Reed Smith today announced the global launch of a new and completely redesigned Associate Life initiative – a comprehensive program to prepare the firm’s early career lawyers for advancement, leadership roles, and long-term professional success. Among the new aspects of Associate Life at Reed Smith are a mobile app for ongoing performance feedback from more senior lawyers; an enhanced billable-hours “credit” policy for learning and development and for pro bono and innovation projects; a ramp-up hours policy following return from leaves of absence; first-year assignments from a general pool to work with various practice and industry groups; secondment opportunities within the Reed Smith global platform; and reverse mentoring between junior and senior attorneys, among others.

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We created Reed Smith’s Associate Life initiative to provide our associates with meaningful opportunities to maximize their potential, fully develop their legal and business skills, and enjoy the practice of law,” said Sandy Thomas, Reed Smith’s Global Managing Partner. “It’s a game-changer in terms of providing the integrated opportunities, resources and support that our associates have requested to achieve their personal and professional aspirations.

The Associate Life initiative includes Reed Smith’s competency-based CareeRS program and is driven by Reed Smith’s commitment to ensuring that its lawyers know what is expected of them at each stage of their development, and what is required for them to advance to the next level. Its nine competencies include not only legal skills, but also the citizenship, business and client skills and personal qualities needed to progress from junior associate to partner.