By Maeda Riaz • August 09, 2014•Careers, Firms and the Private Sector
Ms. JD has been following the launch of an innovative program that pairs talented female lawyers returning to the workforce with big-law firms for a one year paid fellowship. You can read more about Ms. JD’s coverage of the program here, here, here and here.
The nine incoming fellows for 2014-15 pilot program are Sheila Bridges, Dora de la Rosa, Dana Glenn, Heather Hewitt, Mary Klumpp, Yvette Lanneaux, Mimi Ophir, Lori Trujillo, and Pamela Zdunek. You can read their full bios here. The pilot firms are Baker Botts, Cooley, Hogan Lovells, and Sidley Austin. Fellows are assigned to a variety of practice areas, including business litigation, real estate, corporate, trademark, global finance, and tech/IP transactions.
Applying corporate hiring practices and social science techniques, both the law firms and the applicants are rigorously assessed for participation in the Fellowship and to ensure a good fit between applicant and firm. Applicants undergo skills, personality, values and writing assessments, write a personal essay, and participate in a behavioral interview. Once this screening process is complete, a detailed five-page “Screening Scorecard” is generated. The Scorecard is used to assess applicants’ compatibility with the firm’s culture. This assessment also allows Fellows to begin their new positions armed with an awareness of their strengths and weaknesses – information that is oftentimes not available to associates until year-end performance evaluations.
The assessment the law firms undergo includes a Cultural Analysis and Bright Spot interviews. To gain an understanding of the firm’s culture, as well as sub-cultures within practice groups, partners and associates are asked to rate their top 10 values. Bright Spot interviews are conducted with high-performing lawyers at the firm to gather information on their success so their behaviors, skills and approaches can be replicated.
Due to the large interest in the Fellowship, the program will be expanding and accepting additional applicants for next year. At least ten more AmLaw 200 firms have been selected for the next round. Check back with Ms. JD in early September for further details!
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