The Crucial Need for New Associate Training in a Post-Pandemic World

This month I presented at four new associate orientations. These newly minted attorneys spent part of their law school experience in the pandemic and missed the opportunity to develop all of the skills that are needed to thrive in the practice of law.

They learned over Zoom screens and missed out on the chance to develop face-to-face relationships with professors, classmates and colleagues at internships.

They didn’t have the opportunity to be active team members.

As these new legal professionals launch their careers, we must be mindful of their need for training on how to build relationships and show up in a professional manner.

Every week, I speak to heads of professional development across the country who share stories of how new associates make major blunders such as:

❌Not communicating when they are “lost” on an assignment and then missing the deadline

❌Passing on the opportunity to sit in on a call with a client because they prefer to work in the comfort of their own home

❌Hiding in the cracks to avoid taking on work and not asking for feedback

I call this the passivity problem and it is rampant!

What’s happening is that many of our new associates did not have the chance to learn or observe the professional behaviors we expect from them.

Instead of feeling frustrated with them, we need to:

✅Be very clear about expectations

✅Train them on the behaviors that are needed to be great contributors and team members

I am deeply passionate about the How To Thrive As a New Associate training I created for these “pandemic kids,” and have deep faith that they will become great assets to your firm.

What are you seeing new talent struggle with and what kinds of training are you offering to help them become engaged contributors?

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