NEW YORK – Reed Smith today announced the launch of Reed Smith Associate Advantage, an intensive three-year professional development program tailored to fast-track the preparation of associates for long-time career success during their first, second and third years of practice at the firm.

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“Exceptional law students join our firm. Reed Smith Associate Advantage will give them the knowledge and skills they need to become exceptional lawyers,” said Casey Ryan, Reed Smith’s Global Head of Legal Personnel. “It will teach our new associates what law school didn’t on an accelerated yet sustainable pace during their first 36 months at the firm. From the moment they arrive, we will help them develop the legal, business and leadership skills they need to succeed at a high-performing global firm like Reed Smith.”

Reed Smith Associate Advantage represents the latest refinement of Reed Smith’s popular and successful Associate Life initiative. It further assures the programs and benefits provide the firm’s associates with meaningful opportunities to maximize their potential.

“This new program takes our existing robust apprenticeship model and supercharges it,” said Alexander “Sandy” Thomas, Global Managing Partner. “Today’s early-career lawyers want to make an impact with their contributions starting on Day 1. Reed Smith Associate Advantage gives our new colleagues tools and connections to speed their progress, increase meaningful engagement on client work and with clients, and enhance their capacity to enjoy the practice of law.”

The new curriculum will teach recent graduates the building blocks of delivering litigation and transactional services in the real world, providing them with a range of experiences they would otherwise be unlikely to have early in their careers – from understanding clients’ legal challenges and objectives to building strong working relationships to developing an executive presence and learning the firm’s key strategic approaches. Whether a new lawyer plans to stay in private practice, join a company, serve in a position of public trust, become a judge or law professor, or pursue another passion, the Reed Smith Associate Advantage program will give them a powerful head start on success.

The program has three levels that build upon one another: Foundation, Core and Next. Collectively these levels help new lawyers develop the capabilities that drive the Reed Smith culture, strategy and brand. It provides a solid understanding of law firm economics and practice fundamentals to help new associates develop exceptional substantive legal skills, learn real-world tools for delivering excellent client service, gain insight into the firm’s commitment to DE&I and pro bono, and prepare them to become highly effective writers and presenters.

To oversee Reed Smith Associate Advantage and other learning and development programs at the firm, Lauren Hakala has joined as the firm’s Senior Director of Global Learning and Development, a new role that underscores the firm’s commitment to further integrating industry-leading learning strategies into its global talent development approach.