Our attorneys take a vested interest in the professional and personal development of new associates.
The foundation of our success is built on teaching the next generation of attorneys the skills needed to grow and flourish, both in their legal practice and in their community. Before you arrive at Godfrey & Kahn, you'll be assigned an advisor from our formal mentoring program. Your advisor will ensure that your transition into the firm is warm and welcoming. And he or she will see to your successful development through one-on-one advising, formal training programs and hands-on experience. Through formal training opportunities like these and regular daily mentorship, you'll find yourself quickly immersed in our team-based approach and unique culture.
Attorney Advisory Program
The Attorney Advisor Program is the firm's formal mentoring program. Before you begin as a new associate at Godfrey & Kahn, you will be assigned an Associates Committee Advisor (ACA). Your ACA will contact you prior to your arrival to make an introduction. Your ACA will generally be an off-team junior associate who works in the same office as you.
Your ACA will ensure that all of your questions are answered and that your transition into private practice at Godfrey & Kahn is a smooth one. Your ACA can also assist should you have any concerns relating to your own team, and will help introduce you to members of other practice groups.
Associates at all levels also have a Practice Group Advisor (PGA) who is responsible for assisting the associates with their development and providing them with opportunities for professional growth. The PGA is generally an on-team attorney who will monitor your workload, thereby ensuring you receive the quantity and variety of work necessary to accomplish the team's benchmarks. Your PGA will also help you to develop good working relationships with members of your practice group, including staff and other attorneys.
New attorneys in our Appleton, Green Bay and Waukesha offices will be assigned a Firm Advisor (FA) who will assist in developing relationships within the firm and outside of your practice group. Working with your PGA, your FA will also advise you about developing relationships within the community and becoming a member of appropriate professional and civil organizations.
As an attorney at Godfrey & Kahn, you will be encouraged to participate in all aspects of our success, including firm administration. Through various committees like Community Involvement, Ethics and Conflicts, Legal Education, Marketing, Recruiting, Social, and Technology, you will have the opportunity to provide input on decisions we make together as a firm. We also encourage opportunities to engage in leadership activities with the community. Many of our attorneys and staff serve on boards of directors, women's leadership organizations and more.
Godfrey & Kahn is deeply invested in the success of our communities. Our attorneys and staff regularly donate time, resources and legal services through their involvement in numerous charitable, civic and environmental organizations. We encourage our attorneys to become involved in pro bonolegal practice and community activities that will enhance their standing in the legal profession as well as in the community at large. Accordingly, the firm provides staff, financial and other support for these efforts.
- Civil and criminal court appointments
- Participation in programs that match attorneys with deserving but unrepresented persons with legal problems such as wrongful eviction, immigration issues and disputes with others
- Service as a mediator in alternative dispute resolution
- Bar activities
Although our career development efforts will be primarily based on the informal, day-to-day mentoring that experienced attorneys provide to our new recruits, we also provide more formal mentoring programs to help new associates and summer associates integrate with the firm and the business community. Periodic team meetings facilitate communication within the firm and expand the knowledge base and capabilities of our attorneys. Other examples of our professional development programs include:
During orientation, you will be provided basic training that is designed to help you function immediately at the firm. The topics covered include an introduction to the firm's systems and processes, what the firm generally expects of you, how our review process is organized and how we approach compensation, billing, professional responsibility, community involvement, pro bono opportunities, and Continuing Legal Education (CLE). It also includes introductions to your colleagues at the firm.
New Associate Retreats
These additional training sessions will build off the ideas and topics introduced at orientation. Retreat topics include a more in-depth exploration of ethics, community involvement, expectations of clients and general counsel, "Lawyering 101," marketing and building client relationships.
Marketing Training for Associates
As attorneys transition from associate to shareholder, their role in the marketing of the firm and its services changes. Our business is relationship driven, so it is important for all attorneys to develop networks both inside and outside the firm. Our Associate Marketing Training Program provides guidance to our attorneys in identifying personal strengths, contributing positively to the firm's business development efforts, improving client retention, and increasing the firm's visibility. By incorporating the experience of more senior attorneys and bringing together associates from all offices, we encourage meaningful conversation and exchange, build camaraderie, and develop cross-disciplinary relationships.
Business Development Training Program
The underlying focus of our Business Development Training Program, which is targeted to senior associates and junior shareholders, is on developing and leveraging relationships to build your practice. Our training program includes an accountability component, business development goals and objectives, and incorporates tools, exercises and coaching to help the attorneys successfully implement the strategies and lessons taught. Our program, which is kept to a maximum of 12 attorneys to ensure individual attention as well as meaningful discussion and exchange, includes two group workshops in addition to one-on-one or small-group coaching sessions.
Formal and Informal Educational Opportunities
Our attorneys have access to, and are encouraged to participate in, regular practice group meetings and Continuing Legal Education (CLE) programs. The State Bar of Wisconsin requires attorneys to complete 30 hours of CLE during every two-year period. In order to extend the benefit to the entire firm, attendees may be asked to make presentations or supply written summaries of the information to other attorneys.