Attorney Development Program Provides Tools for Personal and Firm successSeptember 01, 2007
Besides a strong knowledge of the law, what does it take for an attorney to be successful at Godfrey & Kahn?What competencies are viewed as most valuable and essential at various points of attorneys' careers?
Since 2004, more than 50 senior level associates and junior partners have participated in an attorney development program that addresses these questions and helps the attorneys recognize and remedy their weaknesses as well as play to their strengths. Talent Genesis, a human resources consulting firm, runs the program in partnership with Godfrey & Kahn.
The program is designed to help improve specific competencies that firm management has identified as key drivers of the firm's success. It is structured to help G&K align performance and development programs with the firm's strategic needs. The program begins with 360-degree attorney evaluations, which provide constructive feedback from individuals with whom the attorneys work. This includes senior partners, peers, paralegals and secretaries -- and possibly clients. Attorneys then choose a senior attorney mentor who has been specially trained by Talent Genesis. Attorneys, their mentors and a Talent Genesis coach work together to identify, develop and implement the tools and training needed to improve specific competencies.
Through this program, the firm hopes to achieve three primary objectives: (1) to give attorneys guidance in what it takes to be successful at Godfrey & Kahn; (2) to underscore the significance of certain competencies in personal and organizational success; and (3) to provide assistance in developing those competencies over time. Talent Genesis coaches and G&K mentors continue to support and encourage participants' progress throughout the next year. Participants are given the opportunity to continue the development program and target more competencies in the future. By recognizing and improving competency weaknesses and strengths, G&K will improve performance at the individual, team and firm levels.
Since participating in the program in 2004, Brian Gilpin has become Team Leader for the Intellectual Property Practice Group. "The program provides attorneys with feedback helpful to their development as leaders," said Gilpin. "Team building and effectively managing younger attorneys and staff are skills necessary to strengthen our practices and become successful shareholders. Participants receive candid feedback from superiors, peers, and direct reports, and on-on-one attention from coaches who help us develop plans to improve. The resources devoted to this program confirm G&K's commitment to providing the support they need to succeed."
"We want our attorneys to succeed as individuals and as members of their respective teams and we're committed to providing tools, such as the Attorneys Development Program, that will help them meet their goals," said Managing Partner Rick Bliss. "It is our hope that, in return, they will utilize those tools to grow their practices. The firms' success correlates directly to the success of our attorneys. Helping attorneys sharpen their skills will benefit them and the firm as a whole."
The next Attorney Development Program will begin in fall 2008.