We are committed to fostering professional growth through a variety of professional development programs. As a Dow Lohnes Associate, you will benefit from the wealth of resources made available to you, including a comprehensive training and mentoring program and a special practice group assignment program for new associates.
We understand that professional development and training opportunities are key concerns when choosing a firm. Dow Lohnes consistently receives high praise for its formal training programs as well the informal training that comes from early responsibility and exposure to clients.
To ensure that our associates acquire the essential skills they need to practice law effectively, the firm has established a formal professional development program, administered by our Professional Development Committee. The Professional Development Committee is charged with ensuring that each associate receives full and regular evaluations and feedback on his or her progress and advancement. The Committee’s goal is to enhance the training and professional development of all associates so that they are better prepared to assume appropriate levels of responsibility throughout their careers. The transfer of responsibility is essential for the steady professional development of our associates as well as for the provision of effective client services.
To assist with this goal, the firm has established a three-tiered mentor and advisor program for all associates to address professional development at every stage of the associate’s career. The mentors and advisors work with the Professional Development Committee to ensure that each associate gets a range of experiences commensurate with his or her seniority and ability. The mentors and advisors also provide informal career counseling and guidance on the associates’ professional development.
Each practice group sponsors a series of training seminars for incoming associates and all associates are invited and encouraged to attend. These seminars are designed to expose junior associates to the basics of our various practices. In addition, the firm actively arranges and encourages participation in continuing legal education seminars. Typically, these seminars are advanced and focused on current issues in our practice areas. Other programs are designed to teach practical skills, such as negotiating deals, taking and defending depositions and conducting a trial. In addition, Dow Lohnes has instituted a speaker series, PDForum, where experts in the relevant industries come to talk to the associates about a wide variety of topics specifically geared toward our industry practices. Speakers have included general counsels from major organizations, academics, legislators, and many others.
The firm’s Business Development Committee also conducts a series of training programs aimed at our associates. These programs, presented by partners in the firm, focus on the necessary skills for all attorneys relating to fostering client relations and developing business.
We provide lateral associates with an orientation program designed to provide an overview of the firm and administrative procedures as well as assist in integrating our new attorneys into the firm.
During their first few days, all associates receive an introduction to firm policies and procedures, computer training, and the firm’s associate benefits program. Each new associate is also assigned a formal Mentor to offer general guidance about the firm and his or her practice group.
In an effort to fully integrate all new attorneys, we invite new Atlanta attorneys to spend a day in the D.C. office. Attorneys meet with the Management Committee and representatives from each practice group to learn more about the firm’s history, vision, practice and client base.
Dow Lohnes recognizes the importance of feedback, not just in our summer program, but throughout an associate's tenure. The Professional Development Committee is responsible for ensuring that each associate receives full and regular evaluations and feedback on his or her progress and advancement. Associates work with their practice groups to set goals to assist in this process. The firm evaluates associates at least twice during their first year with the firm and once each year thereafter. Formal evaluations are based on written reports completed by supervising partners and are discussed with each associate by a member of the Professional Development Committee and the head of the practice group to which the associate is assigned. Throughout the career of each lawyer, formal evaluations are supplemented by the informal assessments of supervising lawyers.
Bar Membership Requirements
All associates must become members of the District of Columbia or the Georgia bar (which ever is applicable to their office location), either by taking the bar examination or by waiver. Associates who are not members of any bar must take either the D.C. or Georgia bar examination unless the firm gives permission to take the bar examination of another jurisdiction. The firm will reimburse for expenses related to a bar review course, bar dues, and bar admission for one jurisdiction, or we will reimburse for bar waiver expenses to the D.C. or Georgia bars. Associates joining the firm who are members of a bar, but not a member of the D.C. or Georgia bar, should apply for admission or waiver within thirty days of their start date.