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Associates Participate in Development Training

December 27, 2013

One of the functions of the firm’s Associates’ Committee is to provide professional development training opportunities for attorneys. Training benefits both participants as well as the presenters who are often Godfrey & Kahn lawyers. 2013 was a very active year for the committee who partnered with the Training Department to present a variety of programs throughout the year.

In February, a panel of securities attorneys including Liz Chandler, Laura Hawkins and Helge Lee presented "Securities Law 101" which covered basic securities law concepts including securities exemptions, investment advisers, broker-dealer and investment company issues, and recent regulatory changes from the Dodd-Frank Act, the JOBS Act and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

In April, the committee sponsored an interactive billing panel with shareholders Dan Flaherty, Carol Gehl, Brett Koeller and billing supervisor Kelly Newman. Panelists discussed how a bill serves as an important communication tool for clients, common issues with time entries and pro formas and other billing questions such as providing client estimates.

In June, shareholder Jim Peterson gave a two-day public speaking workshop. Jim presented his effective method for delivering speeches and handling common public speaking situations in legal practice. The hands-on workshop gave the attendees a chance to give a short presentation and receive constructive feedback. The final day included a 15-minute presentation on a topic relevant to the participants’ practice area.

In August, Professor Ralph Cagle presented "Negotiation Skills and Tactics." Professor Cagle is a lawyer and faculty member at the University of Wisconsin Law School. This program included a panel of Godfrey & Kahn attorneys who discussed negotiation techniques in both transactional and litigation settings. The agenda included Godfrey & Kahn shareholder Peter Sommerhauser sharing "My Perspective on Negotiation." In addition, the program included "How Lawyers Negotiate and Can Do So More Successfully," "Applying Selected Negotiation Tactics," and "Observations from the Front Lines," a panel discussion with Professor Cagle and shareholders Patricia Falb, Dan Flaherty, and Tim McCoy.

In September, Corporate Business Valuation Training was presented in partnership with shareholder Mark Witt and Training The Street, Inc., a leading financial services company based in New York City. Topics covered included business valuation methodologies, common valuation techniques, balance sheet considerations, merger consequences analysis, debt analysis, and returns analysis.

Most recently, members of the financial restructuring, corporate and litigation teams from the Milwaukee, Green Bay and Madison offices presented "Bankruptcy 101 for Non-Bankruptcy Lawyers." The program featured an interactive panel with Godfrey & Kahn attorneys Carla Andres, Paul Griepentrog, Andy Oettinger, Katie Stadler and Jennifer Vandermeuse. Topics included basic bankruptcy concepts that may come up in other practices, including the automatic stay, fraudulent transfers and executory contracts. The session also covered issues involved in "363" asset sales and foreclosures.

In addition to the specialty programs listed, the committee sponsored an orientation session for the firm’s new lawyers that was designed to provide an overview of the firm’s structure, policies and procedures. Some of the topics covered included working with internal and external clients, professional responsibilities and confidentiality. In addition, for several weeks following the new attorneys’ start date, lunch sessions were held on a variety of topics including ethics, conflict procedures, and how to work with a legal assistant and paralegal. The presentations delivered information on a particular topic at a point in the associate’s career where the information was relevant and also ensured that the group stayed connected.

One of the many benefits attorneys at Godfrey & Kahn enjoy is the ongoing opportunities to learn from and be mentored by senior associates and seasoned partners alike. The Associates’ Committee and Training Department provide just a few of the many educational opportunities for Godfrey & Kahn attorneys.

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