From Day One, our attorneys have access to ongoing in-house trainings and written resources designed to supplement their on-the-job learning. This includes training on substantive legal skills led by practice groups, as well as monthly sessions on core practice skills such as time and project management, self-advocacy, relationship-building, public speaking, and seeking and responding to feedback. In addition, we offer the following specialized courses:
Our Attorney Development team coordinates training and orientation for all attorney hires at every experience level and holds a firm-wide orientation program in Phoenix each fall for all first-year associates and judicial clerks. These programs provide each new attorney with an introduction to the firm, including our history, culture, people, practice groups, management, and administration. Our orientation programs also cover the basics that all attorneys need to know for a successful start here, including the firm's computer and email systems, billing software, internal document management system, conflicts procedures, and loss prevention matters. In addition to these substantive sessions, we build in time for social connection with assigned mentors and other attorneys invested in our integration and development efforts.
We also coordinate a series of continuing orientation "boot-camp" sessions to help new associates gain experience and exposure to legal skills and practices. These trainings provide a high-level introduction to our practice areas and introduce associates to partners with whom they may work closely; they also present an opportunity to learn essential practice management and communication skills. To set the stage for a career of ongoing learning and encourage new associates to take advantage of these in-house training and development opportunities, our entry-level associates may record up to 150 hours of training and professional development activities in their first year of practice, which counts toward their annual billable hours bonus target.
We developed a formal Legal Writing Program in 2018 to assist associates in developing and honing their legal writing skills. The Writing Program runs 6 months per year and is open to associates of all levels and practice areas, transactional and litigation alike. The Program consists of interactive sessions on important legal writing techniques. In addition, participants may request assignment to a writing coach from the same or similar practice area. This unique pairing affords associates the opportunity to establish close relationships with partners in their practice area whom they might not otherwise meet, and who can provide practice-specific feedback on their work product. Recent topics have included written advocacy, email negotiations, common errors in transactional drafting, common errors in litigation drafting, artful storytelling, and time entry narratives.
Through our Attorney Development Committee [link], we provide monthly trainings to attorneys at all levels on a variety of core skills that support our attorneys' practice development, such as time and project management, persuasive self-advocacy, inclusive leadership, emotional intelligence, seeking and responding to feedback, public speaking, and self-directed learning. We regularly seek input from our attorneys on the topics that are most relevant and needed, and we often feature associates in our interactive panel discussions.
The 'Trial of the OK Corral' is a special intensive trial skills training course created by Jeff Willis and Trish Refo and taught by a number of Snell & Wilmer partners. This multi-day program is highly regarded throughout the firm and participants describe it as an invaluable experience in their professional development.
To supplement our internal offerings, the firm supports attorney participation in a number of external training and continuing legal education opportunities.
All of our training programs are interactive, practical, and designed to facilitate learning and connection. The "3Rs" guide development of our in-house offerings: we hold ourselves to the standard that our offerings must be relevant, readily actionable, and right in time.