The lawyer who succeeds at Wiggin and Dana is a self-starter, aspires to be a leader in the profession and is willing to work to achieve distinction and recognition from his or her peers in the firm, the legal community and the community at large. Our professional development program is designed to help you succeed by bringing you quickly into the firm's mainstream, giving you meaningful work, accelerating your learning curve, orienting and mentoring you at critical junctures, and familiarizing you with our culture and work philosophy.
Your associate and partner mentors will help introduce you to the firm and the way we work and interact. These attorneys will address your questions and concerns collegially and confidentially.
Our orientation program helps new lawyers become familiar with the firm and develop practical skills they will need in their first year. Topics typically include ethics, conflicts and confidentiality; the firm's expectations of associates; tips from second year associates; the basics of short calendar; and the business aspects of running a law firm.
To help you grow and augment skills where needed, you will receive instructive comments while projects are underway. You will also benefit from a formal performance review each spring that is based on the evaluations of the partners you have worked with throughout the year.
Time to Decide
We do not hire first year lawyers into a specific department. Instead, you will get broad exposure to our work and people, through a variety of assignments. Our Work Coordinator fields and designates assignments, where you will work directly with the responsible attorneys. This helps you identify the legal areas that appeal to you and guides your departmental affiliation, which usually occurs near the end of the first year.
Each fall you will meet with your partner mentor and another partner to discuss your professional development goals and jointly develop a plan for meeting those goals with an eye toward department needs and focus.
All associates are invited to attend firm-wide and practice specific in-house training programs which are frequently held throughout the year. Business development, negotiation, public speaking, legal writing, and ethics are some of our firm-wide programs. In addition, each practice area offers programming for both basic training and staying current with legal trends. For example, we have a civil litigation practice series and an annual mock trial. There is also in-depth training in corporate document drafting, the life of a deal, contract negotiation and opinion letter preparation. We are a New York CLE accredited provider.
You may have the opportunity to participate in educational programs and seminars outside of the office that will expose you to new areas of the law or strengthen your knowledge in areas familiar to you.
On the Job
While lectures and seminars will play a large role in your development, the key is "on the job" training. You will gain experience quickly by working closely with partners and taking an active role in transactions and proceedings. You will receive early opportunities to work directly with clients and to represent the firm outside the office. We support substantial involvement in pro bono matters under the guidance of experienced senior attorneys.
The ability to lead is an important skill. We provide opportunities for associates to develop leadership skills through case and project management as well as committee membership. We encourage associate involvement on firm committees such as the Associate Professional Development Committee, the Diversity Committee, and the Hiring Committee because we want the benefit of your input and ideas in these important areas and because participation in firm management sharpens your leadership skills. The firm also values and supports participation at the leadership level in charitable, educational and bar association activities.
How To Apply
In 2018 we will be participating in several On-Campus Interview Programs and Job Fairs. If we will not be attending or collecting resumes from your law school, we encourage you to apply here.