A law firm’s value is wholly created by its legal professionals' ability to provide quality legal services. We are firmly committed to hiring, retaining and training the best attorneys in our market so that our clients receive superior legal services. In order to accomplish this goal, we work hard to hire the best legal talent and have developed programs and opportunities for our attorneys that foster and reward each individual’s growth as a skilled legal professional. Our associates are offered a combination of training, feedback, incentives and career advancement opportunities that allow them to advance their career to achieve their goals.
We find that providing high-quality training and mentoring, along with implementing industry leading policies, with respect to compensation, benefits and work/life balance fulfills our primary goals of hiring and retaining outstanding attorneys, who provide superior legal services while satisfying their desire to grow in their practice.
We are committed to training and development, which is led by Alicia Kappers, Director of Professional Development. Thoughtful development of our attorneys is essential to our mission of providing superior legal services and advancing the individual careers of our attorneys. To that end, we have implemented a number of training programs and initiatives. The goals of the training and mentoring programs are to improve each of our associate’s skills as writer, advisor, counselor and advocate and to demonstrate how an experienced attorney successfully interacts with clients. We want our associates to grow and take on new challenges quickly, and we offer all of the support necessary to do so. Our formal training programs and professional development initiatives include the following:
- In June 2009, Frost Brown Todd announced a new program for our first-year associates. We are offering an innovative approach to hiring and training new associates, which, we believe, will make them better attorneys. Click here to learn about the five basic components of our First-Year Associate Program.
- A flexible competency-based evaluation system that clearly outlines the expectations at each level: associate, senior associate
- Both the Business and Litigation Departments have a fundamentals curriculum that provides the skills and knowledge for associates who are beginning to create the foundation of their careers.
- Each practice group provides an ongoing training plan designed to promote excellence and increase substantive knowledge. These plans include regular department meetings and in-office seminars, where our members and associates have an opportunity to discuss developments in the law, make new contacts and learn from law professionals within our firm.
- Competency training programs are offered to all attorneys and help build skills and develop behaviors in areas that are required to succeed as an effective lawyer at Frost Brown Todd. The firm’s competencies focus on professional/technical skills, as well as ownership behaviors. These skills and behaviors are essential in developing an ability to master internal and client relationships. These programs are taught by nationally recognized speakers as well as our own internal resources.
- Benchmarks provide practice group specific guide posts for technical skill development at each level. Associates can track their progress and ensure they are receiving a mix of work that will enable them to reach their potential.
- Two formal mentors (an associate and a member) are available to each associate to advise, motivate and teach. These mentors also provide guidance and career support.
The attorney mentoring program focuses on helping new associates quickly become integrated into the firm and their individual practice. New associates are assigned two mentors, an associate and a member. Assigned mentors fill the following roles:
- Host: Welcome new lawyers to the firm and introduce them to legal professionals within their department and throughout the firm and our communities
- Bridge: Act as a link to the firm for work, support and administrative information
- Guide: Explain firm issues and unwritten rules of “how we do it here”
- Teach: Develop associate’s legal and practice skills
- Coach: Provide feedback, monitor performance and experience, give “stretch” assignments
- Facilitate: Connect associate with internal resources to address particular issues that may face associate and help them network outside our offices in the community
Frost Brown Todd also holds an informal bi-monthly lunch program where two associates are matched randomly with two senior attorneys in each office. This informal mentoring process supplements the formal program and provides an opportunity for internal networking and cross-selling.
Career Development Coach
The private practice of law is challenging in many respects, but it is also rewarding if you can find the niche that best fits your goals, ambitions and unique skill set. Every lawyer has the opportunity to chart a path toward success as they define “success.” We recognize that charting that course can be difficult. It is helpful to have a guide, or a “coach,” to assist in the process.
