First Year Associate Program
Frost Brown Todd LLC “FBT” has developed an innovative approach to hiring and training our new associates. Our goal is to have the absolute best-trained class of associates in our region, while working to develop lawyers who better understand our clients’ business objectives. Through this, our associates are able to practice law and deliver the highest quality service from the start of their careers. We create exceptional lawyers at an accelerated pace. This is a long term investment in the future of our firm, our lawyers’ and our clients’ futures. We will pay market-competitive salaries in each of our cities.
There are five basic components to the FBT First Year Associate Program:
- Reduced Billable Hour Goal/Addition of Training Goal (800 hour training requirement and a substantially reduced billable hour commitment -- only 1200 hours). We consider this to be one of the most important components of our new program. Relieving partners of the pressure to make sure all of the time spent by first-year associates is billable to clients allows for more meaningful “live” training and skill development opportunities and more hands-on involvement with clients. Associates “shadow” lawyers to depositions, client meetings, trials, etc., and have more “guest chair time” in the offices of experienced lawyers.
- Knowledge Coach. Each associate is assigned a “Knowledge Coach.” The coaches are some of our most productive and successful partners with a track record of superior commitment to training. The coaches spend the year finding hundreds of hours of opportunities for the associate to learn how to practice law by observing the coach and other attorneys in the firm in trial, deposition, on client calls, closing transactions and drafting. The coach ensures that observation opportunities are meaningful and that the associate is given the opportunity to be in a courtroom, on a deal or able to observe a skilled lawyer.
- Secrets of Success. We conduct an intensive business skills training program that focuses on the core skills and strategies of successful businesspeople. Research shows that what sets star performers apart (in the business world, legal world and beyond) are the strategic ways top performers do their jobs. This includes work habits which encourage initiative and networking, making for a star performance. We provide specific training including speakers from outside the firm that are able to focus in on these core work strategies that have defined our most successful attorneys. This training will supplement extensive substantive legal skills training that will occur concurrently at the department and practice group level. Additionally, all first-year associates receive focused skills training through our mini-MBA program and National Institute of Trial Advocacy Fact Investigation workshop.
- Placement Opportunities with Clients and Non-Profit Organizations. We identify opportunities for our associates to spend several weeks with clients in our markets engaging them in the aspects of their individual business. We also identify opportunities for our associates to aide in non-profit organizations enabling them to understand and get a better grasp on the surrounding community. We want our new associates to see how the client’s legal department operates, but are equally interested in their learning how the client runs the business from which legal issues actually arise.
- Billable time. Traditional billable tasks continue to provide some of the training and value to the client. First-year associates can assist on projects and learn their craft through research, writing and other meaningful assignments in which clients find valuable.