Successful on-boarding of your associates of color is critical. With COVID-19, delayed bar exam and work start dates, the first-year associate likely has some anxiety about their ability to replicate their academic success in a law firm setting. Time constrained partners and senior associates who are seeking to restore and grow workflows, will demand practice ready associates – associates skilled at acclimating and becoming productive members of the practice group. This means new attorneys of color need strong developmental training more than ever. The first 12 months will be critical in shaping early impressions and opportunities.
The first-year associates who gain early career momentum develop Relationship Talent (the ability to build strong workplace relationships) that matches their Task Doing Talent (the ability to execute work assignments.
Our goal is to offer the first-year associate a framework for building strong relationships and understanding the role relationships play with respect to support, quality feedback, access to informal networks and premium work. Each associate to leave our First Year Academy with the tools and mindset needed to build strong relationships within the practice group and beyond.
Our Focus: Building Practice Ready Associates
Our First Year Academy is designed to provide (1) direct insights into the mindset and ways of working of top performing first year associates and (2) a window into the priorities, investment patterns and preferences of senior associates and partners.
Our goal is to place the first-year associate in a better position to picture and produce the performance attributes vital to building momentum in year one. Each associate to leave our First Year Academy practice ready.
We have recruited associates recognized by their firms as top performers. These top performers, along with Stakeholder trainers, team leader partners, diversity and professional development leaders, will lead each panel and presentation.
To create an immersive learning experience, the 2021 First Year Academy will be delivered in two (2) phases. Phase I will consist of a monthly virtual learning experience, consisting of presentations, and panel discussions. Phase II will be a two (2) day in person conference, consisting of panel discussions, role plays, and small group sessions.
Phase I – First Year Academy Schedule (Virtual)
Each virtual session is sixty (60) minutes.
Session 1 – March 26, 2021
The Retailer called You: Executing Remotely
Retail is a powerful model for the first-year experience. Like retailers in a mall, the new associate must learn to create such a powerful product and service experience, that they motivate the customer (assigning partner) to personally commit to the associate (commit to returning to the store) and spreading a positive narrative about the associate to other practice group members (telling other customers about their great experience). Like great retailers, top performing first-year associates become skilled at converting episodic customers to loyal customers.
In this 60-minute training, we will examine the key rules of retail that contribute to first year success. Focus will be devoted to connecting and performing remotely. The training will be conducted by Werten Bellamy.
Session 2 – April 30, 2021
What it Means to “Own Your Work”
It is important that assigning partners confirm that the associate “owns their assignments”.
In this 60-minute session, a panel of top performing associates will deconstruct the work habits (ways of working) of associates whose execution of their assignments reflects the workmanship, intellectual curiosity, analytic strength, judgment, value consciousness, anticipatory service, and teamwork that signals ownership of work.
Session 3 – May 21, 2021
The Not So Obvious Things to Know about Partners and Service Teams
Many diverse first year associates enter the profession operating on a set of beliefs and assumptions about law firm partners – their interests, priorities, and perspectives on first year associates.
In this session, a panel of top performing law firm partners will offer candid insights on topics to include first impressions, communicating with partners. informal evaluation, assignment distribution, mentorship, and sponsorship.
Session 4 – June 25, 2021
Building Strong Internal Relationships
In today’s dynamic law firm environment, premium learning requires strong workplace relationships, as much of an associate’s learning and integration experience occurs in the crucible of one-on-one relationships.
In this session, a panel of top performing associates will deconstruct the practical relationship building habits of associates who build strong workplace relationships (relationships worthy of loyalty) – with peers and senior attorneys. Additionally, we will examine the tools top performers use to curate strong relationships for the know-how and insights that drive career momentum.
Session 5 – July 23, 2021
Dollars and Sense: A Framework for Financial Wellness
Thoughtful financial management and planning in the first year creates a foundation for financial wellness and flexibility.
In this dynamic presentation by Smartpath Financial, we will provide each participant with a framework for saving, making investments, and managing loan debt, housing and other expenses – in ways that accelerate wealth accumulation.
Phase II – Live Conference
November 12-14, 2021
Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Pentagon City, Virginia
At CYOC, we deliver a rich, high energy learning experience grounded in practical strategies and straight talk. Our goals are simple: to inform, affirm, and build meaningful relationships.
Building on the Phase I experience, with Phase II, we will bring Academy participants together to connect and place them in the path of the information needed to sustain momentum.
Conference Panels and Presentations
- The High Impact Performance Review Meeting
- Leveraging Diversity and D&I Resources
- Elevating Your Feedback Seeking Skills
- The Anatomy of Career Ownership
- Dollars and Sense: A Framework for Financial Wellness
- What it Means to be Authentic at Work
- Managing Moments of Truth Workshop
- Ten (10) Key Mentoring Moments
- Becoming Highly Coachable
- Decoding Confidence and Resilience
- Emotional Intelligence and Why It Matters