Todd Bailey joined the firm in 1976, became a member and has accumulated a broad range of experience through his years in traditional and non-traditional career paths inside and outside of the firm. Todd is a popular business professor at a large university where he is in regular contact with students - many of whom will join our profession in the coming years. Todd’s wealth of experience and teaching skills make him a great resource for associates struggling with their own practice decisions. The firm has asked Todd to spend a large part of his time dedicated to assisting our lawyers who request assistance in planning the development of their own path to growth and success in the profession. This career coaching is a unique and invaluable benefit for our associates.
To help meet the goals of becoming legal professional and building each individual’s practice, our associates take part in a formal evaluation process each year. In this way, associates receive feedback on work and development. Associates also have an opportunity to comment on experiences with colleagues and clients in these evaluation meetings.
We use an online evaluation software program that streamlines the process for associates and members. This system allows associates to specifically request an evaluation from a member or senior associate they have worked with.
Compensation and Bonus Program
Our compensation package is highly competitive and designed to promote individual and firm success. We have a merit based compensation model which provides more dramatic increases for those who are performing high quality and profitable work.
FBT is proud of its subjective bonus program which is based on individual performance. Productivity (including meeting billable hour commitment) will be an important factor but other important factors include - pro bono hours, marketing and business development activities, mentoring, client service, new business generation and extraordinary profitability. We anticipate that strong performances (quantitatively and qualitatively) may earn subjective bonuses upwards of $20,000.
While the path to equity membership or member may be accomplished in the traditional time frame of seven years (or even less), the firm provides alternative paths and time frames to the status of equity member or member. The firm has recently adopted a new promotion/development model that recognizes that there are different paths to success. This pragmatic, flexible, individualized approach recognizes that success certainly includes but should not be limited to the narrow title of equity member. There are many ways to contribute and be rewarded for that contribution.
We understand that not every attorney is able to work a traditional schedule and that it is important to accommodate each individual’s need for flexibility. This is not a gender issue as we have numerous men and women who are on flexible schedules. As a result we have offered structured alternative and reduced schedules to our attorneys for over 15 years. Individuals interested in alternative work schedules are offered a process for pursing such alternatives and, in most cases, are still eligible for Membership in the firm.
To assist individuals interested in such alternatives, we provide formal advisors whose role is to help the firm and each individual succeed and manage alternative schedules. This program is headed by Carla Rusconi, Director of Attorney Advancement. Carla is a former corporate attorney who was on a flexible schedule as a partner at the firm in the 1990s when these arrangements were unheard of in our profession. Carla no longer practices law and has focused all of her attention on personnel and career advancement issues. She is an invaluable resource to attorneys concerned about flexibility.
In addition, our billable hour requirement (1,800 hours) is among the lowest in our market cities among our peer group. This fact, along with our alternative work schedule policy enables us to attract and fairly compensate the best legal professionals regardless of their work/life balance needs.
As a firm, and as individuals, we are citizens of the communities in which we practice. We feel that with success comes responsibility, and we take our civic responsibilities very seriously. We strongly encourage pro bono and volunteer activity of all types and permit volunteer time to count towards our non-billable, investment time requirements for each associate.
We offer competitive benefits for our associates, including 401(k) plans with matching contributions from the firm and profit sharing components, a choice of comprehensive health, dental, vision, long term care and other insurance plans, generous vacation time and highly competitive salary.
Departments and Practice Groups
Associates are hired to work in specific departments and practice groups within the firm. Our size allows us to have a multitude of practice groups which is beneficial to our clients and to associates. More information about our various practice groups and departments is available on this website.
Practicing in a Middle Market
Our firm has offices in markets that are growing and prospering, which provides associates with a great opportunity to build their practice. We are proud to practice in the following cities: Cincinnati, Columbus and West Chester, Ohio; Louisville, Lexington and Florence, Kentucky; Nashville, Tennessee; Indianapolis, Indiana; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Dallas, Texas; Ashland (Richmond Area), Virginia; and Charleston, West Virginia. We feel there are no better markets in which to practice law in Middle America. Please review a presentation about the advantages of practicing law in a mid-size market by clicking here.
How to Apply
Please APPLY online and submit your resume, law school transcript and cover letter indicating your practice area of interest and your geographical interest.