Hiring and Training Diverse New Lawyers

07/17/2019 10:33 AM | Alison Oyler-Mitsch (Administrator)

A successful diverse lawyer was, at one time, a successful law student and law school graduate. But recruiting and retaining diverse attorneys has not led to successful outcomes. So how do we ensure that diverse attorneys are placed where they can be successful? Legal employers are becoming more adept at fulfilling the needs of a different new generation of students-cum-associates, but there is always room for learning more. We have two sessions designed to address the unique needs of hiring and training attorneys. Where once these lessons a "wouldn't it be nice," it is now a must-have across the board.

Zack DeMeola will present "Foundations for Practice Project" based on what essential competencies lawyers, firms and judges are looking for in new lawyers. And how can employers best assist and make sure they can "hit the ground running."

In 2015, The Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS) began its "Foundations for Practice" project. They surveyed more than 24,000 lawyers across the country to identify the characteristics, competencies, and skills that new lawyers need right out of law school. Since publishing the results of the survey, IAALS has been using those results this past year to work with law schools and over 30 employers selected by these schools to develop a set of learning outcomes, assessments, instructional designs, and hiring tools to instill and identify desired characteristics, competencies, and skills in future lawyers.

The culmination of all this work is a Foundations-based Learning Outcomes Model. A set of Foundations-based hiring tools, and recommendations for how educators and employers can effectively use them for more objective and reliable assessment of student performance and hiring criteria. A Foundations-based hiring process that is intentional, explicit, and consistent, more aptly aligns the needs of the employer with the abilities of a candidate. This requires employers to clearly define the capabilities they seek in new hires and tie those abilities to their hiring criteria. This results in more compatible matches between new hires and employers and has more potential to reduce the influence of bias in hiring than relying on traditional approaches alone.

At the end of this program, participants will:

· Be familiar with Foundations for Practice research on what new lawyers need for success;

· Understand how Foundations for Practice research can be used as the basis for designing learning outcomes and hiring tools;

· Understand how to take advantage of and apply the results from the Foundations for Practice study as another tool to improve or supplement legal education and career development, including the use of objective criteria to reduce the influence of bias in hiring

Once a diverse new lawyer is hired, the process is not over - likely it is just the beginning. Employers and lawyers need to work together to find the best methods for coaching, giving and hearing feedback, mentoring, and growing. Eli Wald's session "Coaching the Diverse New Attorney: How to Succeed and Advance in Your Law Office" addresses this topic with timely and realistic information.

Legal employers are hiring new attorneys who may have priorities and needs that may differ from hires in the past. Understanding and addressing those needs and priorities are critical in the recruitment and retention of that talent.

At the end of this session, participants will:

· Determine how to get honest and helpful feedback and assessment of their work.

· Understand how to find and cultivate advocate mentors in their office.

· Identify ways to make themselves invaluable.

· Learn how to ask their supervisors for top assignments.

· Understand implicit biases, its impact on their professional development, and how to navigate it.

· Determine how to assess their standing in their office accurately.

· Allies will learn tips on coaching new diverse attorneys in private firms, public law offices, corporate legal departments, and other law-related work situations.

With our Summit, just days away don't miss your chance to engage on these essential topics.

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