Opinion: Law Firms Should Launch Residency Programs
At the end of the two-year residency program, the firm and the candidates would be able to make informed decisions about which residents deserve offers, and which type of offer is suited to each candidate.
Some attorneys could be made associates and their salaries bumped up to current first-year associate salary levels. Others could receive an offer of a staff attorney position, with salaries commensurate with the new title. And for others still, they would receive no offer to join the firm.
How would a change of this magnitude affect a firm's ability to recruit top talent? Significantly. Considering that firms have spent generations following the few willing to lead the charge, however, it won't be easy. But if law firms are going to survive in this ever changing marketplace, creative solutions are needed.
Although a residency program is but one possible approach, tackling the untenable associate compensation model may be a credible first step in the design and implementation of modern strategies to meet the needs of clients, to promote more efficiency and to truly hire, train and promote the most talented lawyers.•