associates can claim toward their billable-hour requirements.
The scheme allows associates to claim up to 140 hours of pro bono legal service, innovation, and substantive training – such as deposition shadowing and attending court proceedings – as billable hours.
Reed Smith is the first law firm to accept innovation hours as billable hours.
The new Associate Life program also includes a new “ramp-up policy,” which allows junior lawyers to gradually increase their expected hours of work without a cut in pay for the four months from when they return to the firm after a leave.
Associate Life also gives junior lawyers more secondment opportunities with a new inter-office secondment scheme that allows for one to two weeks of mini secondments in any of the firm’s 28 offices around the world. It has developed a formal training program to enhance the secondment experience, the firm said.
“We created Reed Smith’s Associate Life initiative to provide our associates with meaningful opportunities to maximise their potential, fully develop their legal and business skills, and enjoy the practice of law,” said Sandy Thomas, Reed Smith’s global managing partner. “It’s a game-changer in terms of providing the integrated opportunities, resources and support that our associates have requested to achieve their personal and professional aspirations.”
Casey Ryan, the firm’s global head of legal personnel, said that the new initiative engages associates wherever they are and allows them to develop their skills, increase their connections, and strengthen their capabilities as they assume increasingly complex client projects and professional responsibilities.
The program includes opportunities for associates to play key roles in the firm’s litigation, transactional and regulatory matters; overall firm life including leadership, learning and development programing; wellness initiatives; flexibility programs; and a compensation approach that incentivises and rewards performance, the firm said.