FBT is a large multistate firm with a global reach and the resources and staff to satisfy a broad range of client requests. When we hire laterally, we bring attorneys on board who will strengthen and build upon the firm’s existing infrastructure. Once on board, we empower lateral attorneys by giving them the opportunity and means to cultivate a thriving law practice. In return, they’re compensated for their hard work and eligible for a bonus that rewards both individual contributors and team players. We expect both, individual and team success.
Not only do we offer lateral attorneys market-competitive salaries and a billable hour requirement comparable to that of other prominent law firms; we make it our mission to fully incorporate our lateral attorneys into the culture and everyday operations of the firm. During their first year, lateral attorneys work with mentors to create a timeline for that first year, setting goals exponentially that dovetail with the firm’s advancement policies. These mentors also offer them an entry into FBT’s broad network of clients. As the attorneys’ practices evolve, FBT’s business development and marketing teams are on hand to assist them with pitches, proposals, marketing collateral, and other client communications.
Finally: There’s a reason lateral hires tend to become permanent fixtures at FBT. Here, they have the satisfaction of working at a place that values their contributions and champions their success.
Practicing in the Middle Market
In our experience, there is no better “middle market” than that of Middle America, home to Frost Brown Todd’s 12 offices. So many of the clients we represent, despite their international reach, are in some way tied to this region and to the communities we serve. This is perhaps why we seldom represent them in a single isolated matter but instead develop decades-long relationships with FBT clients.
Being one of the largest “middle market” firms in our footprint, we have the privilege of serving both industry giants as well as startups and emerging businesses. While some are enduring household names, others are trailblazers in brand new industries, set to become the household names of the future. As their businesses have grown, the firm has grown by extension to encompass 12 offices in eight states, with over a thousand employees hard at work.
Though the firm’s reputation for exceptional client service dates back nearly a century, it is our robust and deep-rooted network of clients that directly benefits lateral attorneys. In the past, they’ve used firm connections to relocate, establish, and build out their practice or to secure board memberships in local organizations and high-profile appointments in the state and federal government.
Prior to membership, there are three developmental stages for attorneys—associate, senior associate and managing associate. An associate’s progression from one stage to the next is contingent upon a formalized competency-based evaluation process, which provides a clear roadmap for professional development here at FBT. In addition to the evaluation’s formal components, attorneys are encouraged to speak candidly with a member or managing associate, receive feedback and set priorities for the coming year. Finally, because we promote on the basis of demonstrated proficiencies and not years of practice, some attorneys rise through the ranks faster than others.
While the path to membership may be accomplished in the traditional timeframe of seven years, the firm provides alternative advancement models for attorneys in need of greater flexibility and whose accomplishments warrant recognition beyond the narrow title of “member.” We take a pragmatic, individualized approach in helping these attorneys chart a career trajectory.
For every position, salaries are competitive. We arrive at a figure once we’ve accounted for a person’s prior experience, responsibilities in the new role, and a city’s cost of living. We use a merit-based compensation model that rewards high-performing attorneys.
In addition to health, vision, life, and dental insurance, all employees are eligible for mental health consultations as well as short- and long-term disability. Family benefits apply to same-sex partnerships, and our parental leave policies (maternity and paternity) underscore the firm’s commitment to fostering work-life integration.
- Health Insurance
- Dental Insurance
- Vision Insurance
- Life Insurance
- Short-Term Disability
- Long-Term Disability
- Professional Liability Insurance
- Retirement (401k after the first year, profit sharing after the second year)
- Vacation (three weeks paid)
- Dues/fees/expenses (bar, court, CLE)
- Bonus Program (Objective, Subjective)
We have two bonus programs, one based on objective criteria, the other on subjective considerations. The associate objective bonus program rewards attorneys on a quarterly basis for recording hours billable to FBT clients.
The subjective bonus program rewards attorneys for making significant contributions to the firm’s current or future profits. Other considerations include productivity (with respect to billable hours) as well as mentoring, pro bono work, marketing and business development activities, outstanding client service, and the generation of new business.
For newcomers, learning the organizational structure of a large multistate firm can be a daunting task. Understandably so, which is why we separate our associate training into several programs and initiatives. Practically speaking, the goal is to develop an associate’s skills as a writer, advisor, counselor, and advocate. Ultimately, the goal is to mold our associates into effective ambassadors for the firm, both in dealings with clients and as meaningful participants in our local and global community.
Learning how to conduct oneself in a courtroom or negotiation shouldn’t be trial by fire. To ensure our new associates have a strong foundation, our Business and Litigation Departments have developed a Fundamentals curriculum for new associates, introducing them to best practices in a variety of areas.
Supplementing our “Fundamentals” curriculum is a Competency-Based Training program taught by nationally recognized speakers as well as leaders within the firm. Here, the emphasis is not on concepts, but on professional/technical skills and ownership behaviors. New associates learn to take initiative, prioritize, collaborate with their coworkers and forge lasting relationships with clients.
Finally, FBT provides a Mini-MBA Program, which equips new associates with the tools common among effective businesspeople. By outlining core business principles and the latest concepts, our attorneys are able to relate to clients on a broader plane.
In-Office Seminars, Trade-Specific Benchmarks
Each department and its respective practice groups hold regular meetings. New associates participate in in-office seminars led by FBT members and senior associates, who address recent developments in the law and strategies for addressing these new exigencies. Each practice group has specific benchmarks for skill development at each level, ensuring that associates are on track and have a varied and manageable workload.
We provide new hires with not one, but two mentors—a member and an associate. These mentors work directly with their charges to set attainable goals, manage work-life commitments, and build a robust network of clients and colleagues.
Assigned mentors fill the following roles:
- Host: Introduce associates to team members, firm leadership, administrators and other business professionals.
- Guide: Explain everyday operations, policies, and the unwritten rules of how to survive and thrive here at the firm.
- Teach: Pinpoint areas for development and provide associates with the training and resources to enhance their practice.
- Coach: Provide associates with feedback at every step, challenge them with “stretch” assignments, and encourage and praise their success.
- Facilitate: Ensure associates have access to important internal resources and serve as a liaison between them and FBT clients.