Whether due to strategic growth or practice section expansion, Ward and Smith seeks exceptional lateral candidates to join our team of lawyers and professionals who share a common goal of providing exemplary client service. If you are a motivated individual who enjoys working on complex and challenging projects, we may have opportunities for you. We are always looking for talented individuals with the ability, integrity, and initiative necessary to ensure that our Firm continues to be an exciting and rewarding place to work.
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To facilitate a smooth transition into the Firm's culture and systems, we provide a Lateral Integration Plan to experienced hires. We want laterals to hit the ground running and quickly feel like a part of the team. Managed by the Director of Attorney Recruiting and Professional Development, the plan provides a timeline of action items designed to help laterals understand firm processes, meet key stakeholders, develop connections, migrate clients and maximize business opportunities. Whether a new shareholder or firm attorney, all laterals are assigned liaisons and mentors who serve as go-to resources to provide guidance, answer questions, and facilitate introductions. Our goal is to make sure lateral hires connect with their colleagues, learn how best to utilize firm resources to optimize their practice, and maximize relationships with existing and new clients.
The Firm also provides a comprehensive orientation/onboarding program that includes in-person meetings with firm management, practice leaders, senior administrative directors such as Business Development & Marketing, committee chairs and other integral personnel linked to practice management and firm-wide business operations. Through these activities, laterals have opportunities to meet colleagues, expand their professional networks, and learn about the firm’s programs in order to fully leverage their talents and relationships. At Ward and Smith, we believe a supportive lateral integration plan paves the way to a successful law practice.
Training & Mentorship
Ward and Smith is committed to providing new attorneys with the highest level of training possible. The Firm implemented a training plan which tracks each attorney's progress from day one. Resources are available to keep the new attorney on the right path.
Each new attorney is assigned a BIG, an attorney within the Firm who is seen as a "go-to" person to answer questions about the Firm, the community, and other "quality of life" issues. The BIG informs the new attorney about social/cultural events, entertainment and community activities, and volunteer opportunities. The BIG fosters the social development of the new attorney in the Firm and community.
New attorneys to the practice of law are assigned a Work Supervisor who is responsible for providing opportunities to work and build relationships with other attorneys within the Firm. They monitor work volume and content and make certain the new attorney is receiving an appropriate number of projects. Work Supervisors also are responsible for monitoring workload issues and making sure the new attorney is receiving projects from multiple attorneys and from the various disciplines in which the new attorney is practicing. Following the first or second year of practice, the new attorneys is assigned a Mentor who takes the place of the Work Supervisor. The Mentor is to serve as more of a coach and sounding board rather than a day-to-day "hands-on" supervisor.
New attorneys within the Firm receive regular feedback on their work product through the use of an organized evaluation process. By submitting projects monthly, each new attorney receives timely feedback on a regular basis. Every six months, new attorneys are given the opportunity to meet with department heads to review their work product and discuss growth areas. Each year, new attorneys complete their self-evaluation and update their career profiles. This allows the new attorney to reflect on past experiences and look forward to future development.
Ward and Smith is an equal opportunity employer. We offer a competitive compensation and benefits package and professional development training/education opportunities aimed at ensuring long-term employment.
For more information regarding opportunities for lateral attorneys, please contact Melissa Forshey Schwind, Director of Attorney Recruiting, Professional Development, and D&I, at firstname.lastname@example.org, 919.277.9195.